It is a humbling experience to visit an art exhibition with a cartoonist.
Humbling in the sense that you realize how busy you are shoveling on prejudices to hold up in front of you protecting you from taking in what is before you. For my own part there is a lot of art historian luggage - So, is that artist supposed to be a genius as the curatorial jargon wants me to believe?! - all of which I waste more time battling than to be present.
Not so the cartoonist. You suddenly realize that he is being very quiet.
He - Bonil (Xavier Bonilla) - goes directly to the artwork, daring to be silent to sense what emanates from it. He is creating a meeting, letting the artwork unfold itself at its own pace, while he begin deciphering the layers being opened to him. The two of them create the very fusion of horizons and with this our revelation that we are at the core of the cartoonist's own art.
|Bonil, September 26, 2009:|
The eternal struggle to master a foreign tongue.
A drawing by Bonil invites you in from the very first glance at it. It opens itself before you, composed as it is along the length of the paper.
|Bonil, May 1, 2014.|
"Why is May 1 represented by a clenched fist?
- Mommy... Are you here?"
We see at once the best of worlds and the worst of them and please do note how the clenched hand is drawn. Simple and masterfully done; it is indeed making what should have a situation of exchange into being all about its own demands.
|Bonil, July 30, 2014.|
"If this is the INDEX, what shall be the EPILOGUE?"
- Can I speak my mind?
The sheer size of that hand, not to speak of that tongue and both of them always in the singular. Body parts, which symbolizes movement with the possibility of creating chance, making it all the more grotesque when they are kidnapped with the sole objective to clamp down on any opinion apart from the office of President Correa.
Correa is ready to make the strangest verbal dance moves in order to cover for his actions. "The lies, those lies!" seems to be his constant excuse and reason for clamping down on his fellow men.
To this end he is using the appearance of dialogue to shortcut all communicative exchange. The presidential deslenguaje, as Bonil fitting has stamped it, i.e. the presidential speak dissolves language when spoken; a tongue literally dissolving itself. Bonil lays before us the very logic of the dissolution, using the solidity of the tongue to undress the absurdity of Correa's strategy.
Since then has followed a string of allegations and ensuing court cases, constantly draining and threatening the cartoonist alike, which is of course sadly the main objective, making Bonil a cartoonist at risk in this world.
|Bonil, Gallery of presidents.|
The perspective of the eternal red carpet having winded its way into the pillars of democratic society above and thus Correa is very much on his way to have defined how he shall be reflected in history.
Bonil has rightly referred to the drawing on the left as one of his best. Only may it be almost forgotten in lieu of new great favorites, when it is time to look back on our present time. Otherwise it would mean the times had not changed.
The cartoons shown are courtesy of Bonil and must no be reproduced without his permission.