Is a rainbow a rainbow, if it has no color? Is a State a State, if it is not able to assure its most basic functions? ESTADO FALLIDO is a journalistic term that has been coined in recent years to define situations in which a sovereign state is unable to guarantee or provide fundamental rights such as housing, decent work or freedom of expression.

To declare a State as failed, exist a criteria of related crime rates, corruption, economic weakness and judicial system or bureaucratic obstacles, that can be used as formal indicators. In other sociopolitical terms, to declare a failed state is a subjective matter that depends on the comparison to other systems and the established limits for a country to declare a possible government failure.

However, there are common problems to all governments that find themselves in this situation. A failed government, corrupt and in a weakened state, ignores its main tasks, causes migration, insecurity, social and cultural poverty. Moreover, private companies exert a socioeconomic power that is not their proper function, but they take power with impunity. Popular sovereignty becomes an utopia. Information is no longer information but fiction. Security is no longer security but imposition.

When power no longer belongs to people, appears another type of popular force that can hardly be taken away: the critique through humor, irony and poetry, weapons of cultural resistance that challenges the cracks of an outdated system.

The work of Alberto M. Centenera is inserted into this scenario as a new point of view that offers alternative strategies to address the political landscape. For Alberto, simplicity and deliberate naivete are needed to throw a socially complicated message; He is interested on politics, but also on how to deal with it.

Artist based on dualities, Centenera bases his work on drawing and the act of revealing ideas involved in this process. He also uses techniques such as embroidery, collage or photography, because in them he finds the perfect means to develop his poetic and delicate interests and, in turn, are the ideal place to capture the harshness and violence of what depicted.
Centenera’s artistic language is as sharp as aesthetically harmonious and this is precisely what he looks for: to provide visual tools to face a highly complex society, with economic and social problems, from a sharp, ironic and innocent perspective.
Therefore, “Estado Fallido” is an acidic but naif complaint; a war cry from the smile, a desire of mobilization from humor; and a search for identity through our stolen freedom.

Irene Calvo,