Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Ecdysis - the retablos of Mariana Alzamora

The global technological age in which we are either willing or unconscious participants has created a contradictory situation; on the one hand the old social structures are increasingly fragmented while on the other a new cohesion is growing out of the internet and its accessories. Contemporary Art attempts to reflect this new situation and the political issues and illusions it has given birth to.
Human beings are in a constant state of coming into being; pressures from without affect the individual and collective pysche and are expressed through attitudes and behaviour. The role of the artist is to throw light on this process and its inherent dialectic and then, through the manipulation of material, point towards transcendance. In this sense art is therapeutic, didactic and progressive.
In this series of Retablos Mariana Alzamora investigates the theme of personal transformation; hence the title of this exhibition, Ecdysis, which describes the casting off of an outworn and constrictive skin to allow for growth. The metaphor is apt; everything she creates
is related to her own experience but at that deep level which ensures its universality. It is appropriate that she uses the retablo as a container for her vision since traditionally it is a piece of sacred furniture situated behind an altar to illustrate some aspect of the divine. These beautifully constructed boxes contain the parables of spiritual evolution, yet while they are explicit - the body hovering over the cast off skin, the broken wing , the stages of our physical life - they operate beyond the territory of rational explanation and her gifts as a constructor carry them into the powerful domain of poetry.
A great deal of present day Art reflects on the ills that surround us rather than dealing with those underlying fears that prevent us from challenging the root causes of the problem. In doing so it merely supports a feeling of virtuous negativity that leads nowhere and in fact causes a deeper sense of imprisonment. The work of Mariana Alzamora deliberately contradicts this tendancy, it shows us that we need not accept the constraints of accepted belief but be prepared to shed our skin and be faithful to our particular destiny.
The exhibition 'Ecdysis' opens on the 3rd of September at GalerĂ­a Sa Tafona, La Residencia, Deia
at 8.00 pm and continues until the 15th of September.

Ecdysis - The Retablos of Mariana Alzamora