BIOGRAPHY

 

24-04-15 Alfonso durán Galeria La Aurora Carmen Baena

 

Carmen Baena / Belerda / Granada / Spain / 1967 / Graduated from the University of Valencia, speciality Sculpture. She is an all-round artist. She masters several techniques, and uses different materials in her work, such as marble, resin, leaf metal and carbon black. Nature and landscapes play an important role in her sculptures; often they present empty and deserted landscapes. Sometimes she incorporates a single house as a symbol of security. This embodies the contrast between the hardness and fragility of life.

Like in the Japanese art of bonsai, Carmen represents the immensity of the world in one little space. The process of miniaturization to what landscape and the means of expression are submitted, allows the artist to bring themes of profound significance together in one simple image: time and memory come to a standstill in the geometry of the stone.

 

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Snows and trees

 Come, come into my house.
That seems to say the work of Carmen Baena, inviting us to enter the intimate space of their dwellings.
The house as shelter, as a warm shelter, as a metaphor for a protective area, a welcoming place. The house as a metaphor for the self.
The dwellings of Carmen Baena blend in with a landscape in which the inner house emerges as a lighthouse, as a promising target, as a destination. From her houses with roots, rooted, embedded firmly on the ground, to the lightness of the houses of rain, adorned with feathers, ethereal; the house is repeated again and again as a symbol of the innermost part of the self.  Only when we know that we are from a place, will we be able to abandon all of them, be nomads, pass through the spaces and materials, this seems to say the artirs.

 

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There are travel scents on the work of Carmen Baena, winds pushing us towards a private odyssey, towards an epic quest for subjectivity.
A journey that begins in his early works, where nature itself is the support, where from materials found at random–fragments, sediments, stones—nature adheres to the sculpture, nature is sculpture. And it continues travelling and rising little by little towards what we might call the natural, the minimalist abstraction, the aesthetic and stylistic simplicity. Nature as the idea of nature.
As if in its journey from the most telluric and natural materials–wood, rope, mud–, of sinuous and organic forms, until reaching the white hardness of marble—of snow-white and precise lines–, the sculptor showed us the process of a research into herself, into the human conceived as intrinsically linked to the natural, into her effort to find a place in the world, to build a country with her work where Carmen Baena lives, where one lives.
It is in this last abstraction where the spatial movement expands, it becomes macroscopic, and the landscape comes into the scene in a perfect tension between the minimalism of the work and the expanse of what the artist wants to show. The sculpture includes here mountains and valleys, the territory to be represented is expanded. A paradoxical geography, since the more encompassing, it becomes more intimate, more stylized and dreamlike; a minimalism in which, and we turn to her reference author, Gaston Bachelard: “We’ll see the reverse of things, the intimate immensity of small things “.
There is also a melancholy gesture that is heard through these sculptures, forceful and light at the same time. As if the author was absorbed in a ceaseless remembrance of certain past images which are seeking expression. As if an archaic muscular memory was leading her fingers and arms to sculpt the materials until taming them, in search of an inner landscape. A muscular memory that, again and again, is seeking the reunion with the idealized landscape of childhood. The domus, the house and the land.
And it is here that another feature of the sculptor’s personal evolution appears: as organic gives way to abstraction, the originally hollow house closes on itself, closes, and appears before us, no longer accessible by braided ladders, but as a fortress to conquer.
Hence the almost mystical lyricism that her sculptures transmit. Hence the interior space that evoke these exteriors of snow. A lyricism which refers us to the inner fortress, the castles of the soul, whose conquest is just a way of knowledge, of self-knowledge. The union  with the divine, longed for by mystics, seems to be replaced in Baena’s work by the union with nature and the earth, with the original territory from where the personal biography of the author emerges.

