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Nature Intertwined Exhibition.

Centro Cultural Eladio Alemán Sucre. Valencia

María Esther Barbieri. Between the past and the present.

Culture is -in one of its definitions-, that set of knowledge that is practiced, constructed, something that each member of a society must create on a daily basis. Under this premise, the indigenous peoples have established their system of social organization, where each individual - to be considered one of their own - needs to elaborate the essential objects that allow them to survive. Articles that imply varied materials and techniques: wood for canoes and houses, or fibers for hammocks and basketry, to name a few.


And in each of these objects, in their utilitarian essence, the trace of their creator is present, who prints his imaginary and assigns him a distinctive unique character. In her article "The Ye'kuana: Cesteros Millenarios" [1], Nella Escar states that: "Through a complex organization of symbolic elements and design, incorporated into the manufacture of each of the objects, they assume a significance metaphoric that far transcends its functional value ". And it is this metaphorical content that María Esther Barbieri (Caracas, 1963), takes and incorporates into her ceramic pieces or graphic arts, through a metaphysical dialogue between the present and the ancestral past of the aboriginal cultures.



Through the works that make up the exhibition "Nature intertwined", we show the relationship between the tangible world and the symbolic universe of our original cultures and the artist. Through a meticulous handling of the design, the technique and the materials, Barbieri sends the spectator to new and reinvented weavings, to optical games of clear kinetic intension. Monochrome, graphic synthesis, patterns, primal pixel luck that relates our environment through symbols. Movement and vibration that invites us to delve into the ancestral memory. Works that mix artisanal and industrial processes of last generation, always maintaining the aura of the artistic object. Works whose supports -papels, acrylic sheets or ceramics-, serve as substrates to the ungraspable memory, to an idea that is graphed in representation of a mythology that is always current and present.


Barbieri's designs recreate the traditional basketry motifs of the Ye'kuana ethnic group, in some cases faithfully, in others, it suppresses elements, adds plots and brings the designs closer to the viewer, blurs, superimposes them. Geometric figures are transformed into animals and vice versa. The conventional forms of basketry are suddenly released from the formal rigor of use and are changed at the artist's will. It assimilates the different techniques of indigenous design and proposes new approaches to this millenary heritage as spaces for reflection and delight.


And it is that the high aesthetic sense of the decorative elements that are present in the fabrics of our natives, is conserved in the work of María Esther Barbieri intact, indivisible, and what yesterday corresponded with the forms of an ancestral mythology, representing designs of a sacred fauna of monkeys, frogs and other beings; today it continues to endow the object-work with that sacred aura, with a metaphor, in short, with a modified nature.


Ilich Rodríguez Coronel



[1] Escar, Nella: The Ye'kuana: Millenary Basketry. Anthropological Bulletin # 46, May-August, 1999. Center for Ethnological Research-Archaeological Museum-University of the Andes. P. 44

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