Cuban artist Glenda León’s exhibition ‘El Tiempo es un sonido que no escuchamos’ has just opened at the Juana de Aizpuru gallery in Madrid. On Saturday we were treated to a musical performance at the gallery by Neopercusión musical group who played on some of the works creating an atmosphere in which sounds and energies vibrated together around the room. Parts of a sculptural work made out of hand drums (one whole, the others shaped into crescents of differing sizes arranged along the wall to suggest phases of a moon cycle) were lifted off the wall and played by three musicians as they danced around the room.
A raft of plagues has come to our global world: pandemic, war, the gradual breakdown of old political systems which are no longer working; environmental crises. Perhaps we did not listen before to the old stories of bad and good crops laying waste to our plans and the inevitability that things would turn sour one day. It is as if we did not believe the new realities of the past few years were even possible, and now as a consequence we think we could believe just about anything. So here is something. Cuban artist Glenda León has created a body of artwork over the past few decades, using sound, and elements drawn from nature which teaches us how to look and think about life in a far deeper way and to connect with nature both outside and within ourselves. During times of stability her work is an invitation to reflect and meditate on a higher reality; during times of crisis it can still be a space of peace and comfort but it can also be an urgent warning and call to action. ‘Humanity is innovative but destructible. Nature is stronger. We need to coexist with nature and alter our behaviour if we are to reverse climate change’ (GL).
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