& BOOKS REVIEWS
Some of the artists who explore the identity and texture of the national being, from a personal perspective in which the management of memory and a critical understanding converge, include Julia Zurilla, with her videos, in which texts and images construct indefinable narratives, in which the word operates as a figure and a chronicle of the present is reinscribed, illuminated by the past, in which a fabric of fragments propose a multiplicity of meanings that tension a meaning that is always kept as a secret: a veiled, elusive memory.
Dr. Sandra PINARDI (philosopher, curator, and researcher) PhD, Lenguaje y vocación política en el arte contemporáneo. Sala Mendoza 2016.
Transcending from the real to the unusual, the video Horizonte perdido (2015) by Julia Zurilla (Caracas, 1967) juxtaposes the image of Caracas and its invisible facade to the Caribbean Sea, hidden behind the imposing mountain that guards the city. A placid but disturbing vision that transforms the Caracas valley - that repeated "commonplace" of Venezuelan landscape - into a coast. The scene has a deluge-like aspect, familiar and strange at the same time, as if the episode of Amalivaca that reviews the origin according to the Tamanaco Indians occurred again, now at the foot of Avila as a witness. In that return to the beginning, perhaps the presumed end of the nation's follies, there is nothing where there was once a city of asphalt and concrete, except for the slowly passing waters and the tectonic giant that serves as its horizon. A dreamlike future? A threatened destiny? A dialectic or eternal return? Who knows what omens the unstoppable tide of time holds.
Prof. Felix SUAZO (art critic, researcher, and curator), Compendio de mareas o el preludio de las catástrofes. Tráfico Visual, 2016
Perhaps one of the most important works in the exhibition is a video landscape from Jose. Julia Zurilla Jimenez presents us with a huge nocturnal and global landscape, the surroundings of a planetary refinery are crossed at full speed by large trucks preceded by their headlights, facing this soulless situation, reflection becomes raw and literary, the underlying problem leads to the roots of identity and the dialogue between the relevant generation and the transhumant.
Architect William NIÑO ARAQUE (curator and researcher), Persistencia del paisaje. Galería de Arte Nacional, 2003
Viajero (2003) is an experimental video of very short duration that, in the words of its author, Julia Zurilla, essentially has cinematic pretensions. This "video territory" derives from the encounters and relationships between panoramic fragments and confessional texts. The image travels, from some strategic location on the road, through an impressive nocturnal landscape of the eastern zone of Venezuela, illuminated by thousands of shining lights that come from a monumental complex of heroic proportions. It is the Complejo Criogénico de Jose, one of the largest gas fractionation plants on the planet, the main source of work in the region and a clear example of the petrochemical potential of the place. On this disturbing vision that, in some way, evokes our symbolic and opulent dependence, thought is juxtaposed, to become a discourse that allegorizes a sense of belonging rooted in the ambiguous territories of identity.
Ruth AUERBACH (curator and researcher) Construyendo señales: videos y cortos de Venezuela. British Council-Sala Mendoza, 2004.
In the category of Art and Thought, the works of those artists focused on reflecting on current discursive contingencies but from a perspective that breathes ideas of the conceptual discourse of the 1970s are gathered. Works by Sigfredo Chacón, Alí González, Roberto Obregón, David Palacios, Juan Carlos Rodríguez, Alfred Wenemoser, and Julia Zurilla are presented here. The latter proposes in the video Cuentos Escogidos, fragments of stories by Horacio Quiroga with which she constructs a discourse that emphasizes certain phrases and dialogues through a play with the narrative time. Zurilla thus reconstructs a new story that allows her to elaborate new readings of the texts, just as Godard does with jump cuts in a sequence. This is produced by the French filmmaker when, by inserting a narrative dislocation, he often stimulates a new reading in the viewer through the grammatical treatment of the sequence, using resources such as changing the angle of the shot or altering the rhythm of those image changes.
Dr. Mónica NUNÉZ-LUIS (art critic, journalist) PhD, La influencia de Jean-Luc Godard en artistas actuales de Venezuela. ArteContexto Madrid, 2005