 

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It is a secular, epistemological mysticism, which connects with a particular fondness for the sacred as intrinsic to man, as an irrepressible impulse that runs throughout all of our history, that gives wings to the house, which invests it with gold, golden, that projects it into the sky like the monasteries of Meteora, like Hindu temples, to which some of her works allude. But it also connects with the sacred inside, the temple as an intimate place of knowledge and expressive wealth, the place where transparency hardly veils what the outside is trying to hide, because the works of Baena express a special taste for what is hidden, for a reciprocal relationship between the external and the internal, which reinforce each other by changing their composition and appearance.

 

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‘Arboreceres’:  Arboreal omnipresence is closely and endearingly linked to the sacred. ‘Arborecer’, in Spanish, means becoming a tree, ¿to take root? Carmen’s sculptures have an obsessive insistence in the presence of a sublimated, platonic tree that is reduced to its woody structure; a tree inserted in the marble, a tiny tree that imposes its humble biological forms to the classicism of the straight line.
A symbol of the sacred, the tree appears in mythology and culture as the center of the universe, as representation of life, of livelihood, of the whole. Frazer, in The Golden Bough, illustrates the worship of trees in mythical traditions from around the world, placing the forest as a synonym for temple, to the point of noting how “among the Germans, the oldest shrines were natural forests natural … Among the Celts it is familiar to us all the Druids’ worship of the oak and we believe that their old word for ‘sanctuary’ is identical in origin and meaning to the Latin word ‘nemus’, an open forest or grove, which still survives under the name of Nemi. ”

‘Arborecer’, becoming a tree; the irrational, the instinctive, the sacred, and nature as incessant rebirth are inserted in the work of Carmen Baena in the rationality of the geometry of marble, achieving a magical harmony that transports us to a direct beauty, of a polysemous and ambiguous eloquence.
It seems to us that the work alludes to a subjective research in which the artist’s trees or ‘arboreceres’ show us a desire for a seamless integration, complex and harmonious, between the culture to which the marble refers and the biological spontaneity of the vegetable.

As spectators, we gaze at these spatial texts in astonishment, as if they
were a script, because their forms are infused with something like a magical narrative, as each work seems to contain a secret history.
Strolling among these landscapes is to enter a unique and evocative world, a rich and Lilliputian universe that awakens our senses by reproducing in us deep and familiar feelings which, certainly, refer us to our own secret geographies.

 

Come, come into my house, come.

 

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CURRICULUM

CARMEN BAENA / BORN IN BELERDA / GRANADA / SPAIN / YEAR: 1967

1992. Graduate Fine Arts in Technical University of Valencia / Spain

 

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SOLO EXHIBITIONS / SELECTION

2015/ ” Áureo ” / La Aurora Gallery / Murcia / Spain

2014/ ” Firts Line ” / Tourist Information Office / Los Alcázares / Murcia / Spain

2013/  Alicia Winters Gallery / Arnhem / Holland

2011/ “ Sewing in the memory ” / Gallery La Aurora / Murcia / Spain

“ Landscapes of the soul ” / Gallery BAT / Madrid / Spain

2010/ “ Where dwells the silence ” / Gallery Alba Cabrera / Valencia / Spain

2009/ Palace Altea Centre the Arts / Altea / Spain

2007/ Museum of the Angels / Turégano / Segovia / Spain

2006/ “ The roots of the air “ / Gallery La Aurora / Murcia / Spain

2005/ “ To become a tree “ / Gallery Val I 30 / Valencia / Spain

2004/ “ Ice floes of time “ / House Bruna / Barcelona / Spain

2003/  Room stables  / Murcia / Spain

2001/  Gallery Aunkan  / Barcelona / Spain

2000/  Gallery Studio Solana / Madrid / Spain

 

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COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS / SELECTION

2015/ ” Indivi – dual ” / University of Murcia / Murcia / Spain

2014/ ” Nature, of the Landscape to Public Art ” / Museum of Fine Arts / Murcia / Spain

2013/ ” Woman`s Looks ” / Gallery BAT / Madrid / Spain

2012/ ” Totum Revolutum ” / Gallery Alba Cabrera / Valencia / Spain

2011/ Gallery BAT / Madrid / Spain

2010/ “ Pierre-Papier-Litho “. Ten years of editing and printing of the workshop Bruno Robbe / Belgium

