Jesús Martínez Oliva

Pepe Cobo y Cía

Is there an ideology of geometry? This question is a key to Jesús Martínez Oliva’s show, suggestively and disturbingly titled La escuela del miedo (School of Fear). What connection might there be among education, fear, and the supposed rigor of geometry? Can it be that these three go hand in hand? So the exhibition seemed to suggest.

At the entrance to the gallery, Martínez Oliva placed a group of school desks in the shape of towers, or columns. The legs of these desks, which almost blocked off the back of the gallery, acted as sharp defensive objects; they were reminiscent of turnstiles found at security entrances and border blockades. On one of the walls beyond these obstacles was a group of works on paper—drawings, photocopies, and collages—that demanded close attention. Some bore images of geometric figures: grids, squares, rectangles, diamonds, parallelograms, perhaps inspired by the

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