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CRACKS OF HOPE (Fisuras de la Esperanza)

Tania Puente. Buenos Aires, 2016.


Thought is movement. While we wander, we think. We roam with an idea inside our minds, no matter how clear or vague it is. There’s a desire that becomes direction trough this act; the destination, however, is not known for sure. The movement changes and exerts agency over those who are moving: they change their habits and their affections; their memories are reconfigured, and they either reenforce their own identity or reconsider it.

The work of Fernanda Rege (Argentina, 1973) is set in this cartographic sway. As a display case for migration, her art pieces refer to rushed and precarious displacements, engraved in the pictorial plane vastness, of individuals and communities. Her visual narratives develop in different formats, from large size paintings to a series of works with the size of playing cards; from an absorbent wholeness to the implicit symbolism in the random message that entails a tarot reading. 

As signals and countersignals, some elements appear sporadically: the safety pins refer to the provisional nature of steps and linkages, to a prompt and agile solution, but a fragile and unstable one. The dice, on the other hand, evoke an uncertainty that may lead to prosperity or misfortune, the only way to know the outcome is to “roll the dice”. The dialogues and quotations to other texts meander across the space, they resound and occupy its limits, they are whispers and clues, but because of their tiny scale, they scape to the eye’s scrutiny. At the same time, like a star or a compass, a spiral pulsates within each image. We are likely to walk along the same places, but we won’t be the same anymore. A crack of hope in pursuit of the pathway. 

The human figures in the work of Rege are matter, absence, and presence. The shapes are merely a suggestion, they appear as vulnerable and shifting, but they are always on their feet. Each one of them possess particular features, their individualities are distinguishable within the crowd. Their materiality is not only constituted as a way to do, but as a totality of meaning. The artist applies turpentine, water, and bitumen of Judea over the wire figures, a chemically repellent combination. She retires them after that, and they leave an imprint over the support. The bitumen of Judea comes from the Dead Sea —geography from which the name is derived—, where large deposits of asphalt lie. It is this material, the asphalt or bitumen, the same one used to build countless roads. The silhouette that remains in the work is, therefore, a signal constituted by itineraries, the imprint of displacement in a material omnipresence. In Cracks of Hope, the itinerary is given from and in the painting. The pictorial gesture unveils itself as movement and thought, an unstoppable momentum that points us all in this cartographic narrative of walking. 


Curatorial text of Tania Puente. Buenos Aires, October 2016. 

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