Forget-me-not was born from the magical encounter with a photo album of my maternal grandfather, with which I began an introspective journey, a trip to my ancestors, a constellation.
Scientifically called Myosotis, Forget-Me-Not is the name of a plant whose flower is extraordinary beauty, it is often said to connect with the memory of a primary emotion, and it is a reminder of loved ones with whom intense moments were shared. It has the characteristic of staying attached to clothing, which reinforces its metaphor.
Laughter and more Laughter
love as you can
sand in the back
like the water
owners of the present
like every other
(photography - installation)
Site Specific – Quema la nave
The creation space can be presented in different ways for artists. For some it may be an unexpected revelation, for others a meticulous search and in this case for Marcela Villagrán is a transfer to the past, a reconfiguration of her story, starting from the traces of memory and an old album of photographs that her maternal grandfather had begun to build.
Thus the artist began to unravel her story, to read new stories, to interview her close relatives and in that transit in reverse, a new, enigmatic present is rebuilt, loaded with poetic restoration stitched into thin threads.
Photography is the starting point for the artistic proposal. The image that another capture, that comes from the past, brings an encrypted message and Villagrán produces a new poetics, transferring the information to the vulnerable and docile canvas. An epiphany is presented to unveil the past. The transference.
As in a constellation where all her ancestors meet to uncover the secret - in this case - it is she, who embodies from this brave present, the discovery of pain, death, departures and unwanted absences.
The body of work presented in this installation, has been developing for several years, studying the steps of her grandparents through not only her images, but the objects that she was inheriting inherited. These objects speak and tell her, they tell us. They tell us about their daily tasks, about time and their way of measuring it in modernity.
Why so many devices for time? Perhaps a masculine line runs behind something, but in the opposite complement, a feminine one emerges, which stops to be, to transit the processes and weaves slowly and without haste. These objects are transformed into an image. Here Villagrán makes photography the well received, to show it as a work. It inverts the procedure that in the other walls happens as the footprint of the image.
The final product does not look like the photograph from which the process starts. The physical footprin does not come close to the represented object, in the words of Phillipe Dubois * "is that object itself, converted into as much work as such, by an act of artistic decision, by simple operation of selection, of extraction within the continuous of the real and of inscription in the universe of art."
In this way, a renewal of the footprint takes place, which is formally intervened by the smooth plot of graphite, coloring the faces, the costumes, the skies; embroidering an image-memory to bring us back to life, the possibility of not forgetting those who constitute us.
The artist transits under this stamp her most recent photos with her mother, father and sister, at the same time that she unites with sanguine red the faces of her ancestors that she did not know in this present.
The itinerary of a life is not linear, it has twists, turns, setbacks. The visual work formally presented in video, leaves us detained, in front of a sea, which contemplates and includes creative subjectivity. The poetry, attenuates the pain at times and lets out tiny smiles: Forget-me-not.
Curator and Project Development at CABA, November, 2017
*Phillippe Dubois, The photographic act and other essays. La Marca Editora, 2008 (p. 231)