When the wind blows on our rights


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The words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Magna Carta, the Geneva Convention arise and disappear on a screen, as if pushed by a burst, before resurfacing. The works of the Madrilenian artist Daniel Canogar, which can be seen on the stand of the Art Bärtschi & Cie gallery in ArtGenève, are a metaphor of the dangers that blow on our rights and fundamental freedoms. - Isabelle Cerboneschi.

Hanging on the walls of the Art Bärtschi & Cie gallery stand, at the ArtGenève exhibition, two flat screens. The third is on the ground. Moving images display hues of autumn for the first, moss green for the second and violet-fuchsia for the third. The colors form drips, like a Florentine marbled paper that would be endowed with life. I do not immediately discern that before becoming moving images, these forms were words that have sprung up on the screen and have been deformed to the point of dissolving in a colored matter, as if pushed by the wind. The result is hypnotic.

On the first panel the artist has chosen to inscribe words from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on the second those of the Geneva Convention, and on the third those from the Magna Carta, three founding texts of our democracies. But let's stop for a moment in front of the screen where Human Rights scroll. The words "members", "all", "change", "nation", "torture", "fortune", among many others, rise and become deformed to melt and form mottles of colors that do not do not mix. "It's the wind that is currently blowing over Paris that creates this distorting effect on words," says Daniel Canogar.

In fact, the screens are connected via the Internet to software that tracks in real time the winds that pass over the cities where the three texts were signed. For example, the words of the Magna Carta will be pushed by gusts blowing on Runnymede, those of the Geneva Convention by the Geneva wind and those of the Declaration of the Human Rights will be twisted under the effect of the wind which blows on Paris at the moment when the spectator looks at the work.

As the artist explains his work, a current from the northwest sweeps away all the words that spell out our fundamental rights. "These words are swept metaphorically, but not only: right now, our rights are in danger. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is eroded by populism, by contrary political winds, by authority, by force, and this globally, the world over, "says Daniel Canogar

But if the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Magna Carta, the Geneva Convention fly in the wind on the screens of Daniel Canogar, they always come back, fiercely. Because fundamental freedoms can not be erased so easily ...

Drafts, 2017, Art Bärtschi & Cie Gallery, Stand B34, Art Geneva, Palexpo. Until Sunday.

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