For some time, the artist, Alessandra Risi has been collecting elements of expanded territories. Elements as tangible as her prominent collection of matches, now translated into fragmented paintings and canvases interpreting subtle memories from everyday life. For Fragmented Landscapes, the artist composed a symphony of velvety gray greens, sometimes opaque, dramatically juxtaposed against reddish soil or vibrant purples. Her tone for narrating holds a mysterious low tone, defined contrast, and cloudy atmosphere that could be easily identified from South American ecosystems, referencing the legacies of a specific South American school of landscape painting, and 20th-century Italian cinema.
With this collection of ten paintings, Risi fosters a platform for intimate conversations of post-isolation. During her recent residency in Mahon, Menorca, the artist contemplated questions about the self. The comparison of our internal red and the red distill of some of the aloes brought questions of observing our cosmology, as well as islands. In selecting pieces of different dimensions, the artist brings a comparative study of the cosmos and our relationship with a universe that has its own time and that we access through indigenous knowledge. Giving shape, as the artists mention “...to the idea of the cycles of women and, in turn, of the earth.” observing the painting and its interpretation as a universal fragmented cartography.
The Fragmented Landscapes collection encompasses two general themes: the exercise of memory keeping as resistance to forgetting and the documentation of plants and landscapes to investigate their source and our relationship with them. Some of the pieces starring this collection are connected under the family of Aloes, one in particular, Viola which is an interpretation of a Huitzquilitl. The plant originally named in Nahuatl, started to appear on the radar of the Western world through a series of illustrations commissioned for the Booklet of Medicinal Plants of the Indians, popularly known as the Badianus Manuscript, published in 1552. This Aloe Maculata was both exoticized by colonial powers for its mix-textured surfaces and later commercialized during a European epidemic, which used its agave to treat a nuanced emotional disorder loosely interpreted as “depression”. With pieces such as Viola, or Raices, the artist brings an undertone of Nostalgia, often referenced as a post-migration emotional reaction pre-depression. While propagating,
plants may experience emotional reactions to new soil and need their own particular time and care to assimilate to the conditions of the new weather.
For “Raices” the artist translated the image of a cutting with some of the roots already grown after a period of propagating. In both cases, the image and the title present an intention from the artist to delve into a larger conversation about belonging and expansion. The English translation of ‘Raices’ as ‘roots’ allows the public to start the conversation of multiple lines of belonging. Some of these plants, such as the Huitzquilitl or the White Begonia Maculata, are lately popularized by the digital lifestyle sector, and the plant seeds or roots are available for purchase through digital transactions and commercial global shipping.
Fragmented Landscapes in this case bring the opportunity to observe the ever-evolving conceptions of memory and the evocative gestures involved in re-claiming, altering, or constructing moments. Sometimes, touching gentle gestures of oniric visualities, as seen in ‘Pesadilla.’ Other times, it delves into the excruciating exercise of remembrance, as in the delicate multiples that ultimately formed ‘Sa Mesquida’ or ‘Islote.’ The multiples, belonging to the family of Aloes-Vera, with roots in Latin ‘veritas,’ are now entering the northern side of the continent. The temperature here could evoke memories of a similar ecosystem for both the artist and the South American diaspora, now establishing new roots in the Vancouver contemporary art scene.
- Dulcina Abreu.
Fuente imágenes y texto 👉 Alessandra Risi