Ecdysis

These are some pieces of the 2010 exhibition called Ecdysis which in ecdozoa, is the moulting of an old skin or exoskeleton constricting growth thereby giving an opportunity for regeneration of what has been damaged. Exuvia is the name given to the skin left behind, and Teneral, to the new and soft body before it hardens. It is in this stage that the animal grows and can be regenerated.

I, we, have arrived at a stage, a pause to review how we have lived, reevaluate attitudes and beliefs, take personal responsibility which will allow to live, create a world of cooperation and harmony with our neighbors, with all living beings, including the earth, the air, the waters, caring for the world we will leave future generations.

 

The Global technological age in which we are either willing or unconscious participators, has created a contradictory situation; on the one hand the old social structures are increasingly fragmented while on the other a new cohesion is growing out of the internet and its accessories. Contemporary art attempts to reflect this new situation and the political issues and illusions it has given birth to. Human beings are in constant state of coming into being; pressures from without affect the individual and collective psyche and are expressed through attitudes and behaviors. The role of the artist is to throw light on this process and its inherent dialectic, and then, through the manipulation of material point towards transcendence; in this sense art is therapeutic, didactic and progressive.

In this series of retablos Mariana Alzamora investigates the theme of personal transformation; hence the title Ecdysis, which describes the casting off of an old and constrictive skin to allow for growth. The metaphor is apt; everything that she creates is related to her own experience but at deep level which ensures its universality. It is appropriate that she uses the retablo as a container for her vision since traditionally it is a piece of sacred furniture situated as an altar to illustrate some aspect of the divine.

These beautifully constructed boxes contain the parables of spiritual evolution, yet while they are explicit -the body hovering above a cast off skin, the broken wing, the stages of our physical life- they operate beyond the territory of rational explanation, and her gift as a constructor carry them to the powerful domain of poetry.

A great deal of present day Art is involved in reflecting on the ills that surround us rather than dealing with those underlying fears that prevent us from challenging the root issues of the problem. In so, doing it merely supports a feeling of virtuous negativity that leads nowhere and in fact cause a deeper imprisonment.

The work of Mariana Alzamora deliberately contradicts this tendency, it shows us that we need not accept the constraints of accepted belief but be prepared to shed our skin and be faithful to our destiny

Geoff MacEwan
Soller 3/9/10