about jhafis & johanna

Love, disease and catastrophe: those three words have been feeding a human dream within or outside the borders of art world. Let us remember, as an exemple, the cinematographic story of “Fando and Lis” (1968), a white and black film directed by Alejandro Jodorovsk:  a dysfunctional couple, – a psychopath,  Fando and his partially paralyzed lover, Liz,- whose destiny is to wander lovingly in the Apocalypse.

Also, a photobook by Diamela Eltit and Paz Errazuriz(1992) in “El infarto del alma”, in which the relationship between love, imprisonment and survivorship is the main key.

The schizophrenic couples portrayed by Errazuriz reflected the love they felt one another as they offered each other the most precious of their scarce belongings: a humble bag of bread and jam. What a sweet sentence until death will separate them.

Beyond the question of the place of art, now limited by a compulsory confinement, a collective of artists -Jhafis Quintero, ex-convict and Johanna Barilier, diagnosed as borderline- presents a serie of five video performances entitled Poem. Those five audiovisual poems «  bajo la premisa de patologias compatibles » represent a  kind of rebel answer contrasting with the social imposture that forced us to live a correct and hygienic couple life; as if our quarantined lives were equivalent to the happy ending of a Disney movie; as if the material conditions in which we live were the perfect setting of the happy ending of a prince and princess romance.

This is how, according to the dramatic structure of the Shakespearean tragedy, Quintero and Barilier invite us to live the experience of a life project whose sense of permanence has no other value than of mutual and huge love.

Antonio Urrutia Luxoro
Curator and editor

biography jhafis quintero

Jhafis Quintero (b. Panama) lives and work in Europe Quintero began his career as an artist during his 10-year prison sentence, by the hand of Haru Wells, a woman determined in demonstrating that art is an effective substitute for crime. Wells taught art to Jhafis, who found in this discipline a natural way to nourish and re-channel the appetite for transgression that led him to crime, and to find a way to be himself without harming others. While in prison he took part in national art contests and exhibitions in San José (Costa Rica) with pieces that were awarded honorary mentions. His prison experience plays a leading role in his work. There is a peculiar perception of the passing of time and its implications for a body immersed in that particular time frame, a question of physical and mental limits, and a constant reflection on death that glides over the lives of inmates. His art practice thus stems from his personal experiences in the world of incarceration, silence, insecurity, but also imagination and creativity directed at finding means of survival. He is able to create lucidly escapist structures while constantly maintaining an ironic and even humorous outlook that prevents him from lapsing into misery and self-pity.

Johanna Barilier,Artist from Switzerland, extraordinary performer and photographer.

Together they have managed to find a way to universalize intimate experiences so that together they establish a language that seeks to overcome any linguistic and cultural barrier.

biography johanna barilier

Johanna Barilier lives and works in Switzerland. She was born into a family for which the Christian religion had a predominant place.
Johanna has always opposed religious dogmas according to which a woman is nothing other than the servant of God and of man; As a child, she became a thief, rebel and seducer, it was her way of taking control. She refused to be overpowered by any system, including the school system.

The medical system imposed seclusion on him as an alternative “for his protection”. She was interned several times in mental hospitals from which she escaped.
She was an extremely sensitive teenager, a pathological sensitivity that doctors believed could lead her to dangerous acts, self-harm and put her own life in danger. According to the DSM, she meets the criteria for borderline personality disorder. According to doctors, it would be difficult for him to have a job or a life considered normal.

Her life has been a constant struggle against labels and manuals, but also against herself. Religion wanted to determine her life according to the Bible and the doctors according to the DSM (Medical Bible), but she chose her own path, that of the freedom to be whoever she wants and not the prisoner of her context or her condition.

For more than 10 years, she has worked in the social field. Due to her life experience, she developed a special interest in human functioning. She uses photography as a means of expression and exchange with others. It is in this context that her hypersensitivity becomes a wealth as she manages to establish horizontal communication with people.

“Sometimes this hypersensitivity takes my whole being and puts me in danger. I have tamed it, but I can’t totally control it. My body is “marked” by this reality. My mental wounds turned into physical wounds, the scars on my arms and legs grew with me, proof that my past was not just a dream. My whole body is a logbook ”.

