aNaMaRiA ~ artblog

Saturday, October 22, 2011

PASSAGES - Opening / Apertura

Seedling Art Space
October 02, 2011

Text by Carlos Alberto Manrique Clavijo, September 2011

"(…) to exist is to change, to change is to mature,
to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly." [1]

Throughout her career, emerging artist Ana María Méndez Salgado has been exploring several interconnected concepts and fragments of her worldview through diverse media and techniques. Her curiosity about memory and identity has been nurtured by her interest in
the relationships between images and story-telling
while being constantly shaped by her own experiences as a migrant.

Within this context, her concern for transforming "memories into experiences, and experiences into objects", as she explains it, is reborn as the visceral need for making sense of a world in which sense is not necessarily something to be found, and less so, rationalised:
"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." [2]

In "Passages", the artist explores some of these concepts through an installation in a corrugated iron "pump shed". Within it, four digital screens display a looped, short-experimental animation surrounded by translucent prints of the animation frames which at the same time are stitched to handmade fibrous paper squares hanging on the walls.

In the words of the artist, "the animation, main piece of the exhibition, intends to illustrate the journey of the seed as it moves from one state to the other, passing through water, wind, fire and earth, while being used as a metaphor for new beginnings and constant regeneration." This 'passing through', is not to be only understood within the physical connotation of moving from one place to another but also as a process of transformation between states of being.
"A passage is a journey that symbolises movement, motion, transition,
development and more importantly: Change. (…)
[They are] episodes of time and verbs in action (…) so they are best portrayed by loops of moving, breathing images", explains Ana María.

The animation has four sections that tell a story of incubation, birth, evolution and transmutation in each one of them. Thus, she uses archetypal symbols that connect the four classical elements with the cardinal directions and the four seasons, while representing the stages of human growth, the steps involved in the creative process and the psychological and spiritual stages in a migrant's journey within four scenes of the animation. The art-making practice becomes a ritual where the artist connects with the mystical and in which moments in time are blurred into a continuum: "(…)" the abolition of time by the imitation of the archetypes and the repetition of the paradigmatic exploits.
(…) all sacrifices repeat the original sacrifice and coexist with it.
(…) through the paradox of rites, the profane time and duration are then suspended." [3]

But regardless of this timelessness, 'Being' is not something static; it is in motion. Being IS motion. But motion is not something that can be analysed and encompassed by reason. Hence, surrounding the screens, the small prints are frames within frames: analogies to the contrast between the tangible, real and organic fibres of life surrounding our virtual, technology mediated present. But furthermore, these static snapshots are opposed to the flow of images in motion, evidencing a strong influence of the notions of time and movement as understood by french philosopher Henri Bergson. By watching the animation, we flow with it, we happen and endure with it and thus, we get to an intuitive knowledge of what it embodies. But the mind is not always satisfied by this. And to be able to analyse and compare, it dismembers what life is (duration and movement) and freezes it into 'spatialised time': fragments of movement -which are not movement anymore- that can be placed next to one another and be compared.

Finally, the enclosing shed is a symbolic threshold between the physical exterior and the mental or spiritual interior. It becomes a 'container' in which one is invited to question one-self and muse on the nature of change since Ana María's art work is, in the end,
more about posing questions than dictating answers.

[1] Bergson, Henri, "Creative Evolution",
translated by Arthur Mitchell, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1911, chapter I.

[2] Wittgenstein, Ludwig, "Tractatus logico philosophicus",
translated by C. K. Ogden, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & CO., LTD., London, 1922.

[3] Eliade, Mircea, "El Mito Del Eterno Retorno",
translated by Ricardo Anaya, Emecé, Buenos Aires, 2001.

The artist would like to thank Rob Farnan, David Colebatch, Jo Wilmott, Riyadh Abdoul Abdul-Hussain Gelawe, Lydia De Wolf, Geraldine Pope, Michael "Fazz" Farrell, Sam Hardy,
Carlos A. Manrique Clavijo, the Seedling Art Space commitee
and the support of Adelaide friends and art commiunity.

