The MADMi is pleased to present the installation Phototaxis by Jaime Rodríguez Crespo, an artist and sculptor recognized for highly detailed sculptures that display his fascination for reproducing insects and other animals in minute detail. We should note that the MADMi’s permanent exhibition includes Rodríguez Crespo’s large 2018 work Grasshopper (Esperanza), which masterfully complements this multimedia installation composed of 12 medium-format sculptures and one large lamp.
Phototaxis is a biological characteristic of certain organisms that causes them to move toward a source of light. Taking as his premise that grasshoppers are insects that move toward the light, and that “grasshopper” in Spanish is “esperanza,” which also, remarkably, means “hope,” Rodríguez Crespo decided to create this installation as a kind of large-scale good luck charm, a way to attract hope into our lives. Its focal point is the large lamp built to attract the twelve grasshoppers, inviting them to converge on us and bring their potential for optimism and positive energy.
And with that desire to attract positivity, Rodríguez Crespo has included a pink grasshopper in the mix. He is experimenting here with the possibility of a natural phenomenon we almost never see. A pink grasshopper is the result of what is known as erythrism, a modification of an animal’s natural pigmentation caused by a high concentration of melanin. Scientific explanations aside, humans love to give fantastical interpretations for these biological phenomena. In fact, if we come across a group of grasshoppers we'd rather dream it implies a future of good fortune - and if they are pink, then we'd feel like we'd won the lottery.
In Puerto Rico, that dream, that “hope,” has remained alive despite three years of catastrophes — hurricanes, earthquakes, and a pandemic. In our particular context of tropical surrealism, Jaime Rodríguez Crespo offers us the dream of a “rosy” future with this charm that promises more hopeful days to come — a swarm of eleven green grasshoppers (green, too, for hope) and one pink one, to lighten our spirits and remind us that “hope is the last thing we lose.”