2009/ Cutlog. Contemporary Art Fair / Paris / France

2008/  “ Art and Woman “ / Ceutimagina / Ceutí / Murcia / Spain

2007/“ Goya 6. X “ / The Potteries Museum and Gallery / Stoke-on-Trent / United Kingdom

2006/ “ Tribute to Picasso “ Gallery BAT / Madrid / Spain

“ Carte blanche to Bruno Robbe / House Folie /  Mons / Belgium

2004/ Inside. Art Gallery / Figeras / Gerona / Spain

2003/ “ Miart “ / Gallery La Aurora / Milan / Italy

2002/ Estampa Fair / Gallery La Aurora and Gallery BAT / Madrid / Spain

2001/ Art in the Hotel / Valencia / Spain

2000/ M.A.D. Gallery / Nürnberg / Germany

“ Meeting “ / Querétaro / Mexico

1999/ “ From the beetle to the beetle “ / Kunstverein Bad Salzdefurth / Germany

 

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MUSEUMS AND COLLECTIONS / SELECTION

 

 

Hotel Península París

_ Peninsula / Luxury Hotel / Paris / France

_ Postal and telegraphic Museum / Madrid / Spain

_ University of Murcia / Murcia / Spain

_ Museum of the Angels / Turégano / Segovia / Spain

_ Cyty  Hall of Paterna / Valencia / Spain

_ Autonomous Community of Murcia / Murcia / Spain

 

 

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VIDEOS

INTERVIEW

Carmen Baena: “I want to convey the feeling that mountaineers climbing the highest peak of Mount Everest must have.”

 

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The sculptor of landscapes in white marble, unusual treatment of this subject, achieves something magical, the ability to transport you to remote corners of the world which convey silence, cold, vastness, wind, peace … she opens the door of her house and of her inner self. Born in Belerda /Granada /, although already a Murcian, after more than twenty years here, married to a Murcian, and with children born here in Murcia. She graduated in Fine Arts at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, specializing in Sculpture, but it has been in Murcia where she has made most of his work. She is a multidisciplinary artist who mixes techniques and materials with sublime taste, from marble or resin to black carbon. Icy, dreamlike, tiny landscapes inspire her sculptures, dotted with small golden trees, little houses …

But everything has an evolution, if we start from the beginning of her work, the houses were nests and termite mounds where she put pictures of her university classmates, works which belong to the series Spaces for me, which were like the caves of her village; subsequently, to these fixed dwellings on a site, she added wheels and there emerged Nomads, which have movement, hinting at the different places where she has lived; after these, there come Houses of Rain and Dreamy Houses, with wings; until reaching the landscapes, with fewer elements, less mixing of materials, everything is becoming easier. Her work extends from a house to a landscape—which is larger—but, conversely, the materials are simplified.

 

¿How long have you been living in Murcia?

Is the city that inspires you? Since 1991, I already consider myself a Murcian too. The truth is that everyone feels that they belong where they were born, I do not feel myself Andalusian, which sounds to me as granaína (someone from Granada), I feel that I belong in Belerda, that little village where I was born, because that was my universe. In fact, in eleven years, I hardly went out of there—she is talking about her childhood—. I went to Guadix or sometimes to Granada, but nothing else; so, for me, that is my universe, instead of Andalusia as a whole, which is so large; then I lived in Valencia for 16 years; and where I have lived for the most time has been here in Murcia and my children are from here. I feel I am a Murcian, but there is often a determination to say “the artist from Granada or the Andalusian artist”—she says, with a laugh—and when I read it, I feel a little puzzled, but well…

¿Where did your artistic vocation begin, in your hometown in Belerda or in Valencia, where you studied?

