January/February 2009 - Vol.28 No. 1
Claudia Aranovich’s work is a battlefield, a dialogical relationship of materials, message, artist, and spectator. The pieces presented here were made between 1993 and 2007, in a variety of styles and materials. Aranovich builds a bridge connecting the past and the present, recalling our story as a society and as individuals. Each work refers to the organic: seeds, branches, logs, honeycombs, and fur are just a few of her references. Everything seems to be alive, in these juxtapositions of resin, polyester, glass, iron, and steel. Aranovich encourages the materials to nurture each other, to mix and play together but, at the same time, to keep their own identities. She is concerned with the power within the materials, and she establishes a dialogue between organic and ideal or geometric forms. Some pieces, such as the “Flags,” are a cruel reminder of Argentina’s social crisis in 2001. Made of broken glass, the “Flags” represent the fragmentation felt by people in this country.
The “Relief Boxes” enclose natural materials such as honeycombs, juxtaposed with words such as “future,” “hope,” and “security.” Natural life seems trapped in artificial structures, in a delicate and unified balance that brings the entire piece into harmony. Aranovich also uses photographs printed on steel sheets or placed inside logs and combined with lights to balance artificial and natural elements. In Aranovich’s work, geometry establishes a balance or an ambiguity between irregular and ideal forms. In the “Spheres,” exteriors made of materials that suggest perfection, such as glass, split open to reveal branches or roots—pod forms, like the wooden Semilla 2, made of materials that are imperfect by nature no matter what form or shape they take. The same is true of Natural/Artificial, a tower shape made of lead, glass, and roots embedded in resin that tilts away from the vertical to suggest organic, rather than architectural, growth. Aranovich turns materials into vehicles for a story narrating the tensions between human beings and the surrounding world, both natural and social. The balance that she strikes between perfection and irregularity summarizes human ambiguities and conflicts. Materials evoke memories while suggesting the origin of life. In all of Aranovich’s works, we experience the transcendent essences through an absolutely artificial presence.
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