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2002: Mercedes Casanegra - Prólogo "Juego de los juegos", Panamá, República de Panamá

“Our everyday life is a constant path through the past and future simultaneously”, this statement of the German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer could be a basic tacit maxim that Silvia Brewda has maintained as one of her fundamental concepts throughout her artistic development over the past several years. This presence also becomes evident in the series “Game of the Games”. Another of her constants is to make historical research an active part of her art. This time her central theme is the game, the games of all times. Each of her pictorial works includes a concrete type of game, from the formal ancestral to informal ones. Marbles, dominoes, tic-tac-toe, hopscotch, the spinning top, puppets, dolls and also those based on the improvisation of a child´s imagination. But in Silvia Brewda´s attitude the types of systematization, of register are almost encyclopedic. There is an attempt to maintain on the horizon of the present an infinite range of formal play that dates from long ago and continues to exist, transformed or not, at the present time with an updated vitality. Each of the paintings functions like the page of a great book, as they offer a brief narration and illustration with a book type format. Each painting also illustrates a different game. In addition, the elements as well as their representation express a habitual feature of the artist´s work: diverse textures. We point, therefore, to a hypothesis. The pages would not be empty. Each individual game represented would work as wefts of a fabric similarly to the human conscience, both the individual (each one different) and the collective, interwoven with time, and between them the singular element of play. Next, both the artist and the viewer will recognize in the game an element of their culture, both of which, belong to them. The game is also an instrument of identification. Gadamer refers to the game and the hermeneutic game in a piece of art as an “act-of-being-with”. That means, today the art proposes “the work of constructing the piece itself” (1). We would add to this, as part of the hypothesis, that there is a possible task of identifying and constructing ourselves through contemporary art. (Either in a live performance, a painting or a sculpture). It is one of the challenges that the present proposes to us. Silvia Brewda´s proposal is to merge the art as a game and the game as an instrument of identification, weaving together all the possible games. Finally, the resulting reflection also includes the symbolical concept as tessera hospitalis, that part of us inherited from our ancestral roots completes us when we acknowledge it. It gives us the chance to meet again the other part of ourselves. From the game we have moved to the symbolical. Postmodernism has done its best to specifically make us conscious of our fragmentation and of our fragmented existence. “...the other fragment, always sought, to make whole with our own vital fragment, exists.”(2) Isn´t the game an attempt to rebuild, for a while, as far as the game lasts, our known lack of completion?. Every contemporary artistic attempt, in this post-duchampan period, includes a gesture. The one of Silvia Brewda tries to be a wide gesture encompassing time and space, but with a clear objective: the anthropological one. The games, known by all cultures, throughout all times, have also been interpreted as ways to journey this individual-collective ineluctable journey through existence. Art and game-Game and art, could they be the two faces of Janus?. Interpretations, finally, of the human existence seen from another part of the universe. (1) and (2) Hans-Georg Gadamer, “El simbolismo en el arte” (“The symbolism in art”) in La actualidad de lo bello (The timeless beauty), Paidós, Barcelona, 1996 Translated by Gabriella Mazzella for ARCHIVO CERO