Since childhood I knew that I liked two things, basically, drawing and dancing. I would have liked to be a dancer; if as a child I had been encouraged to pursue these activities, I would have combined both. I spent two years without studying when I finished school because, at school, they came to speak about medicine, law, and I do not know what, and of course I did not know that there was a Fine Arts degree. I come from a very humble family, in which no one had studied at university. When I found out about the Fine Arts degree, I did the baccalaureate.

¿Why did you choose sculpture in order to create. Although you also use mixed techniques as striking as those of your projects Floes of time, photography, or Sewn to memory, work on paper?.

 

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From a young age I did some things with clay, because Guadix is an area of clay, I just had to take it from there and mix it with water and I already had good material. I have always been more interested in sculpture, although at the Faculty I had a stage in which I wanted to do everything, but I soon realized that I liked sculpture and volume more; I sometimes try to incorporate colour but, as always, I eliminate, instead of adding, so as to get to the heart … Sometimes I use colour and it does not fit, working colour is a difficult thing, it is more for painters. I liked volumes, shapes and materials more: stone, iron, tools, I like that world more, I feel more comfortable. Then I have been adding materials as I have needed them. For example, resin to keep very fragile vegetable elements floating: for example, a little tree floating within a landscape; simple, how to keep a tree floating in the air?, well, with resin you can do it because it is transparent and has that effect; it is the same with feathers.

You have exhibited in many cities, Murcia, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, even abroad, in cities such as Nuremberg and Querétaro, and in such prominent countries in contemporary culture like Belgium and England.¿ Where do you think that you have had a better reception?

It is difficult because the truth is that not everyone understands my work at first sight, as you have to look at it a little more, not everything is there so explicit. In all those places there have been people that have understood it and others that not. Sometimes I have been surprised; for example, here in Murcia, a carrier that transported my work came one day to the studio and started to tell me things; I was amazed because he really understood what. I was saying and he was not a person who had studied a lot; and then there are others who only see “the little house”, but it does not convey any message to them, they do not really know the meaning. So I could not tell a specific place, it depends on the people more than on the places, although there are some German collectors who are my biggest fans and understand me best, but it is not because of the area but because of the specific people.

Last year you participated in the exhibition Inside the walls, in the gallery ‘Alicia Winters’, in Arnhem (Netherlands), where the participants tried to expose your inside. Can you explain how you showed it.

I had all the landscapes in marble, and Cristina Almodóvar, who is an artist that I love, also participated and she had many works on paper. And her work is closely related to what I do, though she works on almost microscopic elements of nature, or in more detail, and my work was more from the point of view of the landscape. I show my inside in all my works because I get to work and I have to feel something when I’m working, this feeling I have to convey, it is my inside that I always show when I work. There must be someone who also makes sculpted landscapes because there are many artists in the world, and sometimes I am shown some works and what a coincidence, but it is normal that several people get to common points, because I have not invented the house or the trees or the landscape, then there also is something in the environment, in the collective imagination, we have a common culture and we arrive at very similar points.

You participated in the collective exhibition The Handbag’s Secret in the gallery ‘BAT Alberto Cornejo’ within the ‘2 Festival Miradas de Mujeres’ (2 With Women’s Eyes Festival).¿ What can you tell us about the work you exhibited, that round handbag, sewn in black, with the image of a woman in fetal position and hanging from a golden bough?

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They proposed that the theme was “the handbag”, and when I am proposed a theme outside my area, I feel a bit out of place and what I do is to bring the theme to my work; and at that time I was doing the work about the circles—thread sewn on paper, the series Sewn to memory—, all this are chance encounters, I saw that branch and I told me ‘this is a handle’; and the circle is the handbag. So I am making connections between things and bringing the theme proposed to my work. In fact, it is one more work of mine, where I have combined the branch, thicker, more of sculpture, and paper in the circle, a work between sculpture and paper. The result was very nice because they put it on a base, you could turn around, good lighting, on one side you could see the front of the photograph of the model, and on the other side the back of the same model with the same pose.

