This essay by the Chilean-born Venezuelan curator Carmen Hernández (b. 1963) about Cas(A)nto, the installation by Antonieta Sosa (b. 1940) at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, in 2000, is the main text in the catalogue for the exhibition of this paradigmatic work by one of the pioneers of Venezuelan conceptualism. Hernández offers a critical view of Sosa’s conceptual roots, while describing and analyzing the areas or sections of the installation and some of the earlier and recent individual works that are included, either literally or in photographs, as new signs or objects.
This is an important essay because it studies—in great depth—a large, complex work that, according to Hernández and other critics, summarizes this artist’s personal and aesthetic approach to her art. Hernández’s critical analysis of Cas(a)nto also provides the basis for a reflection on general aspects of conceptual art: art as a process; the actual work of art treated as an object that is included rather than represented or illustrated in some way; the concept of a subject treated as a multiple identity; and the interaction between space and time. Hernández also makes important points concerning the relationships that exist between personal experience and what an artist expresses in a work of art.
In her essay, Hernández also mentions theories expressed by important writers. For example, when she talks about “superseding the reticle” in Sosa’s work, she quotes Rosalind Krauss on the significance of the reticle in modern art and its possible readings. And, when she refers to the shift from what is perceived to the artist’s anthropological experience, she quotes Michel de Certeau’s suggestion concerning the differences between place and space, including his definition of “space” as a “place that one has experienced” or an “intersection of mobilities.”
Carmen Hernández wrote another essay about Sosa’s work in “Antonieta Sosa: la medida de lo personal” [see 1155378]. The other articles in the catalogue mentioned above are the one written by the artist herself “El espacio y el tiempo en Cas(A)nto” ; the one by Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas “Antonieta Sosa: antropometrías de la casa” ; and María Elena Ramos’ interview with Sosa “Una persona silenciosa que se autoexpone descarnadamente” .