The artist wishes to dedicate this artwork to her grandparents,
Salatiel Augusto Salgado and Irma Farías.

Photographs by Riyadh Abdoul Abdul-Hussain Gelawe

Monday, October 17, 2011

PASSAGES: Installation and conversation / Instalación y conversación

And if you don't mind me asking... Why did you come to Australia?...
Y si no le molesta mi atrevimiento... ¿Usted por qué vino a Australia?...

What was it that made you leave your country?
¿Qué le hizo abandonar su país?

I looked at the gentle blue eyes and thought: "...I truly can't explain it any more!"
Me quedé mirándole esos ojos gentiles y azules y pensé:
"...honestamente ya no puedo explicarlo!"

We came, we left, we returned, we stayed.
Vinimos, nos fuimos, regresamos, nos quedamos.

It all started like a Walkabout. It still is.
Todo comenzó como un Walkabout, un ritual de paso. Todavía es.

Just like in Passages, I would have to study the fragments of my life, see myself and...
Como en Pasajes, tendría que estudiarme los fragmentos de la vida, verme y...

...describe who I was and why: an incomplete definition.
...describir quién era y por qué: una definición incompleta.

The whole is unexplainable, the pieces can't be quiet and still.
El total es indescifrable, las piezas no logran estar calladas ni quietas.

They ask, they never answer.
Ellas preguntan, nunca responden.

So the walkabout is being walked. And I am here.
El ritual de paso se está recorriendo. Y yo estoy aquí.

Existing in transition
En transición, existiendo.

Photographs by Carlos A. Marnique C.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

PASSAGES: The table! / La mesa! :)

Quise incluir estas imágenes porque también hicieron parte del proceso! Debajo de esta mesa pusimos la batería para los marcos digitales de la instalación. Pero el trayecto a pie, en el que generalmente nos nos demoramos 20 minutos desde la estación del tren hasta la galería, nos tomó UNA HORA!!! Mesa pesada y todo, esta es una de esas anécdotas que transforman la experiencia creativa en algo más real y tangible. Al siguiente día nos dolía todo... Todo por amor al arte!!! efímero, pero no tan efímero, como nosotros. Fue chistoso :)

I wanted to include these images because they also are part of the process! Under this table we decided to put the battery that would provide power to the digital picture frames in the installation. But the path from the train station to the gallery, that usually takes us 20 minutes to walk, took us ONE HOUR this time!!! Heavy table and all, this is one of those anecdotes capable of transforming the creative experience into something real and tangible. The next day everything ached... because of art!!! ...ephemeral art, just like us, not so ephemeral after all. It was fun :)

Photographs by Carlos A. Manrique C. and Ana M. Méndez S.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PASSAGES: building little windows 2 / construyendo ventanitas 2

And here is the process of cutting, organising and stitching the frames onto the squares of paper. Each frame had been printed into semitransparent paper so the little light that came into the shed would expose to us the texture of the burnt paper underneath.

Y en estas imágenes se ve cómo corté, organicé y pegué con hilo los cuadros de la animación a los pedazos de papel que había preparado. Cada cuadro fue impreso previamente en papel semitransparente, para que la poca luz que entraba en la caseta ayudara a revelarnos la textura del papel quemado en el que estaban.

©2011. Photographs by Ana M. Méndez S.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

PASSAGES: building little windows 1 / construyendo ventanitas 1

And so, here I share with you the creation process of the "little windows" that became essential for the installation. I decided to use fibrous paper squares which I carefully burned along the edges. There were 111 of them in total!!!

Y aquí les comparto el proceso de creación de las "ventanitas" que cumplieron un papel esencial en la instalación. Decidí usar un papel fibroso, cortarlo en cuadros pequeños y quemar cada cuadro por los bordes. En total resultaron 111 cuadritos!!!

©2011. Photographs by Carlos A. Manrique C. and Ana M. Méndez S.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

PASSAGES: Animation frames :)

©2011. "Passages" - animation frames / "Pasajes" - cuadros de la animación

Estos son algunos cuadros de la animación. Cada etapa (Aire, Fuego, Tierra, Agua) dura 11 segundos. A manera de reto y de experimento, traté de jugar con colores planos y formas simples, porque generalmente utilizo bastantes detalles, patrones y texturas en mis imágenes. Aún necesita trabajo en los diferentes ritmos de cada etapa y en el sonido (diseñado por Carlos A. Manrique C.) Así que muy probablemente se termine completamente para el 2012!

