The visual artefacts of Nicanor Parra must be comprehended as an organic part of his work. Their power is as strong as the reached on his anti-poems. Objects that play with the language, with the religious and popular iconography hide, and the same time manifest, a double sense that transforms into a ludicrous combination in front of the audience.
It would seem that Nicanor is always one step ahead of the reader of his works, poetic and visual.
The symbology that characterizes Parra’s work is also present of his artefacts. Nicanor is an admirer of Marcel Duchamp, the winner of the Miguel de Cervantes Award on 2012 and who creates objects that are positioned as ironic simulations of the poetic. The key is the observer’s bewilderment, that it suddenly exteriorizes his or her uncertainty through the guffaw.
This is how the sense is taken out of context, sometimes sacred, sometimes solemn, in a new discursive paradigm. Parra is able to disregard the boundary fixed by the words by connecting on them the nystagmus around them, the contexts that locate them on the frame of enumeration.
“Parra’s practical works are built as a figure with a cultural code as background that he uses, not only as illumination but also as a definition. On the frame of a Gestalt theory of the perception it turns imperative the importance of defining the boundaries of the object in relation to a specific background, because without the presence of this background the object cannot be perceived in all its dimension”, explains Cristina Diez, Carlos Durá and Sonia Mattalía, academics from the Valence University, on the presentation of the Artefactos Visuales exhibition on the Chilean Universidad de Concepción University on 2002.
To be able to perceive all the magnitude of artifacts emerged from the creative hand of the anti-poet, it is necessary for the observer to define the work together with a culture that, tacitly, operates from the anonymity. Parra criticises the Western society with his objects, which show political figures, from the church to the North American imperialistic consumption. His symbology resides on the dismantling of the codes that structure the Western society.