In your recent sculptural work, contained in the catalogue Where silence dwells, we find pieces that harmoniously join marble, wood, resin, gold leaf … and represent from landscapes, like the volcano of the work The house of Hokusai, to a Coptic church from Lalibela, in the work of the same name. ¿Why these places, what do you want to convey?

It comes to mind, though I have never done mountain climbing, the feeling that mountaineers climbing the highest peak of Mount Everest must have, that feeling of being there, that silence and that view which they sometimes describe when they are there. I have not felt it, but I did in a different way, in the plains of Belerda—her hometown—, where only the wind is heard, and sometimes a flock of sheep—she says with a broad, nostalgic smile—. That total silence, where only nature is heard and you merge with it. This is what I would like to convey, harmony with nature.

¿Is it true that some of your works were inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Tomb, in Samoa, as stated by journalist Gontzal Díez in the newspaper La Verdad?

No, I did not, but I loved it when he sent me that text because it was great—she says with a laugh—. But I have sometimes seen it, you are walking in the mountains and you find an abandoned house, haven’t you ever seen it? —she asks, expecting an affirmative answer, you can notice that it is a special experience for her —. And in the house, there was a tree near the entrance, or in the yard, or as many years have passed, a seed fell and the tree has grown within the house because it no longer had a roof, that feeling that makes you think of the people who have lived there, how many experiences, they stay in the air, although there are no particular remains, but some of the life that was in that place is still there. I feel nostalgic when I see places like that—Carmen says this almost blushing, as if showing something very personal—.

¿What explains this successful amalgam of seemingly incompatible materials?, marble, gold leaf, rustic wood, resin, feathers…

It is spontaneous; they are often things that I find, for example, paraffin. I like its shape and color, but in particular for the series Sewn to memory, I did not think. I was working with this material for a different purpose, to work bases, doing tests on wood, throwing it liquid so as to see the surface that I could cover, because paraffin dries quickly and if you try to spread it, it is easy to notice. Suddenly, I had a branch on the work table and I threw paraffin to it and I liked it, and I continued, these things are like that. And suddenly I decided to put a picture and do some trials and then new things appear. As for gold—she is very reluctant to use color—, I do not like to wear it, but in the pieces I like what it conveys, that noble, religious touch. One of my sculptures is a temple—she points towards it, it is in her living room—, the interior is of gold and within there is a tree also of gold, which is like the house of the god, or the god himself, as considered by some primitive tribes. Gold conveys very well that feeling of the deity.

¿Where does the marble you use come from, what kind is it?

 

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I buy it in Almería, but almost all that I use is the Greek marble from Thasos—used since antiquity for its extreme quality—; also from Yugoslavia, though it is a long time since they last brought it; and a kind, which is from Portugal, called Rosa Portugal, which has some pinkish veins, but I always try to choose the one with the least veins. I do not use marble from Macael because it has a lot of grey, it is very difficult to find a piece that is all white.

Tell us how you sculpt so that it seems light despite being large blocks.

That feeling is given by the movement it conveys, because it represents waves being moved by the wind; sometimes, simulating the wheat fields of Belerda, the feeling is softer; also, the fact of mixing the organic and the geometric, which I like a lot, this contrast between hard and fragile—in reference to the more geometric use of marble together with gnarled wood, feathers …

¿ What steps do you follow to gild the marble, achieving that almost magical effect?

I prepare the surface with acrylic paint in iron oxide color, and when it is dry, I apply the gold leaf, and a week later I finish it with a layer of shellac, that is all.

 

¿How can you represent almost endless landscapes in a relatively small space?

That feeling is produced by the limit, I had not thought of it because there are things that I do not consider theoretically and let myself be carried away by my feelings, but perhaps it is the fact that there is no limit, it is as if I had cut a portion of landscape, but it is not limited. If it was, the feeling of spaciousness would be diminished. It is like the idea of the earth that people in the past had: flat and with an end from where they could fall; so are these landscapes, with the horizon in the distance.

¿What would you like to convey to those who contemplate these sculptural landscapes, where I almost feel the wind and the cold?

