“Every human being is in contrast with nature, and this is true since the very beginning. The act of civilization, which is an act of arrogance against nature, is an act against nature”
Giuseppe Ungaretti in conversation with Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Arboreal – The human Tree (2020) is a project by the Italian artist Chiara Cordeschi. The body of work investigates the relationship between bodily presence, nature, and light. Cordeschi uses a hybrid metaphorical language in which both human and natural forms are presented to reflect on life. In works such as Even the Trees Cry (2020) and Spring – Self-portrait (2020), the vegetation is poetically used to bridge contemporary ways of navigating existence with distant powerful archaic imaginaries. The body of work also includes site-specific interventions: since this year’s Parallel location is a post-industrial building that has been partially re-inhabited by mosses and plants, the artist decided to absorb and conceptualize some of these living organic material in the installation project. The spontaneous symbolism that links life and the form of the tree – both in time and space – opens to ontological connections that are stimulated by immersive sensational works. The contemporary human presence witnessed by the objects, artifacts, and photos are now vibrant tension between what could appear as opposites: natural origin and artificial production, temporary presence and everlasting significance, object and immateriality, truth and lie.
Together and in an open dialogue with this project, the works of three Mexican artists expand Cordeschi’s thematics into a more architectural and social framework. Cecilia Miranda presents One Gram (2020), as a miniaturized brick that rests on soil, and Comex (2020), cans containing colors distributed by the Mexican government to the lower social classes.Therefore, the seemingly playful colors contain social distance and violence, creating a new awareness of how human habitats are built in contemporary society. Adela Goldbard's Plutarco (2015) is a photographic materialization of a massive full-scale restaging of violentpolitical events. In between truth and fiction, the cluster of parallel chronicles alludes to the constant loss of certainty and expands the ambiguity of artistic mediums in helping our understanding of life. In Memorian (2012) by Israel Martìnez
is equally dualistic. The work appears as the combination of a picture of the Culiacán cemetery – a place in which social life and physical decay are together – and an audio track in which an artificial synthetic voice lists fragments of elegies, epitaphs, and other messages written on the tombs. The post-human texture of the voice builds a way by which the impossible communication between what is dead and what is alive becomes somehow real.
Text by Kevin Bellò
In many ancient cultures the tree occurs as a sacred symbol, often assimilated to the growth and development of the person. Both are living creatures that have roots, vulnerable to change, naturally tend towards the sky and self-realization. This consideration is the starting point of Chiara Cordeschi.
Through metamorphosis, the analogy between forms and meanings, the natural question remains cyclically implicit as a resolutive and shared space between human and non-human living beings. The artistic works of Cordeschi. leads us on a journey to another dimension. We see a tree crying, an agave undergoing a hybrid death, a bark of skin becoming a map of time. Arbo-real guides us towards an internal architecture imperceptible to the naked eye which, like a poem, simultaneously embraces the solid roots of the past and the uncertainty of the future to show the present.
Tex by Oscar Sànchez