The Mexican artist Liza Ambrossio has been living in Spain for five years. She is a nomadic artist with roots in Italy and France, but also in Asia, especially Japan. The synthesis of all this, also imbued by what she calls my "lucid nightmares", is embodied in the exhibition 'Blood Orange', inaugurated at Casa de América, which is already picking up cruising speed in the organisation of face-to-face activities.
The artist, tainted with the aesthetics of the Japanese counterculture and the Aztec rituals of human sacrifice as a form of poetics, mixes performance, space intervention, videos, installations, practices of psychological manipulation, science fiction, eroguru, and witchcraft.
“I have the suspicion that to be truly free, it is necessary to see your father die and kill your mother. Or was it the other way around? A section of my mind remains in the dark. Everything is affectively confusing, amorphous, strange (…) Am I haunted? Or am I the witch?" she says.
I ask her about the origin of such disturbing reflections, captured in this exhibition, also sponsored by PhotoEspaña and the Casa de Velázquez, and she defines it without hesitation: "Blood Orange is a contemporary portrait of the chaos that appeals to sublimate the emotional death that I decided to give to my whole family in order to heal from the hatred, anger and sadness I felt for the macho orthodoxy in which I was educated". And she concludes by pointing to her artistic story as "a necessary exile, which has filled me with obsessions related to the encounter and the search for my demons".
It is an experimentation that should be contemplated in the light of day, from the portrait of the Indigo Child to the sculptural piece of the stuffed fish. Liza Ambrossio practises free association by investigating her unease in culture due to various contemporary conflicts based on individual terror and the hypothesis of the possession of a psychological disorder which she calls herself "paranoid sleep psychosis". In this not at all distant reminiscence of Freud there is a lot of neuroscience and neurophysiology intertwined with art history.
Once the emotional impact of Liza Ambrossio's exhibition has been assimilated, Casa de América houses another exhibition in its Frida Kahlo and Torres García galleries, as part of ARCOmadrid, featuring several artists from Latin America.
Sponsored by the Chile-Spain Foundation and the Embassies of Mexico and Chile, eight artists are participating in the Opening section of the ARCOmadrid (Internacional Contemporary Art Fair), offering the Spanish public other ways of experiencing their work.
Juan Sebastián Bruno, Fernanda Laguna, Alejandro Leonhardt, Anna Mazzei, Andrés Pereira Paz, Liv Schulman, Juan Diego Tobalina and Johanna Unzueta exhibit pieces that the designer and educator Bruno Munari called Prebooks, a series of elements that allow people who have never been interested in "these objects called books" to begin to do so. By way of a material solution he discovers objects that "are just visual, tactile, sound, thermal or material stimuli".
Prebook pieces, sent through different systems designed to share data and postal mail, explore variables of materialisation and procedures linked to translation or remaking. These modes of reproduction are the material and conceptual starting point of Prebooks. The resulting set of pieces promotes collaborative forms, and according to the curator Mariano Mayer, disarms the connotations of fixity associated with the book and exposes an artistic use outside any narrative or interpretative connotations.
Rebeca Guinea, Programming Director at Casa América, makes with both exhibitions, that can be seen until late July, a bet as risky as it is avant-garde in these first and stammering first steps of the post-pandemic.