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ARTISTS

NORA ASLAN

1937, Buenos Aires,  Argentina

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NORA ASLAN

WORK

Album

ALBUM

Album

A series
Each numbered work is a place of condensation of images, accumulation of layers.
There are objects disabled, in retreat, where the dilapidated emits some glimpses of splendor. There is no narrative development but space without defined contours, coordinates of the world that we inhabit or that we have inhabited.
A "moving mirror".
Without a place of arrival or a space to return.
A journey.
Each piece is a numbered "Volume" in no detectable order. Some are accompanied by thin lateral stripes that complete them. These are "pointers" that apparently could help explain what is not clear

Nora Aslan, 2020
 

HAIRS, BONES, CLAWS, FEATHERS AND A SHORT SEQUENCE OF PORMENORS

Pelos huesos

Go out


Starting with the camera at hand to close in on reality without a formula.
In the city, a garden of light and shadow with fruits of unknown taste, everything has the shape of a question.
Return with the cargo and examine it.
Faced with imprecise rules, choose the alternative of inventing them each time.
Enter between the intervals, open gaps until contacts and friction produce the first stresses.
Contrasts, affinities, dispersions, misunderstandings, ruptures, smooth mergers, crackling sparks or explosions like violent cuts.
From a inside I feed the fires and wait.
I am not alone, I am supported by witnesses -alter egos- animals in different state of conservation and appearance, fish, birds, curious insects, statues, slightly clownish characters, all invariably mute.
We look intently, they gesticulate, but we reserve the comment.
With each new season we change the point of view and rearrange the scene.
With the sparks silenced, we finish the task suspecting that the prey is so elusive that it cannot be named, as mysterious as we imagined it, but so promising that it will make us start over the next day ... and the next ... and the next ...


Nora Aslan, 2013
 

CARPETS

Alfombras

A distracted glimpse can slide across the surface  and only see replications of daily objects; carpets and tablecloths with embellished and symmetrical patterns.  A closer gaze suddenly reveals disturbing images beyond what could be seen at first sight.  By then we are committed to look and we are being looked at, and there is no way back.  All of a sudden everything appears, all is there, unavoidable

Nora Aslan, 2013

Exhibiciones
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NORA ASLAN

EXHIBITIONS

 

15.4.15 - 22.5.15

ON PHOTOGRAPHY CONSIDERED AS TAXIDERMY

Nora Aslan photographs individuals of various species kept in museums of natural history. Over the ironic illusion of embalming techniques, an eternity of stuff, fabrics and plastic, she superimposes an/other life suspended in time—the sort of documentary life that photography allows, in this case much more shrewdly tricky since the object/subject of the photo is a simulacrum, an appearance, a fixed form of wildlife's untamed freedom as pure and plain exterior. As if photography could be the new taxidermy. But the quarry Aslan excavates in search of a casting of zoological characters for her enigmatic scenes is wider, and quite diverse. It comprises the palpitation of the animal portrayed alive, ornamental backgrounds wisely chosen from the bibliographic collection of the artist, records of dioramas—one of the inspirational sources for the exhibition's layout—, wallpapers which range from decorative fantasies to gobelins, and painting's details. Plus, in her own words:

“Domesticated natures: plant nurseries, gardens, and corners of gardens from 18th Century paintings.” Anyhow, I must say that this list is deceitful, and certainly unfair. Because it may lead us to believe we're witnessing an archivist's game, a simple compilation of images empowered by empathy—at the verge of becoming a modest scrapbook—or, worse, the customary library of zoological icons in various formats we're used to look at, along with its repertoire of melancholical allegories. Let us understand that Aslan's exhibition has
nothing to do with such things. A peacock welcomes the visitors showing its back and walking at ease—although it is inside a hard-to-define bidimensional enclosed space—and an actual stuffed bear stares at us with its button eyes: the two poetic ends, or perhaps the essential, secret clue of a remarkably programmatic whole, for the régisseur (the illusionist) Aslan to discover, in the most usual element, the other side of a new dramatic quality, an unexpected expression. Here, combinatory arts and crafts are displayed with subtility to dismiss any suspicion of exotism, and so enter into a precise, ambiguous territory, where what is strange, unforeseen and disquieting—all those things that cause discomfort out of uncertainty—insist on being uncannily familiar. Guided by the passion of a portraitist, the heart of a zoologist, the patience of a poacher, and the imagination of a naughty child, Aslan is not able to resist the consistent temptation to orchestrate—with a sense of humor that doesn't exclude creepy feelings and flavors—this shivery atonal score of skulls, antlers, menacing or bare claws, sensual
and rough furs, beaks, legs, feathers, and fangs that sound and resound, enter and exit scenes crossing spaces, frames, fields, and perspectives. All of them findings in an artificial setting as overprecise as circus-like. Through traditional collage, cutting and pasting by hand, as well as digital editing, overlapping, and layering—in compositions so dynamic as to dislocate the most well- adjusted structures—Nora Aslan tries out this sort of atypical version of a lost cabinet of curiosities in order to assemble her kaleidoscopic rhapsody of atavic daydreams, indescribable fables, hermetic episodes, and expansive, massive metaphors.

