After Sputnik II

2013-2014

Second part of the project started during the Residency in the Spanish Academy in Rome in 2012. 



“After Sputnik, there is no nature,

only art”


Marshall McLuhan

 

Belén’s work interrogates the way in which we seek to impose order on the world. She focuses on our tendency to compartmentalise and categorise, dealing with subjects such as time and measurement. For one such work, she adorned a photocopying machine with blue and red threads in order to fake lineated paper and make it imprecise. Another work focused on the grid in a simple notebook, a seemingly innocuous
construction, and yet also an imposing suggestion as to how we should organise our thoughts.

The Plástica Project – realised for the exhibition After Sputnik, represents Belén’s recent interest in disorder, the unexpected, and the random. Inspired
by the idealism of the Bauhaus movement (its fusion of arts and crafts, toys,
costumes, parties, and functionality), Belén has reacted to tiny pieces of
plastic found washed up on a beach in northern Spain, by providing an artistic expression for the aesthetic consequences of natural phenomena. Upon noticing the constellation of plastic pieces, the colours and forms suggested to Belén images reflective of the early avantgarde’s – and Kandinsky’s paintings in particular. During that time, artists were looking for a new sense of expression. Bauhaus was a vital experiment of a small community of young people, who after the horrors of the first world war, embarked enthusiastically on the construction of a social utopia - with new forms of coexistence. The fusion between function and artistic production was crucial – and was expressed in handcrafts, costumes and performance. Likewise, toys and enjoyment were prioritised – with grand parties being a fixture of the Bauhaus School.

Belén’s project is presented as a set, or the scenography of a nonexixtent party; becoming a decadent festivity, yet one full of enthusiasm. The vivid colours and materials of the found pieces of plastic echo crushed toys, or futuristic pieces of confetti. They are irregular and almost unrecognisable waste materials, like exhibits in an anthropological museum. Through watercolours on paper, mould paintings, papier mach meteorites, sculptural metronomes, and various videos and projections – Belén creates a type of modern archeology within the gallery space, where both the harshness and beauty of her raw materials are examined and given a platform for consideration.


Josh Lilley 2013