02 José-María Cano

“Why did you want to learn art?”

“Do you know it is difficult for a professional artist to survive?”

“After understanding the difficulty of being an artist, do you still want to continue to insist on engaging in art, or to change your profession?”

On March 11, 2016, CAFA Art Museum launched a lecture entitled “Differences and Similarities between Reality and Truth” by the Spanish Artist José-María Cano, who had thrown the above questions to the audience at the beginning of the lecture. With the students present at the lecture, Cano gave his answer: It’s really hard to be an artist. For Cano, the reason why he was engaged in art was because he could not do anything except for this so he had to do art. The more important thing is that he hopes to express the inner desire which is transformed into the work, Cano said, “If I am not allowed to express my ideas, my whole body will be blown up.”

Starting from the universe to talk

“The artist’s hands are longer than ordinary beings, so he can hold things closer, it makes ordinary people also able to catch the things.” Cano linked the artist with the universe. The reason why it can be done is because of the peaceful latitude in the universe. One of the survival purposes of the earth is to allow people to see it. The big bang created life, now all cities, forests, oceans, human beings, all things in the universe are formed by the materials produced in the first few seconds of the big bang, as big as every star and planet, as small as each courtyard and blade of grass, and even every drop of water. Water is an old material, the hydrogen atoms in the water were created shortly after the big bang, and then the temporal was born.

Biology is hereditary, mutation and natural selection, evolving junior to senior, from simple to complex, and species are evolving and developing. But the evolutionary process of eyes is not in line with Darwin’s theory. “From this perspective, one of the survival purposes of the earth is “being seen”, or why the organ and visual function of eyes have evolved?”

Cano showed his created Luna series, “We always see one side of the moonfrom the earth, that is to say, each person on earth, whether the ancient Romans, Jesus, or Napoleon, we only see the same moon. The moon also has its own eyes, like the sunken pits, which are like the eyes of the moon.” Now the humans on earth do not only have eyes to see things, but also have wisdom to appreciate beauty. After many years, we have seen many things foreseen by humans.

The mystery of humans

Humans see all things through their own eyes until Galileo invented the telescope in order to see outer space. What is the experience of seeing outside from a telescope? Cano believed that “If we look out of a telescope, people become the center of the outside of a framework on the earth.” With the development of science, people gradually realized that the sun was the center of the universe, and the earth was turning around the sun. It made humans begin to realize that there were other planets and other galaxies in the universe, and people wereonly on a small planet.

After a detailed interpretation, Cano said that, “All I have said is taken as a case to explain that a series of changes of the things seen by humans completely change our understanding of humanity itself. This series of changes greatly affected our understanding of ‘how humans survive’”. Cano believed that, humans’ mystery was mainly reflected on two aspects, firstly, it was on a material level, and secondly, it was the spirit level beyond the material level.

It is necessary for artists to be themselves

Different countries have different religions, political systems, cultures andlanguages, as well as their own so-called principles and truth. Along with economic development, it leads to a rapid information communication, and each person can understand what is going at the other end of the world through networks. “Because of such rapid information communication, people find it difficult, or almost impossible to set up a fixed moral and ethical framework now.”Cano believed that everyone would have many different points of view. About the word “point of view”, semantically speaking, the “point” refers to the crossing point of two straight lines. So that, the “point” is actually a “position” and what one sees from this position is his point of view. Therefore, Cano said that, “Different people have different points of view, which have something to do with your position to a great extent, and the position is related to the culture of your country, and your parents’ effect on you.” So, many people only see a “point of view”, rather than a truth. The duty of artists is to make people understand this kind of “truth”, which can only come from the artist.

What should artists do? It has nothing to do with fame and fortune. Cano said that, “No matter what environment the artists are in, they should always stick to being themselves.”

At the end of the lecture, Cano interacted with the students who asked questions and also sang songs for the audience. The host of the lecture Wang Huangsheng said that, “It is the first time to closely experience the emotional expression of a musician and artist, this close feeling is very special.”

Text by Lin Jiabin, Photo by Hu Sichen/CAFA ART INFO

Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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