Arquitectura de un conjuro
Marina De Caro
Museo Emilio Caraffa
12.09.19 | 01.12.19

The Museo Emilio Caraffa (MEC) in the city of Córdoba exhibited a series of paintings, drawings, and objects produced by Marina De Caro (Mar del Plata, 1961). The show was based on the retrospective entitled Contra la gravedad held at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires in 2015. In an attempt to “capitalize on that effort and share the work with other provinces” (De Caro), curator Claudia Santanera came up with a new edition of that earlier show, but now featuring, in some cases, different works. “The show at Moderno,” she explains, “encompassed thirty years of Marina’s production. For this show, the selection was more conceptual. It reflected on the relationships on the color black and other colors, the human figure, abstraction, the use of materials, gesture in drawing, and magic as intuitive form of knowledge and possible way to act on reality. Images are set in motion in a sort of ephemeral and floating theatrum mundi that is animated by pulse day and night to rouse the dream or the portent.”

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Marina De Caro, Arquitectura de un conjuro, 2019, view of the gallery in MEC. Ph: Courtesy of MEC

The exhibition combines intimate small works and monumental large ones, as well as the hardness of plaster and the softness of fabrics. It explores color with monochrome charcoal and blank ink drawings. Forms are displaced and reformulated on different surfaces. “Each image unfolds, persists, or returns in another, in a shifting and mobile dynamic,” the wall text explains. The works were organized around three black magicians in charcoal on paper mounted on the gallery’s back wall. They “open their arms to show us their ceremonial dress: body and cape are one and the same, shamanic investiture and transformation. The inclination of the head, the stance of the body and feet, located in that immobile spot where dance begins to unfold. Magic as state is what arranges the works, giving the show’s layout a circular or cyclical effect,” the curator goes on. Throughout her art, De Caro has looked repeatedly to the magician character, drawing it again and again on other scales, in other materials. Sometimes just a head, a portrait, it is always black. Other figures turn into black ink waves, sometimes—but only sometimes—with bursts of color.

In the center of the gallery was an enormous sculpture in plaster and acrylic thread. Its head hung down from the ceiling, and its only two extremities rested on the floor, connected to one another by a soft fabric to bring home the reading that the piece is a body in the process of being born or germinated. The work’s complexity lies in the apparent contradiction of a passage, in a single piece, from a rigid and brittle material to a soft and malleable one. “It is as if she had hollowed out the tangible in search of another—immaterial and inexplicable—reality,” Santanera observes. She goes on, “That expansion of the borders between materials is also in effect in an ecosystem of creation that articulates pressures and distensions, force and calm, discomfort and pleasure. The supernatural and the inexplicable form their own horizon, a field with its own rules, a system of thought and state of utopia.”

By “architecture,” De Caro means a structure or a “symbolic stratification for a contemporary universe of the visual,” explains Mariana Robles, who works in Museo Caraffa’s Research Department. In the architecture of this show, which took shape between insistence and movement, the “spell constructs itself,” the artist says, in a sort of ritual. She describes “a structure that can be repeated because it is never enough to cast a spell once: it must be repeated a number of times—all the more so in our historical context.”

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Marina De Caro, Arquitectura de un conjuro, 2019, view of the gallery in MEC. Ph: Courtesy of MEC

Contenido producido por arteBA. Memoria anual de arte argentino contemporáneo.