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Inane, 2016

Paraffin, wood, concrete, soap, photography.

Every living language is a changing, mutable system. Just as it has to adapt to new realities, any word that is no longer used tends to disappear. It seems paradoxical that a word that means vain or futile like "inane" has ended up becoming useless itself. It is an adjective in disuse, relegated to oblivion and yet, it has an archaic beauty, almost ancestral. Something like this happens with the ruin, vestiges of the past that have been so important throughout the history of art. From the precocious Dürer and the intricate Piranesi's engravings in the Renaissance, Lorraine's idealized seascapes in the 18th century and the superb Friedrich's landscapes in the Romanticism, the ruin has always possessed a sacred feature, but at the same time it has been a symbol of the transience and decadence of the human being himself. 

For Mercedes Pimiento (Seville, 1990) the ruin is a trace, the testimony of an imposed and then withered power —the economic one— crystallized into abandoned mausoleums: relics that speak about the intrahistory of a place to anyone willing to pay attention. Already in 'Useless Landscape' (2015), Pimiento alluded to the planned obsolescence and the vulnerable temporality of the concept of “home” in our mercantilist society. Now, as a logical evolution of her previous work, she presents 'Inane' (2016), a project in which the artist takes as starting point a series of drawings and photographic images derived from her prowling around the urban exteriors of the cities in which she lives. Territories without a name or owner, plagued by architectural elements, dilapidated, forgotten, obsolete, like waste from the urban planning of other times.

After this first and important process of investigation on the ground, Pimiento matures and reinterprets the images to materialize her subtle artistic ideas. With a marked inclination towards sculptural creation that is always present in her work, she is committed to turning the evicted construction elements that populate her closest context into flimsy and brittle pieces. In this way, the artist reuses found waste elements —rubble, concrete, wood— or uses a material as plain as a bar of soap to recreate delicate "monuments" of the 21st century on a small scale. It is a dialectical game about what should be megalithic structures symbols of power, which become tiny ephemeral prototypes derived from the capitalist ruin on which our current society is based. A paradox in which what appears to be solid and resistant alabaster is revealed as fragile and malleable as wax, thanks to the almost magical action of sunlight.

In short, the work of this young Sevillian invites to contemplation but also to reflection. These pieces, with their own poetics, function as elegant allusions to the precariousness of the prevailing sociopolitical system, but also to the majesty of the ruin as a metaphor for the victory of the anti-monument. These non-existent constructions are erected thanks to the projection of their image by the human being, who through imagination and memory —as Bachelard said— reaches the pure and immutable essence of the concept belonging ultimately to the collective memory.


Inane. Traces of oblivion

Sara Blanco


Exhibition:  Casa Leibniz

Santa Barbara Palace, Madrid

23.02.2016 / 28.02.2016


Exhibition: Do you believe?

Fabra i Coats - Center d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona

05.27.2016 / 06.22.2016

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