¿Puedes venderme tierra, la profunda noche de las
raíces; dientes de dinosaurios y la cal dispersa de lejanos esqueletos?
¿Puedes venderme selvas ya sepultadas, aves muertas,
peces de piedra, azufre de los volcanes, mil millones de años en espiral
¿Puedes venderme tierra, puedes venderme tierra,
"Since the beginning of my artistic production, concern for the natural environment, for ecology, the extinction of species, climate change and environmental awareness have been recurring themes, and the presence of animals as symbolic elements has been a constant.
I don't know if art can change consciousness in any way and promote concrete actions for the improvement of planetary conditions, but like a mantra, the obsessive recurrence of these interests is unappealable, persistent, obsessive.
And ultimately a poetic action".
Nadín Ospina 2023
The series The Persistence of Desire sculptural work, produced with the 3D printing technique, combines elements of nature and human culture using the representation of wild animals such as foxes, wolves, giraffes, rhinoceroses, elephants and tapirs, as well as incorporating elements of universal iconic architecture. The Tower of Babel, the Tower of Pisa, the Empire State Building, the Guggenheim Museum or a nuclear power plant are some of the universal iconic buildings that I have recreated in this series.
The presence of these architectural elements alongside the images of wild animals is a reminder of the influence that humanity has on ecosystems and the existence of a constant friction between these two worlds, as well as a reference to the idea that human power is fragile and ephemeral in the face of the force of nature.
The fusion of these elements creates a visual tension that provokes a reflection on the relationship with the natural environment and the ways in which humanity has altered the biosphere for its own comfort and progress, and how actions can have a lasting impact on the environment that can even call into question the survival of the species.
The series has as its antecedent a particular work executed in 2022 inspired by the unexpected, astonishing, and disturbing presence of animals in the desolate cities in the recent times of pandemic. Cougars, foxes, opossums, wild boars, monkeys, ducks, turkeys were seen in the streets of several cities. The same happened with seabirds, dolphins and sea lions on tourist beaches.
The work that gives its name to the series The Persistence of Desire is a small piece executed in bronze and painstakingly painted in a colorful way. The sculpture depicts a herd of foxes moving towards and approaching a lighthouse on a cliff at the end of a path flanked by flowering hedges. The piece is alien to natural and logical proportions and already has a surreal sense that sets the tone for the whole series.
The unreal sense is inspired by the incongruence of the elements that make up the nativity scenes or mangers in which the human and animal figures are represented with absurd disproportion, which creates a sensation of unreality and strangeness. The nativity scenes created by St. Francis of Assisi are characterized by their surrealist style, which defies traditional artistic conventions and symbolizes the idea that the world is not always what it seems, and that the truth is hidden behind appearances.
At the same time, a Freudian sense permeates the entire work, quoting the inescapable relationship of architectural constructions with a phallic representation symbolizing masculinity and power, desire and sexuality. A primitive drive that brings heteropatriarchal systems closer to animal instinct. Libidinal energy, persistent desire as a factor of motivation, fulfilment, and domination.
A second piece of this first stage is the work "Expiación y Castigo" (Atonement and Punishment). 2022. Aluminio pintado. 30x 60x 60 cm.
In 2021, public denunciations of the torture and murder of indigenous children by clerics of the Catholic Church in Canada generated outrage and provoked angry protests from the affected communities, leading to a violent reaction that culminated in the burning of several churches around the country.
The shocking images of these "sacred" buildings consumed by fire seem to reveal a primitive and vindicatory action. Fire as a punitive element could be interpreted as a healing or restorative force, as well as an iconoclastic attitude or as the catharsis of anger motivated by acts of unacceptable evil.
Continuing in the spirit of the previous work, The Persistence of Desire, of confronting iconic architectures with beings from the primordial natural environment, the fire foxes, a singular species whose contrasting fur has been so named, are depicted, confronting them disturbingly with the burning church.
The violence and tension implicit in the work are an aesthetic commentary from the plastic arts on events that show us the social, religious, political, and ethical conflicts of contemporary times.
Alicia (Alétheia) 2022
Alicia conjunto escultórico impreso en 3D introduce una tensión máxima en el proceso creativo. La pieza originalmente nunca existió en la realidad física. No fue modelada por el artista ni por ningún otro. La piezas creada a partir de archivos de inteligencia artificial basados en imágenes de centenares de niñas reales captadas en el metaverso y convocadas bajo el reclamo: old fashion girl in a vintage dress, criterio que la IA devuelve como un archivo de libre disposición listo para ser usado por medio de la impresora 3D, al igual que los perros y esferas. La deriva al mundo físico de la imagen virtual es un simil ectoplasmático (el supuesto fenómeno paranormal victoriano descrito como una materia emitida a través del médium que parece acceder al mundo físico desde un éter espectral).
Works with animals are a critical exploration of culture and identity, to reflect on the relationship between humans and nature, and how technology and consumer culture have influenced this relationship.
As early as the series
As early as the seriesAmazonía (1985 - 1989), the images of wild animals from the universal and particularly Latin American environment were presented as an ecological wake-up call and as a summoning of the ancestral symbols of the native cultures.
En la obra Príncipes de 1991, instalación de venados en bronce de tamaño natural que se ubican en el espacio público de un edificio en Bogotá, ya se introduce de manera temprana el dialogo entre la arquitectura y los animales.
