Artists: Mónica Van Asperen
Because of its scale, the photographic installation Inclusión de mí hacia el otro relates to the spectator body in way that recalls the experience of viewing live performance. The six photo-performances that form the installation register the actions of two individuals - a man and a woman, both naked - who are initially seen in a confrontational posture, facing each other from the anonymity imposed by a single wrapping of balloons which they share, enclosing their upper bodies.
Balloons are filled with air, and it is only by the presence of air that they come into form. Air represents a constant appeal for Van Asperen, whose other works, like the installations made of glass blown parts, suggest ideas of fragility and uncertainty, evoking a highly skilled millenary technique as well as the material delicacy they summarise with their transparent beauty. Balloons are also vulnerable as sculptural material, and they are easily punctured when in contact with the body, for friction or pressure could destroy them. This generates a peculiar tension in the images which marries the uneasiness produced by the physical proximity of the figures and, by extension, recalls the vulnerability of human relations.
The performance develops with theatrical pace: the six different stages of the action conclude in the total entrapment of the bodies in a single cloak made entirely of balloons. The space where the figures perform this bizarre ritual of approximation possesses a particular weightlessness proper of theatre stages, as there is no visual reference to any temporal or spatial contexts. The narrative is structured in fractions of movement, developing in time like the fluidity of breath.
A sense of lightness pervades all the images which the artist creates in performance, photographs, sculptures and poetry, together with a sense of the ephemeral moment that is rarely found in contemporary visual art. Van Asperen's aspirations and concerns are closer to the dialectical philosophy of Heraclitus of Ephesus' and his ever flowing river as metaphor for life or Plato's shadow-populated cavern, than to the intellectual and formal anxieties of much contemporary practise.
Inclusión de mí hacia el otro
Inclusion of Myself Towards the Other
2002-2003, Photographic Installation of six Lambda prints on paper,
124.0x124.0 cm each