A Place of Reflection

[PDF] 'Cristina Iglesias: um lugar de reflexo' Lynne Cooke

[PDF] Adriana Scorzelli Rattes / State Secretary for Culture

[PDF] Evangelina Seiler Diretora / Director, Casa Frana-Brasil

Throughout a career that now spans some three decades Cristina Iglesias has explored the interface of the natural and cultural in myriad ways. From the beginning of her career in the mid-1980s, allusions to architectural typologies, natural and man-made, have provided the hallmarks of her visual vocabulary: grottoes, caverns, labyrinths, mazes, pavilions, portals, canopies and medieval windows and buttresses are among her many reference points. Materials redolent of the construction industry, past and present, reinforce this connection to the built environment: concrete, steel, polished aluminum, copper, clay, polyester resin, tinted and mirrored glass and even alabaster. In addition, she has appropriated vintage tapestries with bucolic landscape scenes to conjure inaccessible realms glimpsed from within an architectonic structure.

Dominant among the generative metaphors permeating Iglesiass work are notions of refuge and shelter. Her first mature works were comprised of structures that allude to functional purposes, without actually servicing utilitarian ends. In contrast to the vegetation rooms, suspended ceilings and pavilions screened with lattices jalouises or celosias - that followed, which permit visitors to enter their inner sanctuaries, those early works offer places apart: theirs were strictly psychic or affective spaces accessible only to the imagination. Many of Iglesiass more recent works, by contrast, solicit an interactive, participatory engagement and yet, in these situations too, rumination and reflection tend ultimately to prevail the intermittent cascading and swirling of the water ebbing and flowing in her pozos or wells mesmerizes; the beguiling shadows cast by the lattice-like screens made by the letters that comprise the permeable walls of her pavilions do not merely dissolve their structures into the ambient space, their cryptic texts evoke mysterious abyssal realms, fictive worlds far beyond the present mundane context. In like vein, the dense looming plane of another work (not present here), a suspended ceiling whose surface resembles an encrusted sea-bed, effects an inexplicable inversion in our experience of the everyday world, suggesting that our understanding of the natural order and our place within it can never be taken for granted. In addition, Iglesias has undertaken major civic projects, collaborated on landmark architectural schemes, and created site specific installations in parks, remote landscapes, private museum gardens, and wilderness preserves. Exceptionally among her generation, she considers public sculpture an integral part of her commitment to a contemporary art practice. Deep Fountain, completed in 2006 and located in a square in front of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.

Lynne Cooke


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