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In twelve aphorisms, the Venezuelan artist Javier Téllez lists his thoughts about the qualities and possible states of objects—either autonomous or in groups, virgin or used—and makes a number of suggestions concerning how people should behave toward objects. In his opinion, a person’s objects describe them more accurately than their image; so much so that, when an object speaks, so do those who created it and those who have used it.
The list of twelve aphorisms compiled by the Venezuelan artist Javier Téllez (b. 1969), “Del arte de los objetos” [Concerning the Art of Objects], is in no way meant to refer to the visual arts. Written as ethical rather than aesthetic maxims, some of the aphorisms describe possible qualities or states of objects; others apply to our relationship to objects, indicating how we should act and what we should do in specific circumstances that involve objects. Téllez explains that “an object should not be forced to express symbolic qualities that it does not possess.”
Despite no direct references to the visual arts, the text can be read as a sort of code for objectual art. Téllez identifies certain guiding premises that he takes into account as he creates his own work.
This material was originally published in the catalogue for the I Salón Pirelli for young artists, which was organized by the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofía Imber, Caracas (1993). But it became particularly significant when it appeared in the catalogue for the artist’s one-man show La extracción de la piedra de la locura, 1996; this is therefore the version that has been selected here.
To read other articles about Téllez and his work, see by Rubén Gallo “Del mausoleo al juego en cuatro imágenes / From the mausoleum to the playroom, in four images” [doc. no. 1155086]; by Carmen Hernández “La extracción de la piedra de la locura: una instalación de Javier Téllez” [doc. no. 1154986]; the interview by Ruth Auerbach “Trobar clus: de cómo despistar al expectador” [doc. no. 1154795]; the interview by Manuel Lebon “Mi arte es un virus que vive en las grietas” [doc. no. 1154938]; the review by Ana María Mendoza “La pieza ‘Licantropía’ obtuvo el premio Eugenio Mendoza” [doc. no. 1154954]; and finally the essay by Katherine Chacón “Javier Téllez” [doc. no. 1155070].
For other articles about the Salón Pirelli, all of them by María Luz Cárdenas, the Venezuelan art curator, see “Nuevas realidades, nuevos conceptos para un salón de jóvenes” [doc. no. 1161393]; “Arte desde el exilio. Enfoque metodológico y pautas generales de aproximación al II Salón Pirelli de jóvenes artistas y lenguajes” [doc. no. 1161345]; “De la ilusión óptica a la desilusión cultural. Aproximación al III Salón Pirelli” [doc. no. 1162019]; and “Apostando a futuro. Notas sobre del V Salón Pirelli” [doc. no. 1162038]. See also the article by Ruth Auerbach “Salón Pirelli: primera aproximación al arte joven en la década de los noventa en Venezuela” [doc. no. 1161411].