The man shouted Take the life out. Before that demand there used to be a shrine. A place to thank and make a conscious exchange with bacteria. A moment to acknowledge their existence and the importance of it for life. Now we stand in front of it´s remains. Outlines mark the reflection of their habitat. Ghost that depend on perspective.
NOW THERE ARE REMAINS
It stands as an archaeological site. With letters put together that state theories of what was there.
The installation titled 40 is a habitable shrine for a conscious interaction between microorganisms and humans.
Creating the possibility to map the interactions that take place. The act of recollecting and putting together the shrine becomes a ritual where I start this conscious act of thinking about the existence of other organisms, even the ones invisible to the naked human eye and I thank them for their existence. To thank them I will build this housing. A place that allows us and may let us get closer to being aware that we are part of a whole. That we have never been the owners of this universe and that we can´t exist alone as a homogenic mono species.
The cave is a natural dwelling for many organisms, and we humans haven’t been the
exception. This space, the cave, has been part of our genetic and cultural evolution. Other
than just a dwelling, the cave has allowed us to shape our thoughts and imagination by
matters of light and darkness, the change of sound, and the possibility of isolation from the
external world to come into a deeply creative and ritualistic state in which trans is possible
and the expression of the creative is imminent. Time, other beings, and the elements can
disappear inside a cave, and our thoughts can easily expand into the non-physical world.
Dentro de ‘Flora nativa en el paisaje invadido’, Paula Flores nos propone una obra, que sin establecer límites formales, transita entre lo escultórico, lo pictórico y la ambientación para insertarnos en una suerte de abstracción territorial: un espacio ahora zona mediterránea, un sitio ahora muestrario científico.
Como si de una exploradora naturalista inserta en las dinámicas industriales del siglo XXI se tratase, la artista emplea materiales sintéticos y reciclados de la zona fronteriza para trazar una línea ilustrativa sobre las plantas nativas de Baja California.
Su obra establece una conexión entre la realidad del paisaje y la imaginación del creador, favoreciendo en su proceso de producción el uso de paralelos formales y asociaciones subjetivas sobre los materiales, e incitando con ello al espectador a crear conexiones personales.
En respuesta a los fenómenos fronterizos que comienzan a cambiar de manera tan hostil en nuestra área geográfica, Paula Flores coloca frente a nosotros la urgencia de pensar más allá de las implicaciones políticas, económicas o humanas que la invasión y delimitación territorial conlleva consigo.
Redirecciona nuestra mirada hacia el paisaje natural en la periferia de nuestras caóticas manchas urbanas, lugar también comprometido por las decisiones, conflictos e infraestructura del hombre; un ambiente violentado y a desaparecer por cuestiones ajenas a la naturaleza.
Texto por Deslave/ Andrew Roberts y Mauricio Muñoz
Relaciones simbióticas, parasitarias, antagónicas y encuentros casuales.
¿Cuál es la relación de la población citadina con la naturaleza?
¿Qué tanto tomamos en cuenta a estos organismos en nuestra vida diaria?
En una ciudad en crecimiento como lo es Tijuana. Podemos observar como el suelo aún vivo, se utiliza como propiedad privada para construcción no sustentable.
Tijuana siendo una ciudad joven podríamos tomar la oportunidad para innovar y crear un hábitat donde no solo las personas pueden existir libremente. El intentar ser seres humanos implica ser conscientes y respetuosos con todas las formas de vida. Aprender a cohabitar como lo hacen todos los demás seres. Nuestras construcciones se cimientan sobre grandes extensiones de tierra la cual es brutalmente removida y extraída. Los cerros se cortan sin consideración de la modificación del paisaje natural. Sin importar las implicaciones que estas acciones puedan tener para el resto del contexto natural.
Los microorganismos que habitan en el suelo son inmensamente esenciales para el rico crecimiento de la biodiversidad que podemos observar por encima del suelo. Como todos los contribuyentes de un ciclo, su existencia y bienestar es esencial para todos.
El sentirnos responsables y contribuyentes a un ciclo que nos permite sentir la conexión en diversos aspectos como lo emocional, lo cerebral y lo espiritual refiriéndome con esto a que pertenecemos a algo más grande que la pura existencia de personas.
Al igual que los microorganismos, las piedras y otros seres que habitan en ellas son esenciales para la creación del suelo.
Preparan con miles de años de anticipación para que las futuras generaciones de otras plantas tengan un suelo fértil donde nacer y vivir. Esto me hace pensar en la consciencia del futuro que tienen las plantas
Exhibition text by Marcello Farabegoli
The Mexican artists Guadalupe Aldrete, Sofia Cruz Rocha, and Paula Flores, who live and work in Vienna, approach the general concept of transformation from the perspectives of individual experience, hermetic philosophy, and knowledge through nature, respectively. The concept of duality, which will be explained in more detail below, plays an essential role. The three artists are in search of fundamental changes that would allow them to dialectically overcome duality and experience new unity with themselves, the natural world, or even the cosmos on a changed or higher level of consciousness. This extraordinary striving probably has to do with their cultural background, whereby less Latin American rather more pre-Columbian cultural elements should be decisive. These “archetypal” elements merge with western as well as Asian world views to sensual, contentwise dense, and altogether very exciting works of art. Last but not least, the research-scientific attitude of the artists lends their work an essential conceptual foundation.
