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wetland
Tanya Bridge, 2020


Wetland of Fernanda Rege (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1973) is a prolonged pictorial exercise that combines the use of natural and traditional dyes, watercolor and charcoal to bring out a spectral cartography of the wetlands of the Paraná Delta, territories that throughout all In 2020 they were devastated by numerous fires for agricultural and livestock exploitation.

 

The surface of the work is made up of used tea and mate filters, arranged as a patchwork according to the chromatic range acquired by each bag after its treatment, through which veins appear that make up a topographical image. After opening them and removing the grass inside, the bags are sewn by hand and by machine. Finally, on its whole Rege includes the river with charcoal and natural dyes.

 

In a turbulent year like 2020, in which the pandemic highlighted the consequences of contemporary Anthropocene and extractivist practices, in central-eastern Argentina, the wetlands of the Paraná Delta burned night and day for months, without any legal tool. that could penalize the burning of the territories. Signed by an uncertain future, the now moorlands will surely be exploited to become soybean fields, the quintessential Argentine monoculture, in order to feed livestock or as an export commodity.

 

Wetland is the elaboration of a duel through the oracular appearance of the Paraná River through pictorial traces whose channels are traced only from the time that the process of cooking, drying and mending entailed. Contrary to the unnatural times of the agricultural industry, technologically modified to expand crop production, in Humedal there is a reflection on doing, on the natural and on the appearance of the image, no longer from the panoramic and implicit control of cartography modern and western, but from its most fluid and ghostly manifestation. Likewise, with the recovery of tea and mate bags —a cross between daily consumption, time and industry, another temporary measure of speed, that which is consumed on the go—, there is no place for waste; that is, everything is integrated into the cyclical flow of the river, awaiting healing and regeneration for human and non-human beings.  

 

Outside of any geographical precision, this "map" or situated portrait of the wetlands is an epithelial layer of a memory that exceeds the individual and calls for collective, transversal and exposed care. The map appears with the purpose of reverberating in the present: a wetland that, if not cared for and protected, will disappear under the flames.  

 

Wetlands
Fernanda Rege, 2020
 
 

It is a long-term pictorial exercise that combines the use of natural and traditional dyes, watercolor and charcoal, from which emerges a ghostly cartography of the Paraná Delta's wetlands, lands that were devastated by numerous fires throughout 2020, allegedly caused to sell and use those terrains for the agricultural and cattle industry.

 

The surface of the work is composed by used tea and mate bags, that create a patchwork according to their own color palette acquired after their treatment, through which some seams appear and form a topographic image. After tearing open each tea and mate bag, and removing its content, filters are sewn together by hand or with a sewing machine. Finally, on the surface Rege paints the river with charcoal, natural dyes, and watercolor.

 

During this turbulent year, where the pandemic highlighted the consequences of anthropocentric and extractivist contemporary practices, in the Argentine east side the wetlands of the Paraná Delta went up in flames night and day for months, without a single legal tool that could penalize the burning of the terrains. Marked with an uncertain future, these wastelands most likely will be exploited in order to become soybean crop fields—Argentine's monoculture par excellence—for cattle use or as an export commodity.

 

Humedal is a bereavement process through the oracular appearance of Paraná river in pictorial traces. Its courses can only be sketched based on the time it took to boil, dry and sew the mate and tea bags. As a response to the hyperfast and unnatural times of agricultural industry, dependent on biotech to expand the crop production, in Wetland there is a reflection on ways of doing, natural processes and the emergence of an image that draws apart from the implicit and panoramic control of Western modern cartography, and enables the appearance of a ghostly and flowy presence. By recovering the mate and tea bags —an intersection between daily consumptions, time and industry, another measurement for speed, something that can be consumed easily and quickly—, there is no place for waste: everything becomes part of the cyclic nature of the river , awaiting healing and regeneration for human and non-human beings.

 

Beyond any geographical accuracy, this "map" or wetlands portray is an epithelial layer of a memory that exceeds the individual and calls for a collective, transversal, and exposed care. The map reveals itself with the sole purpose of echoing its shape in the present: a wetland that, without collective care, might be close to disappear under the flames.

 

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