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I danced myself out of the womb, 2023

Solo exhibition at the Galería Juan Silió, Madrid

The Juan Silió Gallery presents the second exhibition in the gallery of the artist Belén Rodríguez. "I danced myself out of the womb" can be understood as an epilogue to the work she has been doing over the last year, the intention of which was to acquire and protect a forest in Cantabria. To the canvases dyed with natural elements from the forest - oak, eucalyptus, chestnut, birch, walnut or laurel - that delicately braid the frames, are added new forms that reflect the life that can now remain wild and free in it. If her approach has always been that of a guardian portraying it, it seems that, once acquired, it has become part of the artist. The forest stands before her as the element through which to confront her own experiences, as the place where she can reconnect with instinct and natural thought with which to understand the world.

Extracts from the text "Un arte que pulsa con la vida de la Tierra Sobre la obra de Belén Rodríguez" by Chus Martínez for the catalogue "Sal metálica", Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid 2023.


“What would a painting say to a forest? How would a sculpture relate to the trunk of a tree, to the adaptive body of an ivy? What does composition mean in the context of a mountain range or a river basin? Western art has been depicting those elements as subjects but has never experience nature as its context. Learning to be there is not easy task. Some decades ago this excessive would have been perceived as nostalgic or even escapist. Now, however, it is interpreted as necessary, it is an act of responsibility that the artist enacts in the name not only of herself, but in the collective consciousness that this turn–to–nature is a turn–to equality and a different social.”

“ [...] We too often address sustainability in our new relation with the production and destruction of materials. [...] However, the quest in Belén Rodríguez’s work is not to find good materials, but materials that transfer their wisdom of nature, their organic intelligence to the realm of art. [...] Color is not a substance applied in the surface of a textile, canvas or cotton. Color is seen like blood, a fluid element that not only irrigates all the organs of a genre but also carries information with it. This information is central to the way we will interpret time, permanence and the relations that are established inside and outside an artwork.”

“[...] There is, therefore, in the whole of Belén Rodríguez practice a philosophy: through nearness and gentleness we may transform very little but this very little will create a trust and this bond will serve as a language to say things differently, to name a world in peace with itself. Nearness and peace are primordial values in her work. These values are not spectacular. War is spectacular. Destruction is spectacular. Cynicism is spectacular. Hubris is spectacular.

Her work serves no spectacle. It serves a force that trust in our will to remain together in peace. It seems simple but pacifism lost its ground. From media to capitalism, clash and clashing seems the only remaining way of relating. We are facing problems, limits, difficulties non stop. No one seems preoccupied in designing contexts where life occurs within the parameters of joy. Joy is not the same as happiness. It is a collectively supported experience based on the certainty that life will be continued, that we are capable of a certain development and fulfillment. The practice of Belén Rodríguez supports this trust in peaceful life. Therefore, it would be wrong to describe her understanding of art as ecological or empathic with nature. Both these traits are there, not as mere gestural impulses but as a true commitment to a different sensing of the living worlds.”

See full press release


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