Rogelio López Cuenca
Spain, 1959
Rogelio López Cuenca became known in the eighties when he was a founder member of the Málaga group the Agustín Parejo School. Their activities had a great influence on a whole generation in the closing years of that decade and the early nineties. In the words of Mar Villaspesa, "The Agustín Parejo School had clearly subversive intentions towards the ties that bind art, society and the market." The media through which they expressed themselves included actions, postal art, cassettes, graffiti, publications and a large number of different events which are difficult to classify. In their ideas "an aesthetic of radical discontent, active opposition and a stubborn link to street life predominated." In that sense, the Agustín Parejo School's interest in working on local issues (Málaga, Andalucía, the Magreb) opened up critical readings of the capacity of artistic discourse to confront the challenges of everyday politics unless it is directly connected to the spectator's own realities. In the Agustín Parejo School and later in Rogelio López Cuenca's individual work, the concepts of periphery and difference took shape as suitable agents for permanent social action. Since the late eighties, López Cuenca's activity has focused on the production of a semiotic discourse "appropriate to a low culture" which enables him to combine criticism of the iconisation of public information, the poetic sign and the found object with a reflection on the spaces of meaning in western visual culture, subjected to simplification and the dictatorship of the thing signified. His work ranges from graphic interventions in public and institutional places to publications, videos and two-dimensional graphic work, in which linguistics, visual poetry and the allegorical play of images and words seek to awaken the spectator to new interpretations of the language of power and the power of language. López Cuenca's work has been seen in countless projects and exhibitions in Spain and abroad, apart from the many activities, many of them ephemeral in character, of which he has been the driving force, individually or as part of a group.
Jorge Luís Marzo