“In deprived space- the materiality of the body coincides with the materiality of space- the subjects experience their own experience.” -Bernard Tschumi
When we enter a gallery do not see the space itself, we see our concept of the space. We see the idea of the “gallery”. As an architectural platform for someone else’s intentions, space is not thought of as having a past or a future but exists wholly in the present. Utilizing the nature of architecture as it is held together by the contradiction between two mutually exclusive terms, space and its use (or the concept and the experience) this work exposes the gallery space. By consolidating the temporal nature of the gallery space a new atmosphere is created in a familiar place.
The process used to create the installation OSCURO SUSPENDIDO appropriates materials from previous work of the artist Bárbara Palomino, materials that are forever changed by their prior use, retaining aspects of their past form, in much the same way as space is changed by what happens within it. This concept manifests in the form of the dark textile ceiling and the fragile recorded whispers of past artists proposals that escape from the object. Both the physical and auditory aspects of this work hang above those experiencing it and take on an ethereal quality, as the weight of this seemingly fragile mass is contradicted by the vestigial voices floating through space.
The experience and perception of the intervention hang on the precipice of its transient nature. This work is not only created by the architecture of the space, but also by its history. This work can live in no other space; it is born of this space. The unique singularity of the experience is parallel to the individual perspectives of those who encounter it.
Though the people who pass under the work may not entirely grasp how connected the work is to the site, their perception of the space will be shifted by this new experience. Creating an environment that allows “what was” and “what is” to exist at the same time creates a conversation about the artists’ process on a meta level. It illuminates the temporal nature of the space and the transient nature of not only this work but all works, thus people’s perceptions of not only this gallery but all galleries, and all artist spaces may be shifted.
Oscuro Suspendido is part of a curatorial proposal to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Galería Balmaceda Arte Joven in Santiago, Chile.
(Text by Alexandra Morton)