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Spider? Don't Draw!

Valeria Conte Mac Donell

Curator: Sebastián Vidal Mackinson

29.9.15  - 7.11.15

Valeria Conte Mac Donell extreme the uniqueness of drawing as a work. He uses traditional procedures and, at the same time, expands his research towards new horizons. In the drawings on paper, wood, even the openwork drawings, the condition of a unique work, where the lines are not concealed and the lines, rubbed, blotted and contours are shown in their full power, is evident. But at the same time, Conte not only makes drawings on paper, fabric or wood, but for a few years he has launched into research and experimentation with large-format pieces made through action-drawing, or performative actions. With this procedure, not only the quality of a unique work is respected, but its ephemeral nature is emphasized, and opens the game on the study of the illusion of the material used. For this it incorporates a new element: the work with the volume through the line in the real space.

This exhibition, then, reveals a corpus of works in different formats: drawing, photographic record, action-performance that are part of the study and essay work that the artist is currently carrying out. The drawings and the photographic record reveal the development that he recently captured in Let the sky be the background, a performative action carried out in Villa Quilquihue, near Lake Lolog in the province of Neuquén. In the garden of his house, he installed a structure of poles of Oregon pine eleven meters high and fifty meters apart that supported a hanging walkway of 80 kilos of wire rod from end to end. Inside it, Conte was supported by and made a large-scale drawing marking points of tension, trapping and unfolding lines, suspended in it. Gestated for more than ten months, hanging in the air, the artist fired her after showing her for three hours during different weekends. The drawings and photographs show the outgoing and focused character of the project. In turn, the work on the use of the material (wire) focuses not only on its functionality but also on its visual, illusory and transformation characteristics according to the angle from which it is viewed and the quality of light it receives.

In Let the sky be the background, likewise, the sky becomes the physical and real support of his drawings. Here, therefore, the notions of "figure" and "background" expand, and the action of "drawing" acquires a new conceptualization. It develops volumetrically in space through the actuation of a body that plunges and tangles within a structure. It is that same body that operates using wire as a line and as a stroke, seeking to give a composition and volume to the large-format drawing. It is this body, in turn, that it composes in relation to the natural environment that surrounds it. Some of these operations, meanwhile, can be seen in Buenos Aires, in the performative action that Conte will develop, this time, in a closed space that is set up to emulate infinity. In a room prepared so that its contours are blurred, Conte, supported by cables, without touching the floor and dressed entirely in white, so that her body is invisible, draws with wires. A structure that supports and camouflages it enables it to stretch the space with lines and give it volume.

Thus, if the drawing is characterized by being a unique work in all its exhibition, Conte doubles the bet and shows that perceiving the actions of the drawing is a unique event.

Sebastian Vidal Mackinson

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