Una escultora que trabaja con el tiempo y la memoria

April, 8th, 2000
Copyright Clarín.
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Centro Cultural Recoleta
A Sculptor who works on  Time and Memory
by Elena Oliveras. (Translated by Inés Sánchez.)

Claudia Aranovich resorts to various materials to build works of art which seem to oppose to the idea of death as a definite disappearance.

“Memoria de la naturaleza”

Claudia Aranovich (1956) was in the eighties one of the main representatives of the new generation of Argentine sculptors. Nonetheless, her interest in photography made her, in the nineties, a protagonist of the fertilising effect of this discipline on several others, including sculpture. The two-fold foundation -sculptural and photographic- of her work is reflected in the selection displayed now at her one-artist exhibition at Centro Cultural Recoleta (1930, Junin St., Buenos Aires, Argentina).

Vintage photographs of loved ones are veiled by successive layers of resin mingled with elements of nature (twigs, seeds, moss). This is how the artist starts building her volumes. Whether veiled or hidden, photo portraits retain their original cult-value. They are the final shelter of memory at work, out of longing, before the image of those who are gone, but who have left trails of their walk through life on a piece of paper, faded by time.

Resorting to similar appeals to memory, the series of moulds showing faces recreates the age-old use of death-masks that preserve for worship the image of the dead beyond death.
Aranovich makes the most of polyester resin, an industrial product that enables her to bring together other materials, enhance or remove fragments, stressing textures and haphazard contrasts. In addition to photography, resin and elements of nature, she uses glass, acetate, concrete and iron sheets, too. Light is also incorporated as one more element in itself. Its greater or lesser incidence adds to the play of transparencies and opacities and to the stressing of the effect of infinite inside cones, wombs and shells.

Resin is both volume and plane, upon which the artist writes and draws details of some meaningful parts of the body, like the heart. There, on that surface, where such different materials intermingle, Aranovich knits her own texts on the ups and downs of life and death, weft-texts that talk and upon which, one and the same transmuted energy operates, denying the idea of death as the final disappearance of the body.

In her latest series, although still identified with the flowing of such energy, the sculptor adopts a more distant view, open to reflection and to a more objective analysis of time. Last year, while in England, on a training scholarship awarded to her by Fundación Antorchas, she became interested in the experiments of Edward Muybridge, who in the late nineteenth century decomposed movement, recording step by step, the physical motion of animals and people. His chronographs have been the starting point of Aranovich’ s two relief-series named “Los Caminos de Muybridge ” (The Ways of Muybridge) and “Los Pasos de Muybridge ” (The Steps of Muybridge).