Residence @ Flora Ars+Natura | Grant 35-55 | 2017
Cotton thread and sugar crystals
In 2010 I began a personal search that gave his first results in the work Punto In Aria. Punto In Aria is the way they used to call lace in Italian, it gives also the to this early work of sculpture: Underwear suspended in space (and time); clothes that I soaked in resin, put in shape and that I attached together to refer the corporality that these pieces evoke in the absence of a body that inhabits them. They are pieces of a human scale, unfinished agglomerations.
In my research, I discovered that sugar was used in the processes to starch the collars in the Elizabethan era. Later on, I decided to submerge the textile in a over saturated solution of sugar. I waited and observed how crystals were created around this textile base.
Here is where the research in Flora Ars+Natura began. Working with materials of high symbolic content is part of my training as a jeweler and I have always looked for associations of unexpected materials in the context of contemporary art. Sweetness connects us symbolically with pleasant situations, delicate and brittle forms, it is often associated with the fragility.
Lucretius, greek poet and philosopher, describes the world according to the principles of Epicurus. His philosophy is inspired by matter and he explains in a material way the objects and the living, which take shape via combinations of atoms. These combinations of atoms remain, for Lucretius, fundamentally fortuitous.
Following these precepts, I started to elaborate environments, biospheres where these crystals could grow. The natural crystallization processes are completed after thousands of years and are the result of movements, pressures and very violent telluric forces. Sugar crystallizes by stillness, by abandonment, vibrations and abrupt changes are enemies of the process. I am interested in the very essence of the material.
«Fire is made up of tetrahedrons; the air, of octahedrons; the water, of icosahedra; the land of cubes; and since a fifth form is still possible, God has used this, the pentagonal dodecahedron, to serve as a limit to the world », this is the description of the material world made by Plato and those forms are therefore called the PLATONIC SOLIDS. This perfect polyhedrons have the same number of faces that the number of lines that form each face. Only the five forms mentioned before are possible.
They are, according to Plato, the basis of geometry and of any possible form of matter.
In my research I decided to «crystallise» sugar over some of these perfect forms. I found interesting to relate this perfect polyhedrons and the sugar crystals that grow in a very random way.
So, next step, I decided to create imperfect polyhedrons free interpretations of Platonic Solids: irregular and random compositions.
I would like to think, for this project, of the colloquial meaning of the word “platonic” usually used to express something that never becomes real.
According to this, these “platonic” solids would never be the base of any world, they are a malformation, a deformation of the perfect world proposed by Plato.
Cotton thread and sugar crystals
When observing the aerial views taken along the rivers where there are sugarcane plantations, we see forms of perfect polygons that seem to adhere to the sinuous banks of rivers like the Mississippi in the United States or the Cauca River in Colombia.
It is something very similar to what happens in the process that I have been developing and the way the crystals adhere to the strings I use.
These encounters between elements recall, on another scale, Lucretius and his physics treatises, explained so simply, that they are important not so much for his scientific contribution but for the deductions he makes of them.
It is not enthusiasm for the discovery of scientific truths that inspires Lucretius, is a «free will» of matter.