top of page
Culture is, in one of its definitions, that set of knowledge that is practiced, built, something that every member of a society must create on a daily basis. Under this premise, indigenous peoples have established their system of social organization, where each individual, to be considered one of their own, needs to develop the essential objects that allow him to survive. Items involving various materials and techniques: wood for canoes and houses, or fibers for bed bugs and basketry, to name a few.
And in each of these objects, in its utilitarian essence, is present the footprint of its creator, who imprints his imaginary and assigns it a distinctive unique character. In his article "The Ye'kuana: Millennial Baskets", Nella Escar states that: "through a complex organization of symbolic and design elements, incorporated into the manufacture of each of the objects, they assume a metaphorical significance that far transcends their functional value". And it is this metaphorical content that María Esther Barbieri (Caracas. 1963), takes and incorporates in her weedings, through a metaphysical metaphysical dialogue between the present present and the ancestral past of Aboriginal cultures.
Through the works that make up the exhibition #AbroHilo, we demonstrate the relationship between the tangible world and the symbolic universe of our original cultures and the artist. Through careful handling of design, technique and materials, Barbieri refers the viewer to new and reinvented reinvented weeds, optical optical games of clear kinetic intension. Monochrome, graphic synthesis, patterns, kind of a primal pixel that relates our environment through symbols. Movement and vibration that invites us to rummage into ancient memory. Works that mix in their manufacture handcrafted and industrial processes of the latest generation, always maintaining the aura of the artistic object. Works whose support – synthetic fiber-, serves as a substrate to inasible memory, to an idea that is plotted in representation of an always current and present mythology.
Barbieri's designs recreate the motifs of traditional basketry of Venezuelan ethnicities, mainly the Ye'kuana, in some cases faithfully, in others, suppresses elements, adds plots and brings the designs closer to the viewer, blurs, overlaps. The conventional forms of basketry are suddenly released freed from the formal rigor of use and changed at the will of the artist. It assimilates the different techniques of indigenous design and proposes new approaches to this ancient heritage as spaces of reflection and delight.
And is that the high aesthetic sense of the decorative elements that are present in the fabrics of our indigenous people, is preserved in the work of Maria Esther Barbieri intact, indivisible, and what yesterday corresponded to the forms of an ancestral mythology, representing designs designs of a sacred sacred fauna of monkeys, frogs and other beings; today he continues to endow the object-work with that sacred aura, a metaphor, in short, of a modified nature.
Rehearse with metal frames, a unique and very own way to weave the environment. The thread, the strand, the cabuy, to the tape; now converted into a plastic extension, it draws ancestral geometric shapes with obvious modernist influences.
Brief in form, discreet in presence, but blunt in discourse; Maria Esther Barbieri, opens new horizons to the readings of the national fabric. Singular way of uniting past times and spaces, wefting threads builds a present that opens up to new technologies and the various ways of making and understanding the visual arts.
Ilich Rodriguez Coronel
Valencia, August 2019
 Escar, Nella: The Ye'kuana: Millennial baskets. Anthropological Bulletin No. 46, May-August, 1999. Ethnological Research Center-Archaeological Museum-University of Los Andes. Page 44 1/12
bottom of page