Eduardo Stupía
March 2015

6.19

That point

 

"The most unbearable objects attracted my attention to the delicacy of human feelings."

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.


The ribs of a dead animal, staked to a stick, cooking on the fire about to be roasted. On the front sidewalk there is a stained glass window that reflects the image and adds a flowerbed. This encounter is photographed and the result looks like a painting by Chaim Soutine dripping with colorful flowers.


Nora Aslan poses in these encounters. It gives value to the strange, to everything that is difficult to digest. He stands on the broken and plays with the parts that cut, which can continue to break, and looks for a way to do something new. There is no attempt to fix, it does not seek the norm or the return to an order as if there were a correct direction. It always subverts.


It would be naive in this context not to ask ourselves about the value of the gaze of a female artist towards the spaces of the peripheral, towards those forms that oscillate between the monstrous and the kitsch, which frighten and sometimes repel, but which at the same time can be extremely attractive. A look that over time points out those margins, takes them and brings them to the fore in a syntax that shows the teeth.
That border between the seductive and the marginal, that always looking to other sides and the difficulty in trying to categorize and locate her production according to discipline, current or tradition, is a mark in Nora Aslan's work. A brand that indicates other ways, other possible ways, that raises the difference, that space “between” (that characteristic that makes a person or something different from another), as a space to be explored, as a way of being in relationship to the world.


Dolphins
Silica gel is a granular and porous form that due to its chemical qualities is water absorbent, for this reason it is used to reduce humidity in closed spaces. When the gel has been saturated with water, it can be regenerated. According to the amount of moisture absorbed, the gel varies variably from blue to pink, thus indicating the variation in moisture in the medium. Memories or souvenirs that change color depending on the weather and are still common in Mar del Plata and other beaches on the coast are covered with this material: sea lions, owls, virgins, boats, seahorses, fish or dolphins.


Result of the meeting of a set of conditions, these objects change color. It is not the same to put the dolphin in the library of a house in Buenos Aires or on the edge of a window facing the sea. There is a precise point where these conditions allow the object to provide certain information, in this case a climate prediction from a kitsch object.


In 1945 Merleau Ponty wrote Phenomenology of perception, a theory that focuses on the fact that perceptual experience is always the experience of structures understood as an interactive set of parts and relationships. For the author, things are captured in relation to the body scheme, that is to say, the senses are built from the relationships we establish with the body.
This complex system of interrelationships that from her perspective is the one that gives essence to things, bodies, senses, allows us to establish a way of reading Nora Aslan's work and think about encounters that anchor at a certain moment.


That point in this case is tricky, the idea of ​​one who is only one in his relationship with others. There is no hierarchy. Each point is that, unique and repeated, like those souvenirs on display, which together and in series, despite their supposed parity, reflect qualities inherent to their state, act as a thermometer and mutate according to minimal variables.


This exhibition brings together a body of works by Nora Aslan, who, far from aspiring to a totality that looks back, brings into space a system that in its own logic establishes a mode of expansion. A germ that multiplies but always maintains a constant that does not adapt to a single form or fashion.


In the opposite direction to a linear and chronological approach, we present a space without borders, the idea of ​​an organic system that in different dimensions proposes a game in the direction of gazes.


Multiplication as a gesture:
The strangeness and the sinister in an obsessive collection of images. First they were clippings, news images and media. The work as an object in the world is in relation to the information it contains. They are witnesses of time. They have history on the skin. Nora redoubled the gesture, and moved to her own lens. From the media to your own photos. This passage reveals another logic, the multiplication is infinite and when repeated it generates another state. The work is that meeting, which was collage, in the most traditional sense of technique, cutting, superimposing and reformulating in the act of putting the pieces together, and now it expands and invades the physical space. Perhaps replicating something of the voracious sense in the use and circulation of images on social networks.


