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Recycling Memory (installation view), work by Laura Sánchez Filomeno  © Katerina Valdivia Bruch

Recycling Memory
Yotaro Niwa | Laura Sánchez Filomeno

Curated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch

Recycling allows discarded materials to obtain a new existence and a new meaning. Through transformation of residuals, which were about to finish in the bin, the artists use these materials, which allows objects to enter a new existence.

Employing objects of daily use and found in households, such as tubes, paper, organic waste and plants, Yotaro Niwa (Awaji island, 1973) creates a sculptural environment that includes the audience in his room installations. The artist explains through his sculptures and installations interactive possibilities of a particular object or environment. An example of this is the metal sculpture Hygrometer #2, which is based on water tubes related to organic and inorganic materials that interact with the viewer, not only through the material from which it has been made, but also through its original use for carrying water.

Niwa´s work is based on the ideas of instability and continuous movement to explore different possibilities of perception. For instance, a rocking chair - which usually reminds us of time spent in a living-room where our grand parents used to rest or just read, perhaps also for doing some embroidery – is transformed into a circular sculpture made of old paper rests and wood.

Laura Sánchez Filomeno (Lima, 1975) works with different materials of organic origin, such as nails and hair, but also silk. With these, she redefines ancestral traditions of hairpin lace or embroidery and creates precious objects, a hand-made embroidery, in which coloured hair is used as a thread to create organic forms on silk.

Since 2003, the artist has been exploring issues related to the fall and decay of bodily elements. Her works entitled “Reliquias Humanas” (Human Relics) and “Cahiers de biologie moleculaire“ introduce us to a research on human being, but it is also a personal research about her own biography. Topics like intimacy, identity, memories and body residuals, history and femininity can be deduced from her work.

The artist uses lenses to magnify residual parts of the body, like a mixture of human nails and hair, what reminds us of a cabinet de curiosités in a museum of natural sciences. Her work also approaches representations of molecular biology and, at the same time, a cellular and cartographic universe. According to the artist, these raw materials “are a metaphor about the interconnection of the genes.” The object is transformed into something natural and also artificial, a sort of treasure. It loses its individual meaning through anonymity and therefore becomes universal.

Her artistic approach goes beyond the facts of human biology: human nature becomes a residual of a body, a body with an anonymous memory. Her work is based on a biological and an archaic view about life and death. With the weaving of hair and nails on silk she explores feminine and archaic rituals, that of the selection, recollection and conservation of materials, which have been found as residuals of daily life. With residual parts of bodies, hair and nails, she is also recalling the anonymous donor and presents the original and basic status of equality in each human being as it presents change, lost and decay and, in that sense, time appears as a continuity of bodily memory.

Exhibition: September 5th – October 4th , 2008

Galerie IAC-Berlin

curatorial text EN ]

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