Collage made of remains of an old house, engraved by burning and painted.
ABOUT THE WORK
Material: wall paper,engraving by burning ,oil painting
The collages are part of a series of scratching and extracting exercises that came to life in 2014 when I... Read More
The collages are part of a series of scratching and extracting exercises that came to life in 2014 when I was invited to participate in a project called «La Mancha» in Argentina. In that time, I wanted to somehow grab or rescue the materiality and history of people in a particular period of Argentina. I went through many ideas, but I was confronted to an impossibility. I thought about the essence of these people, on their memories, on their bodies. Where has everything gone?
While wandering the city of Buenos Aires in my mind, I recognized that in the walls of its buildings there was probably history. The inability to obtain, led me to the action of scraping. I couldn’t speak to these people; I had no access to them, but I had access to the walls; their “homes”. I wanted to literally extract the materiality: to realize an effort and a silent dialogue that would make me feel that with my action I remembered/honoured them.While scratching the dialogue occurred. The matter answered me: I was as vulnerable to time as them. Since then, I have done the same silent action in many different places, encountering many stories, redefining my own notions of everything and me.
These collages are made of remains of an old house in Ghent, Belgium. I was invited by the gallery Remains to realize the scraping performance there and to exhibit what would result from this process. The collages contain pieces of the different layers of paint and wall papers that the house has had over the years. With the action, time superimposed me in the space of all the people that inhabited the house: they became part of my identity and somehow -at least in my reality- I became part of theirs, just like the house.
While scraping, I thought about the vulnerability of our identity. I call it vulnerable because it cannot exist on its own; it depends on many other factors and it is fragile to them … It depends on others, on time, on space, on the state of our body, on our mental state and on our existence, among other elements. Yet, time is the one that is vulnerable, which we have made up to understand and give ourselves a place in the constant movement. The action of scraping made me also think about insects, metamorphosis and in nocturnal insects that inhabit spaces and times that are not necessarily conscious for us, humans. I also reflected about my identity, human notions of identity, a house, the concept of home and matter itself; my body as a person but also my body as matter -like the matter of a house- that goes beyond my own existence as part of the universe.
The two smaller collages in this series are part of a series in which each collage corresponds to a certain year of the house. They all contain information and engravings about the construction of the house, the history of the owners of the real estate and of the street in which the house is located and its uses. This information was researched in the archives of the city as well as in details of the house. The collages have been engraved by burning. By using this technique, I attempt to make the facts enter or modify in some way the paper itself, similarly to the way a scar, an expression line and/or a tattoo does this.
The two bigger collages display emotions and thoughts I encountered while scratching and separating the layers of the wall. The house had been abandoned and renovated more than once. One of the collages shows a painting of a heart and several nocturnal butterflies, referring to the heart of the house and of any individual. It has also a dialogue, which associates nocturnal butterflies with memories. I had to think also in the fact that there are nocturnal butterflies that feed from our bodies in some specific stages once we pass away. While scraping I remembered several readings such as: "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel García Márquez in which stories around families and their houses are tied: Until what point one exists without the space one inhabits?
The second big collage has paintings of a Saturniidae night butterfly with its previous caterpillar shape and an Elephant Hawk night butterfly. It has also fragments of a speech about the movement and transformation of matter. It refers to the antiquity of some beings such as insects and their ability to adapt. Nocturnal butterflies contain so many different species that their classification is "artificial", since it is impossible to know with certainty how many different types exist.
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