Duality also plays an important role for Paula Flores, in the context of nature. In general, she is concerned with the complexity of nature, with our knowledge or ignorance of it and our relationship to it. How is it possible, the artist wonders, that Western capitalist imperialist thought, conceived predominantly by men, has enabled a part of humanity to legitimize the exploitation of enslaved and oppressed populations and groups of people, and nature no less? Thus, Flores seeks ways to change, dismantle, and overcome these hierarchical conceptual constructs. To do so, she is studying extraordinary ways of communication between humans and other species, such as fungi, bacteria, and plants. She hopes that this could lead to a shift in the balance of power and possibly pave the way for a more balanced relationship between humans and nature that would benefit the entire planet. Specifically, Flores is interested in the duality between life and death and questions where the sharp boundary between these concepts might be found. Regarding this fundamental contrast, it should be mentioned that the famous Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, with his legendary essay “What is Life” published about seventy years ago, had pointed out the great riddles of the phenomenon of life as well as the associated principal explanatory hurdles, and at the same time had given an essential impulse to genetics. Remarkably, the current state of knowledge is still not sufficient to understand how life arose. Likewise, it is still technically impossible at present to create artificial life. Last but not least, a virus, i.e. a being which exists as such by definition between life and death, plays a generally known frightening role in the last time. Furthermore, in so-called animistic religions, for example, a personal soul is attributed to any natural object. Especially in their youth, some people today may still have the ability to feel this all-soul; some artists in particular often cultivate this ability throughout their lives. In her childhood, Flores herself was able to cherish a magical feeling concerning nature and recognized this particular effect even more intensely in the stories of her grandparents who grew up in the countryside. Flores’ will to find a way of transformation by means of explorative-artistic work, which is to break through the dual concept of life and death, seems to be particularly radical. Last but not least, she believes that through this she can attain a connection to beings that animate the universe. The core of the installation “Mediation” (2021) by Paula Flores are the three sculptures made from the mycelia of mushrooms. According to Wikipedia, in common parlance, only the visible fruiting bodies are referred to as mushrooms. The actual fungus, however, is predominantly the fine, thread-like structure (hyphae) existing mycelium in the soil or in the wood, which is mostly not perceived because of its occurrence in these opaque substrates. Fungal mycelia can grow to a size of over a square kilometer, a huge biological mass, and an old age. Mycelia are vital in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for their role in the decomposition of plant material and are the primary factor in a plant’s health, nutrient intake, and growth and fitness. Flores has been experimenting with mycelia for a long time in order to specifically grow them into compact shapes and then let them dry out, whereby in most cases this process also means the death of these living beings. The three sculptures in this installation seem somehow like prehistoric eggs, which could have come from dinosaurs or are even of extraterrestrial origin. When you take them in hand, you notice how light and fragile these filaments that have grown together are. The gold foil on which the artist places the sculptures indicates the high value of this species for our ecosystem and thus also for our human survival on earth. The black and white fur simply symbolizes the principle of duality itself, in which we humans are mostly caught. It is noteworthy that Flores also opts for an artificial material that mimics a natural one… By bringing or forcing a hidden, essential living being so radically to light, so to speak, the artist seems to want to suggest to us what a fine, immense network of hidden things, many-valued logic, quantum physical superpositions between dual principles, between thesis and antithesis, between particles and waves, matter and immaterial things can still exist.
I want to interrupt
I want to interrupt the cycle of humans
The cycle that we live in now
The one where other lives don’t matter much
The one where we run on machines
instead of the earth
Where instant gratification is the goal
Where natural time is not appreciated
but believed to be to slow
Excess, excess all we see and all we want
NITROGEN, of course, synthetic nitrogen
What makes the natural world
grow in an unnatural way
I see a problem here.
A problem with diversity
No diversity in the soil
No diversity in the sea
No diversity in humans
Constant modification to natural cycles
and natural beings for the sole purpose of homogenization
Homogenization of cultures
of food that represents no history other then the industrial
A mass movement of humans around the world
trying to survive the interrupted cycle
Rivers that flow over skin, over seeds that should have been born. Roots, torn out and thrown into the ocean where they can’t reach the ground and are ever condemned to float until they disintegrate. But there are always remains that can be reintegrated from the tears that come from the ocean. It’s the attempt to catch a reflection from another reflection and keep it for perpetuity.