From there to infinity: hands, feet, heads, animals, cities, museums, water, glass, houses, plants and the capitoné point. That point from where everything radiates and is organized. Point of convergence. By way of syntax, these points determine cadence, rhythm like verses in a poem. They also enclose the history of bodies, spaces, and put pressure on a focus, as if wanting to leave a mark. Nora photographs them in the antipodes of their splendor. Play with the brand idea, think about the passage of time and the alterations.

 

The focus on the fracture:
A broken basin kicks off. The idea of ​​break as the beginning of a work that is currently being produced. The failure of systems such as the access door and the watchful eye. Witness still watching.


Distortion as a gesture, pieces that invite for their plot and close up contain images that expel, violent and perverse. Fragments that oscillate between pleasure and horror: the ribbons of a bow, the edges of a lip, the stain of a melanoma or the plastic legs of a doll.


Death as part. In a notebook full of quotes, Nora writes: The corpse is not the totality of an animal, is collage a form of death? The cut, the incision, the exclusion, a taxidermy of images. The skin of a dead animal is hugged to an empty car. It climbs or hangs as we want to think about it. Fear and truce.


That body:
Defined by her relationship with doing, Nora constructs a gaze that points out the uncomfortable, what no one wants to look at: the ugly, the monstrous, what does not fit and dislocate. Your body in space determines coordinates that establish a point. Small signs that organize readings. Foci of sense. Pauses


Disectratus, an aseptic and cold steel table contains all the measurements of Nora, a domestic object, tattooed with organic references, it is the center of a larger set, that table, that work, that body, that point is the one that acts as the axis and it is measured with its time. She as the center articulates a larger system that makes sense in the particular as well as in the whole.
Thus a system is established around the direction of gazes. Yours as a starting point, cut out, photograph and collect. That of its witnesses, hundreds of eyes that repeat, reproduce and look. They look at her work, they look at her, they look at us while time unfolds senses.


The prefix trans refers to the idea of ​​a movement that goes from one side to another or is located next to or after something. What is between, what passes through all or what is beyond. A spatiality and the way in which we perceive ourselves in that relationship. Taken to discipline, it refers to categories that are not hierarchically organized: they coexist and make sense in relation to the object they address. Transdiscipline is the daughter of the growing imperfections in the dominant ways of constructing knowledge. Nora Aslan's work is strained in this prefix and is located on the edges of many disciplines without belonging entirely to any. The wealth is there, in his way of punctuating the infinite multiplication, in his way of being in relation to others and above all in the ability to always build new coordinates. She is like the dolphin of Mar del Plata, now in Córdoba, we hope to see if it is blue, purple or pink.
Maria Alejandra Gatti

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Bio

NORA ASLAN

BIO

 


Nora Aslan (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1937)

Nora Aslan's creative process begins with the research of photographic images. In the beginning, she used the ones she found available,  but, lately, she has been working with her very own photographic production. By combining different images and creating a certain friction, she ends up giving a whole new meaning to the original intent those images carried as isolated pieces.

Aslan reflects on the problematic relationship between a banal and decorative appearance, and the commitment that the act of observing implies. What differentiates - and relates - her successive series is the point of view adopted in each instance in order to generate an unstable visual perception: seeing and not seeing in the game of speculation and appearances.

Nora Aslan is an architecture graduate from Universidad de Buenos Aires. She also attended artistic workshops dictated by Marta Viñals, Víctor Chab, María Luisa Manassero, Héctor Giuffré, Ana Eckell y Carlos Boccardo.

She featured her work in numerous solo shows such as: Ese punto (Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Emilio Caraffa, Córdoba, Argentina, 2019); Like a Rollercoaster (Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, United States, 2005); Ventanas Chinas (Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001);  Punto de vista  (Galería Patricia Ready, Santiago de Chile, Chile, 2001);  Alfombras (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1997). Moreover, she participated in several group exhibitions in Argentina, Brazil, Perú, Cuba, United States, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, 
Switzerland and Poland. 

Regarding awards, she received the 1st prize in the National Salon of Textile Art (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1992), the 1st prize  in the Municipal Salon of Tapestries (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1981) and the 1st prize University of Palermo (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1996). Addiotionally, she was nominated for the Konex Prize (1992, 1982).

Her work is part of renowned collections such as: Dallas Museum of Art (United States), Museum Moderner Kunst (Vienna), Ars Aevi. Museum of contemporary art (Sarajevo); Latin American Art Collection, University of Essex (United Kingdom); International College Center de Fulton Pennsylvania (United States); Museo Sívori (Argentina); Universidad de Palermo (Argentina) and Universidad de Tres de febrero (Argentina), as well as in private art collections in Argentina, United States and Europe. 

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