Sobre todas las Cosas

25.3.2021 – 25.5.2021

Text by Ivan de la Torre (Curator and Writer)

In the work of Livia Marin, a Latin American artist of outstanding international renown, the pulse of fracture and tearing beats as the formal axes of the games of construction/destruction/reconstruction that characterize her creative process. Much of his artistic production is based on the notion of fragment. The conception of the fragmentary, handled since ancient times by classical aesthetics, reaches its absolute meaning in contemporary artistic processes, when in the plastic work the boundaries between the whole and its parts are blurred and lose practical sense.

Beyond the dialectic between processes and results, the intentions of the London-based Chilean artist reveal a more ambitious objective that pivots on four intercurrent and coherent foundations. In the first place, by investigating rupture, insofar as it breaks the formal and functional entity of any element, she opens a space for reflection on objectual obsolescence and, by extension, on the limitations, lacks and expirations of the physical world in consumer societies. At the same time, the work with ceramic materials and pottery pieces, allows him to examine how industrial production processes have absorbed and surpassed the means of artisanal creation, even at the cost that the results, mass-produced, derive in elements of lower material and aesthetic quality, close to kitsch. These processes of exchange, dialogue and cultural usurpation between unequal spheres of the first, second or third worlds, put the critical focus on the notions of original and copy, focal points of tension and reflection for the ultimate art.

Together with fragmentariness and rupture as a notion and process, and a critical look at the permutative relations between different cultural spheres, the third foundation revolves around the allusions to the processes of recomposition and restoration, common in the world of ceramics and pottery, and the aesthetic recharge and mercantile revaluation they acquire through the predilections of collecting. Although this aspect of Marin’s work often alludes to Japanese kintsugi, it would not be out of place to recall the figure of the lañadores, so frequent in pre-industrial societies and in the Mediterranean arc and Andalusia in particular, itinerant artisans who repaired ceramic utensils by means of metal staples (or lashes), leaving an eloquent and plastic seam or scar on those objects. The relationship between
contemporary art and its predecessors is always maintained in a difficult balance between homage and negation. Some of Livia Marin’s creations represent metaphors of the procedures of appropriation or intervention on the artistic work and how it can reach new lives and meanings, even deeper, thanks to them.

Finally, the artist’s proposal also challenges the viewer’s perceptive capacities and his or her preconceived ideas about the functioning of the most everyday mechanisms. In the Nomadic Patterns series, the load-bearing elements are transformed into supported objects, the containers into contents, the liquid into solid. What is functional and what is no longer functional, what is plausible and what is impossible, come together in a dialectical confrontation where the appearance of reality leads us to suspend any judgment that would allow us to discern with guarantees our closest world.

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