These are some frames of the animation. Each stage (Air, Fire, Earth, Water) lasts 11 seconds. As a challenge and as an experiment, I tried to play with flat colours and simple shapes, because I generally use many details, patterns and textures in my images. It still needs some work in establishing the different rhythms of each stage and polishing the sound (designed by Carlos A. Manrique C.) So it is very probable that it gets completely finished by 2012!

PASSAGES: Sketches 3 / Bocetos 3

And these are the 2 pages I kept in mind while developing the animation. The style, colours, rhythm, storytelling and symbolism achieved in the final were based on small important notes I wrote on them.

For example, I constantly had to remember this little table:
AIR - spring - childhood - east
FIRE - summer - youth - south
EARTH - autumn - maturity - west
WATER - winter - old age - north

Y estas son las dos páginas que tuve en mente mientras desarrollaba la animación. El estilo, los colores, el ritmo, la narrativa y el simbolismo logrados al final, fueron basados en notas pequeñas e importantes notas que escribí sobre ellas.
Por ejemplo, tuve que recordar constantemente esta pequeña tabla:
AIRE - primavera - niñez - oriente
FUEGO - verano - juventud - sur
TIERRA - otoño - madurez - occidente
AGUA - invierno - vejez - norte

PASSAGES: Sketches 2 / Bocetos 2

Here are some other sketches and important notes, considering Rob Farnan's and David Colebath's valuable advice in animation class. Fantastic experience!!!

Around that time I was also considering the tittle: Passages of Yakka and Kinwa, thinking of involving Latin American indigenous culture and South Australian aboriginal culture. It was important to talk about my origen and destination.

Here I share with you the meanings of both native plants:
KINWA: (Quechua) Mother of all grains.

YAKKA: (Kaurna) Constant and hard work.

But after analysing the animation I realised that this cycle of Incubation - Birth - Evolution - Transmutation is being performed in my life at many levels, not just as an immigrant, but as an artist and as a woman. And so the title stayed Passages :)

Estos son otros bocetos y notas importantes, considerando los consejos de Rob Farnan y David Colebath en la clase de animación. Fue una experiencia increíble!!!

Por esa época también estaba considerando el título: Los Pasajes de Yakka y Kinwa, pensando en involucrar la cultura indígena de Latino-América y la cultura aborigen del Sur de Australia. Era importante tener en cuenta mi origen y mi destino.

Aquí les comparto los significados de ambas plantas nativas:
KINWA: (Quechua) Madre de todas las semillas.
YAKKA: (Kaurna) Trabajo constante y fuerte.

Pero después de analizar la animación caí en cuenta de que este ciclo de Incubación - Nacimiento - Evolución - Transmutación se repite en muchos niveles de mi vida, no solo como emigrante sino como artista y mujer. Así que el título se quedó Pasajes :)

PASSAGES: Sketches 1 / Bocetos 1

These are some of the sketches developed for the animation, main piece of the exhibition, which intends to illustrate the journey of the seed as it moves from one state to the other, passing through water, wind, fire and earth, while being used as a metaphor for new beginnings and constant regeneration. As you can see, there were many changes in the storyboard stage, and many hours were spent thinking about the connection between meanings, shapes, colours, movement and storytelling.
Estos son algunos de los bocetos realizados para la animación, pieza esencial de la exposición, que intenta ilustrar la jornada de la semilla mientras se mueve de un estado a otro, pasando a través del agua, el aire, el fuego y la tierra, como metáfora de nuevos comienzos y regeneración constante. Como pueden darse cuenta, se hicieron muchísimos cambios durante la etapa del storyboard, y el proyecto requirió de bastantes horas de trabajo especialmente dedicadas a establecer una conexión visual entre los significados, las formas, los colores, el movimiento y la narrativa.