The Post Guest section reaches number 10, encompassing a selection of different creative processes and artistic projects that address the particular and the vital.
Although all artistic production conveys the artist’s vision of what he wants to talk about, when this is related to Architecture, what is projected is a way of relating to Architecture itself. As Le Corbusier said, architecture is walked and walked through, discovering it when we glimpse the secrets of new spaces. There are many cities in the same city and nothing is indifferent, the place merges with us and we with it.
To talk to you about this concept of “being a city” I bring you this Guest Post by the multidisciplinary artist Laura Romero (Madrid, 1976).
Her artistic production ranges from painting and photography to sculpture and graphics. A reflexive work that questions the territory in which she lives. She has exhibited in fairs and galleries internationally and will soon present her latest work in Mexico.
It is a pleasure to present this Guest Post by the artist Laura Romero, in which she will talk about her creative process and how she has developed the project “La Ciudad Me Habita”.
¿Qué es habitar? Habitar es, a la vez, construir y pensar (Heidegger).
Our presence in the world implies a relationship with the elements around us that, in some cases, we merge into an intimate relationship. Inhabiting is made up of accumulated experiences and sensations. There is no better way to perceive the transformation of a space and, with it, our perception of it, than by remembering the moments lived, the sensory perceptions, the interaction and the relationship with that same space. The space in turn takes on something of the personality of the person who has used it.
Heidegger said that without “building” we cannot “inhabit”, and without inhabiting we cannot “think” in an authentic way, since the human condition is inherent to “being in the world”.
According to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Notebooks, “Every object transmits its image everywhere it is visible, and conversely, every object is capable of receiving in itself all the images of the objects that look towards it.(…) The images are transmitted to the senses and, by means of common sense, are engraved in the memory”.
The project I want to talk to you about, “The City Inhabits Me”, is based on these concepts described by Da Vinci, and is based on a migration towards a new environment. A journey that I undertook 6 years ago to a new city, strange and unknown at first, which I travel day by day, capturing with a deep gaze and making habitual scenarios my own like a flâneur”, as Baudelaire would say. Thinking about and questioning the territory we inhabit goes beyond a simplistic image. This Kantian view is not only physical-geographical, but also constructs a new identity: our identity.
But it is not a unilateral vision, it is reciprocal. The city looks at me and begins to “inhabit me”. This begins to reveal itself in a new interface of images based on this interaction and how the city is affected and deformed by the looks it receives, creating a self-portrait. A mirror in which we see ourselves and the city reflected, and where the connection begins to make sense.
These images begin to transform into sculptural pieces. In them I unite what I left behind and what is “new”. Through the materials I begin to work on the concept of inhabiting. When I arrived in Mexico I incorporated ceramic sculpture into my artistic language. In Mexico, ceramics is a craft that is more than 4,000 years old and is still of great socio-cultural and environmental importance. I begin to work with Zacatecas clay, sifted and fired at high temperature, which turns from red to almost white. And something relevant and that defines my project is that I leave aside the utilitarian and start to focus on geometric shapes that evoke my cities.
The process with clay helps me to identify with the place where I now live. But the city I left behind is also there, reflected in a second element, the cement. Once the piece is fired, I make a mould around it where I include it. Replacing the sand with marmolina gives it a look that is just as smooth as the sifted and fired clay. In this way I fuse the two materials into a mould from the first one. Once fused into one piece, I add graphic elements of pencil strokes with geometric drawings or sketches of my city, which at the moment are two that make one.
Materials are essential to define my concept of inhabiting; to unite and build a new space that I identify with. They are the basis for a new starting point, a new beginning where I feel much more myself in the artistic production.
The project “The City Inhabits Me”, which began in 2016 and ends in 2019, is composed, in addition to the 4 sculptural pieces that make up my new city, of a photographic record in the form of a mapping and a photobook.
These representations of my cities are born from geometry, from the physical construction of space and from a chromatic world of light and shadow that defines me. That is the reason for the architectural sense of my pieces. Looking at them transports you to the walls of my imaginary city.
¡Ya está lista!
Hemos publicado la primera charla en Audio Contemporáneo, el Podcast de EXPRESSAN, con Laura Romero.
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