I would like the landscapes to convey ideas and feelings, the interesting thing is that everyone is moved and feels different emotions, not just one, that the works are not so evident. I have been told that my works convey cold, wind, and also silence. And all that is there, because I work with all those ideas. They are very varied and I like it when each person tells me that they have felt something different.

¿What is it that has caught your attention about the things that your work conveys?

 

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I do not think that they have ever said anything crazy. It surprises me most when people tell me things that I have not really thought of, because I have indeed felt them, but I had not thought of them in words. For example, when I started to make my first works, I remember a friend who came to Belerda, my hometown, she came there and said, “but if this is what you do!” And I had not theorized about that, I had not realized that, I had done it so naturally and instinctively … And from that moment I started to think, of course this comes from here, that from there, or sometimes I has surprised me that I have made a work and then I have realized which was the source of inspiration. I have one that is a pilaster with trees etched with acid, and above there is a landscape. If you walk on the avenues of Guadix, and to go to my hometown you have to drive on those avenues, situated in a high area, and then there is the plain, there is a little house at the top, which is like a farmhouse. I took pictures of this house because it was alone in the vastness, like the type of sculptures I make. I was in the car, the poplars had no leaves, and suddenly I looked up and saw the trunks and branches of trees without leaves and above the house.

And then I said: I have made that. It is an image I had in my mind because, as a child, I have passed that place so many times, and I had reproduced it without realizing where it came from; that has happened to me sometimes, a posteriori to see which was the source of inspiration of my work. It is said that nature imitates art, but there it was the opposite. I am inspired by something, but something that has passed through the filters of my memory, of my feelings, of my life. This is because in this way my works convey more to me. It is difficult explain but when I have finished a work that I like, I feel comfortable, I get a feeling of happiness. And when a piece does not work, sometimes you look at them and can say: ‘well, I see them as more or less the same, of a style, but some convey something to me and others not. And that is why I like to have them in my house, because if you see a work one day, and another and another … and it does not work, you realize it, you get tired of seeing it and know that something is missing in it. But when you see them a lot and you still like them, it is that you are on the right track. With some works you are satisfied, what is difficult is to go on: now what should I do?, which way should I follow?, what am I saying? I think that this is very difficult if you want to make a real, authentic work, at least I find it distressing at times. You have to go into the studio and start to work and concentrate. From what you have inside and what you have around and the things that happen and emerge while you are working, from all this I can find inspiration for a work of art. There will be other people who will have everything very clear and studied before they start a work of art. I cannot work like that.

I think that part of these works are for luxury hotels of the Peninsula Hotel Chain,¿ is it a challenge for you that they are going to be exhibited in such visible places and for a very elitist audience?

They are for the hotel in Paris in particular. The truth is that it is the first time I receive a commission like this and I am very excited. I have seen how the hotel will look like and the works are specially made for that building. I like the fact that my work will be in a place where they are going to take such good care of the position, the light, of everything. They sent samples for me to choose the background for my works; rarely can you participate so much in decisions about the place where your work is going to be. For the background I chose a light tone, because I like white on white, although it is more difficult to see them, but precisely, I have works where there is a line, only one incision in the paper, a mark or a transparent ink, where you have to look, because I like it when there are veils, when there is a little mystery.

In other works, such as House of Rain VII, there is a tree whose roots are visible, enclosed by prisms of resin, as if of water, passed through by steel wires,¿ what do you want to represent or convey with them?

They are not prisms, they are houses that generate life—Carmen clarifies—. The idea comes from readings of The Golden Bough, by James George Frazer, where the beliefs of primitive tribes are studied; a few of these tribes might still exist in the Amazon, where there are “rainmakers”, shamans who could bring rain when needed. But these works in particular come from here and from other things that escape me, because in the end I put everything together. They also interpret the rain as a symbol of fertility, so the tree figure emerges from inside the house. I have a “House of Rain” in which another one emerges from the bottom and the tree is born on top. The steel wires in these works represent the rain; if you touch them, the sound recalls the rain, like the rainsticks, which make a similar sound when you move them. Those thin wires, with light, because they are metallic, you can see movement, like rain on glass.