31 años de persistencia de una idea.
Among the works with animals are the mixed-race sculptures of the series Bizarros y críticos (Bizarre and Criticals) 1992 and El gran sueño americano (The Great American Dream) (1993), which are animal figures sculpted in the manner of pre-Hispanic pieces fused with pieces of toys and other objects and images of mass consumption and the mass media.
These works have a critical and satirical intention and seek to question the way in which Latin American culture and identity have been influenced by the capitalist device of Western consumption, creating a disturbing connection between ancestral and contemporary.
In the series Oniria (2007) the surreal encounter of animals and sculptural elements in small-format pieces within a wide-ranging installation on the world of dreams, toys and children's memories is already inaugurated..
In The preponderance of the small the birds as a symbol of the beings that we do not appreciate and consider so little, draw attention to the importance of establishing a better relationship of hospitality with the other.
THE WORK AND THE ARCHITECTURE
At several moments in the work there are references to universal architecture, executing abstract and stylised elements or detailed sculptural elaborations that reproduce the characteristics of the constructive landmarks.
Ínsulas (Isles) (2009) is an extensive installation of elements carved in stone in which a wide repertoire of images of iconic buildings is intermingled with vegetal elements arranged in diverse natural environments as a reflection on the confluences of times and spaces in the media multiverse.
THE WORK AND THE TOY
"Since then, I kept an indelible affection and conscious admiration for the unique statuary which, with its bright attire, vivid colors, violent gestures and graceful determination, accurately represents the aesthetics of a child.
This easiness to satisfy his imagination testifies to the idealism of childhood in his artistic conceptions. The toy initiates the child into art, and when he reaches a mature age, the perfected achievements will not vibrate in his spirit with the first enthusiasm and faith."
The relationship with childhood memories and in particular with the playful experience, with the toy, is a constant in the work since its beginnings.
The primary colouring, the seriality, the three-dimensionality and objectuality of the pieces and their capacity for play, intervention and permutation in space are fundamental elements that appear and reappear persistently.
Even more important and significant is the objective reading of the symbolic qualities of the toy which, in a surreptitious, underhanded way, carry political, racist, prejudiced and biased directions.
3D printing and AI
Las esculturas se realizan utilizando impresoras que crean las piezas mediante el depósito de capas de material, generalmente plástico. Primero se crea el modelo en un software de modelado 3D, o se recurre a archivos de inteligencia artificial de libre disposición en internet, imprimiendo luego en la máquina para finalmente dar, si es necesario, acabados diversos como adición de elementos, pulido y pintura en técnicas como el poliuretano, material de altísima resistencia.
In a poetic metaphorical sense, the technique has an ectoplasmic condition. This term is formed from the Greek words ekto, which means "exterior" and plasma, which means "substance". Ectoplasm, also known as Substance X or Teleplasm, is a luminous substance that can be solid or vaporous, although it can also be described as dense but liquid, a kind of vaporous gel that emanates from mediums médiums(ears, nose, mouth, eyes, etc.) when they are supposed to be in a trance during mediumistic seances.
"3D printing sculptural pieces is for me to move forward in time, to participate in this technological world that we are only just recognizing. Appropriating non-real elements created by an artificial intelligence to bring them into reality by creating poetic entities from basic visual ideas, one could say "key words" that are conjugated."
Idea, Word, Image, Object
I have always found the classical structure of old illustrated dictionaries such as Larousse fascinating and inevitably related to the postulates of conceptualism (Kosuth) that associate the linguistic element, the image, and the object.
Something like the relationship between word and image in dictionaries are the 3D object files offered by the internet. By typing in any word related to an object or entity of interest (such as "elephant") the application displays an endless number of possibilities created by the AI that can be acquired, modified, altered, and printed as desired and convenient. An operation of appropriationism that takes ready-made to an unsuspected level.
A consensual, legitimate appropriation. A transaction to acquire a model and its respective rights becomes a strategy of play, permutation, assembly and resignification to create a conjunction of elements like pieces of a three-dimensional collage, a hybrid object.
VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE
The exploration of the technical possibilities leads to the development of a virtual reality experience based on the elements of the series.
The virtual reality experience is a multi-sensory immersion in a fantastic universe made up of landscapes, scenographies, architectures and beings that inhabit, move and interact with the visitor.
Video art and NFTs
With the development of the virtual experience, I also started to create videos and NFTs as complements to the staging of the installations and three-dimensional objects, creating a presentation with multimedia resources (sculpture, video, sound, installation).
As a development of the series La persistencia del deseo (The Persistence of Desire), a new subject matter emerges, the series Éxtasis (2023. 3D printing).
Images of people of diverse ethnic configuration (black, Asian, indigenous) are combined with specific architectural elements (churches, temples, synagogues) in a decolonial commentary that refers to the ideological and political imposition of religions.
THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM AND OTHER WORKS
As a complement to the presentation of the new work, a section of the exhibition includes a set of pieces from the series The Great American Dream and others that explain the development of the creative process that crosses a trajectory of 40 years of creative activity.
Simultáneamente a la muestra en la galería, la Fundación March de Madrid incluye varias obras en su exposición "Antes de América Fuentes originarias en la cultura moderna"(Before America: Original sources in modern culture). Curated by Rodrigo Gutiérrez Viñuales