In my family we try to be close to the mountains. Everyone walks at their own pace, sometimes together and sometimes separately, without completely losing sight of each other, we leave space for each person to connect with what they need. I have always thought that walking is the most primitive act of humanity. Recognition of the environment is born from movement, and only afterward do we refine our perception of everything we have seen.
Placing the body in the territory is an act of transformation, of change, of movement from the field of the subtle. To do this, we must make ourselves available to not control nature, just be with it. Under that idea, on this occasion I would like to talk about two walking artists who do not doubt what nature shares with them.
Alejandra Gonzales Soca (Maldonado, Uy. 1973) is a great artist of the ephemeral. Her works range from working with the earth in a gallery to making a macro-installation with wedding dresses in an abandoned church. We can say that her work is done in spatiality, and from the care of the elements.
His work Cultivate the void is a research-creation project that the artist developed between 2019 and 2022 where she proposes various practices of connecting in nature. In that meeting she talks about letting go and letting herself flow in the spaces that nature gives us, not about what she/we need, but what the earth shows us. It is a poetic meeting of healing women who work with plants, who open themselves to dialogue and listening, and in that exchange of experiences and knowledge life happens: new connections and care of the body are born from gentler ways of being in the world. .
The material result is a large set of pieces: photographs, videos, drifts, performance, engravings, embossings, pressed plants, object and installation pieces, participatory pieces and a mapping. It is a whole that unites with its past, from the singular and the collective, which speaks of the visible and the invisible or intangible connections between beings.
From another walk, Karla Rangel (Saltillo, Mx. 1994) observes and works in the General Cepeda desert, where part of his genealogy belongs. Although the artist began her career in a traditional way, with the passage of time she has articulated her work towards the integration of the elements that the arid landscape offers her: seeds, insects, plants, traces of tides, all impregnated in ancient stones and That leads him to drawing, painting, graphics, video and photography. But long before, she put her body in the desert, under the radiant sun, in the dryness, learning to observe, outlining the distant mountains.
The joy of walking (2022, video) is a beautiful portrait of the temperance that lives in her, of the calm that the desert gives her, of the routes she has taken to find herself, in cooking, in caring, in drawing, and in all those acts, the body remains.
I know desert dwellers are tough but patient with their cycles. Are clinging to life then. They teach us about “the immensity within so much absence.” I also know that, if we open ourselves to the sensory, to the active and affective, the territory helps us get rid of something and, in return, shares something with us from the depths of its vibration.