Rubio is tackling those ideas as she prepares her upcoming show. Prominent is the repeated figure of a woman, sometimes half dressed, sometimes nude, who takes on labors akin to those of Hercules: carrying an island, dragging a boat, flying overhead while pulling a landscape.
Lydia Rubio performs a dual role in her latest project: artist and oracle. “All night long, we heard birds passing,” a simple foreshadowing formula written by Christopher Columbus over 500 years ago is now appropriated by Rubio for her monumental installation at the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Terminal at the Port of Miami.
Rubio was inspired by a line she found in Christopher Columbus’ journals. On Oct. 9, 1492, as his ships neared the Bahamas, he wrote “All night long, we heard birds passing.” This was a sure sign that landfall was near; in fact three days later Columbus and his crew reached an island they called San Salvador, their first encounter with the New World.
January 21, 2003 By Enrico Mario Santí, Las Americas Collection, Coral Gables, FL
Lydia Rubio’s “Viñales” series signals, I believe, the culmination of the artist’s search to bring together form and concept, image and idea. It is no exaggeration to say that this has also been the search of art in our time. Such coincidence is significant, I think, and we might tonight reflect upon both.