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La naturaleza no está de nuestra parte, first solo show by Ana Laura Aláez at Galería Pelaires

Ana Laura Aláez
Nature is not on our side
From June 9 to September 8

Nature is not on our side

The title I have chosen for my first solo exhibition at Galería Pelaires is the last sentence I used in an earlier text of mine. I try to interweave present and past, as Brancusi's block featuring two intertwined figures kissing. Although I have used some sort of unconscious mechanism to make new pieces, my goal in this show is to start a dialogue between my most recent work and other sculptures displayed at my monographic exhibition Todas las canciones, todas las noches, todo vacío (All the concerts, all the nights, all the emptiness), which capture different moments in my career. This conscientious disobedience to the demands of "the ultimate work" is not at all capricious. All pieces combined are intended to re-interpret different symbolic aspects or to reveal processes that remained hidden at the time.

It is often said that the situation most conductive to creation is when artists have been on the verge of losing everything and are somehow able to transfer part of their experience into their work. That part that one shares with a viewer, who contemplates some sort of sacrificial act from the distance. As if the fact of recognising intensity in others could come to belong to them and therefore be entitled to own it and judge it. Perhaps the existential uncertainty is the only guarantee of integrity and what really makes it possible to create fiction with "real" material. In the gaps between the real and the imaginary, we doubt as to whether life is equal to art, or vice versa. And there, in those gaps, between experience itself and projection, inner exercises overlap: biting space; scraping memories; chroming symbols; rubricating thoughts; re-interpreting fears; altering memories; refining ideas; crowning convictions; opening wounds; negotiating disagreements; shaking experiences; responding by concealing; dusting off what we see as unfit; insisting on the improbable; magnifying the unusable; driving desire; embodying affection; etc.

Underneath, wild nature is always on the prowl, as if its main objective was to assail its host when she/he is off-guard. It knows it will not be difficult once it has found her/his shelter. All attempts to protect you will not prevent you from surrendering to this animal that is watching and sniffing you so closely. Its direct stare is unbearable, as it is hearing it roaring from a place you don't recognise as your own. A horrifying sound that could well be an atavistic projection of something that precedes us. Between human and ferocious, it is not easy to recognise who or what is howling desperately: Is it us? What are we doing here? Why does our body look like a cage? It must be the beast asking unceremoniously about what our outer mantle is hiding: Are we weak because we don't really show ourselves? Or are we powerful monsters who fear being humiliated? Probably both. An ogre that aspires to have different relations with the world without destroying everything it touches. In these times of ideological chaos, the wolf and Bambi coexist with even more violence than ever. Furry surfaces cover the nakedness of an organism already wounded in multiple parts, prolonging itself in an endless metamorphosis.

To reflect on how a work has come to completion, we must consider the vital urge that has led to the process. It is necessary to make sure that that urge remains and doesn't vanish. To do this, one possibility is to focus on a bond with the item or whatever is in front of us. We must not be ashamed of encouraging any kind of physical relationship with this entity. Formal conclusions will take a back seat and make room for that inner desire we are fuelling, that energy that we feel beating inside our body. It is like a different kind of organ that we must protect for that urge not to disappear. It is a matter of taking care of everything, however small it may be, everything that helps us not to be afraid of touching bottom and not to worry too much about what other people say.

Small discoveries, and not big goals, are the driving force behind expression. Nothing heroic, quite the opposite. The work is the result of barely imperceptible movements to escape —if only for a few seconds— from the fate of disappearance. As when in Pier Paolo Pasolini's film Medea, sensing —or rather predicting— its future, the centaur Chiron warns the still innocent Jason that there is nothing natural in nature, that it will all be over by the time nature seems natural to him.

Although it is better not to have great expectations, it should not be forgotten that an epiphanic experience is possible through art: to give oneself away through psychic rituals, and that this subjective process becomes a rehearsal; to undermine rigid ideas as a form of critical thinking; to live the instant in which one discovers something that drives change; to witness an unexpected revelation; to let the possibility of transformation break through. A tangential kind of poetry with no statements and not virile at all, an art that —in principle— lacks functionality and carries no banners, yet caressing and striking us.

Ana Laura Aláez, Mallorca, May 2022