Three elements are always repeated in your work: the landscape, the house and the tree. In your Arbóreo (Arboreal) exhibition, the houses contain a tree, such as Temple of Frost, or roots sprout from their foundations, like in Aerial Roots III;¿ why, is it related to some symbolism?

 

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The tree is nature, the house is the man and the encounter, the relationship with nature is the landscape—she sums up without deeply theorizing—. And I link the works that are temples with the beliefs of primitive peoples, the belief that trees, the oaks in some parts of Germany were worshiped as gods or as god’s house, so cutting those trees was then forbidden. And the mistletoe also grew on oaks, and at some point it is gold-coloured; hence The Golden Bough, by Frazer, and also that relationship with the gods of nature and the gold.

In your series Drinking from heaven, which is previous to the one we have just talked about, you use iron, olive wood, copper, steel, feathers … ¿ is it related to an intention or was it a way of experimenting that later led to the use of marble?

Using metal in this series was a way of building the houses with iron that I had already used; but here the concept ‘between heaven and earth’ also appears; it has to do with the mysticism of the shaft that connects heaven to earth. Those places considered most suitable because of a better relationship between heaven and earth were searched for when a city was going to be built. Drinking from heaven is taken from a poem by Rilke which I very much liked. The highest point of a mountain is the union between the two places; or the highest leaves of a giant tree, that relationship between the ground and the air; the roots, which are in the ground, and the air, which is the highest point. Before, my work was always very vertical, very high, but nowadays it is less, since I started to make landscapes.

And moving to photography, to me, your series Floes of time presents disturbing photographs, naked men and women, trapped in ice cubes. First, ¿ can you tell us about the technique that you have used?

The technique is a double exposure; first I photograph the models, cut out the photographs, put them into containers with water and freeze them; after that, I take out those blocks of ice and photograph them again on a black background; double exposure, double developing and double printing.

It seems that you have moved to address the theme of time, immobile people, without action, ¿ what idea have you wanted to represent with these photographs?, ¿ does it have something to do with the concept of time?

 

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It is more the theme of silence, it is like walking into an amniotic chamber, where you do not hear anything, although that is not true, because you hear the beat of your heart. I do not see them trapped, they entered freely in that space—she says, with a laugh—, they are there to isolate themselves and concentrate on silence. Now that I do yoga, I see it as a kind of meditation. But time is also there.

¿Why have you decided to address the human body when landscapes are the bulk of your work?

It began in the Faculty; in the subject of photography, I started to photograph some classmates who posed for me and I used the same technique of double exposure, then putting their pictures in bird nests on tree branches; in the end it is all intertwined, but I do not know why I decided to take pictures of nude models, it just interested me to make this series with ice. I had an idea and I realized that I could make a work which could convey something. I do not theorize much about my work.

¿Why those fetal positions of the models, almost as if protecting themselves?

Yes, that’s it, the same as in Spaces for me, which were places of protection: if you are in the middle of the mountains and there is a snowfall, you are inside a house and you are protected. The fetal position of the models in Floes of time is related to this protection, protection from everything. When we are in our mother’s womb, we are also in that position, and there we do not know from what we are trying to protect ourselves. It is a posture of seclusion.

If you had to be part of an artistic movement, ¿ which one do you think you belong to?

Nowadays there are no artistic movements; they are already a part of the past, but maybe in minimalism, although I am not part of this movement either because pure minimalism is, for example, a cube, it is pure abstraction.

¿Who are the sculptors that you most admire?

I remember that I discovered Giacometti and I loved him, not only the sculptures of elongated figures but also those in bronze, which are very mysterious; contemporary, I like Jaume Plensa; and I liked Henry Moore perhaps more before than now; I also like Calder, with his mobiles, and Cristina Iglesias.

 

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NEWS OF CARMEN BAENA

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