“I have always practiced photography: when I capture an image, I feel like I take a step back from the situation. The previous convulsive and uncontrollable scene turns into a still image. A memory.”

Johanna Barilier’s meeting with the artist Jhafis Quintero was explosive. A feeling of self-recognition at first glance, powerful but also destructive: “During the confinement we found our respective conditions in a dangerous promiscuity, this powerful love caused deep couple crises which led me to the hospital, but also to police interventions. Today, we are a couple “under surveillance”. From the legal medical system and the police. “

“I found in art not only a way to escape the religious and medical dogmas I had to live with, but the art also helped me to tame my own demons.
In our works, we show our pathological love, which is ultimately nothing more than an exacerbation of what everyone can experience. “

CV jhafis quintero

Curriculum vitae
Personal informations:
Jhafis Quintero Gonzalez
1973 Panama

Individual Exhibitions (selection)

2018 algunos eventos defaortunados del pasado, Diablo rosso gallery, Panama
2015 “Reforma” Sabrinaamrani gallery Madrid
2014 “Cambalache” SabrinaAmrani gallery Madrid
2014 “ten years in jail” Analix for ever gallery Genéve
2013 “Sobre – viviendo” Galeria Diablo Rosso, Panama
2013 “Jhafis Quintero: six videoworks from six international private collection. Videoinsight®
2011 La ley es dura pero es la ley, Galería Despacio Federico Herrero, San José, Costa Rica
2009 El santo del tren, Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, San José, Costa Rica
2008 Egresados, Máximas de seguridad, Hágalo usted mismo, Instituto Panamense de Arte,
Curitiba, Brasil
2007 In Dubia Tempora, project of documentary photography, texts and catalogs, San José, Costa
2006 In Dubia Tempora, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Panama
La vida es corta pero puede ser larga mientras dura, Festival Internacional de las Artes, San José,
Costa Rica
2004 In Dubia Tempora, Centro Cultural Español, San José, Costa Rica

Collective exhibitions (selection)

2021 ” El día que nos hicimos bidimensionales”edición de 2021 de BIENALSUR
2021VIDEOCITY.BS “LONELINESS” Centro de Congresos Basilea GLOBUS Basilea, Biblioteca de Medios de
la Universidad de Diseño y Arte FHNW
2020 ENTROUVERT Analixforever Gallery, Geneve
2020 ART IS A FREEDOM galerie Analix forever Geneve
2020 Online Performance Art Festival New York
2020 September,VOLCANA Music & Arts Festival Verona Italia
2020 september Illuminating the Darkness: Our Carceral Landscape UCF ART GALLERY Orlando
2020 August ¨Patologias Compatibles artist collective Jhafis Johanna Barilier Factoria Santa Rosa
Galllery Chile
2019 Paris “Le corps est la pesanteur” art center called Villa Pérochon in Niort (France) curated by
Pascal Beaussee.
2019 HBO The O.G. Experience progectHBO The O.G. Experience progectHBO The O.G.
Experience progect
2019 Ankara, Turkey,“The I is Always in the Field of the Other / Ben Her Zaman Öteki’nin
Alanındayım” which is curated by Beral Madra. at Evliyagil Museum, a private contemporary art
2019 Panama Centro cultural español, la casa del soldado “condicionamiento Operante
2018 Bogota Exponiendo en Justo X Bueno
2018 Paris, Champ-Dollon à Penthes: la prision exposée
2018 Torino, LiberAzioni :art workshop inside Torino maximum security prison
2018 “sfocar” artfarm pilastro Italia
2018 “Dismantling the Scaffold, curated by the Hong Kong curator Christina Li Tai Kwun
Contemporary Hong Kong
2018 “A jurney to freedom” Tazmanian museum and Art Gallery
2017 “Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles / Latin America” curated by artists Abraham
Cruzvillegas and Gabriel Kuri at Regen Projects (Los Angeles, US)
2017 bienal del sur (dura lex sed lex proyect)DURA LEX SED LEX Rosario Argentina
2017 transverse Hillbrow » de Nicolas Boone – « I Like the Hood » de Frédéric Nauczyciel – « La Hora Garrobo », de Jhafis Quintero
– « La femme sans tête ou la danse du ventre », de Nil Yalter
2017 Arco Madrid
2017 video forever 32 Duo, Paris, musee de la Chase et de la Nature