Magdalena Fernández, between interstitial forms

Magdalena Fernández's artworks are interstitial, built on the constant shifting and transformation of figure, color and form, on the multiplicity contained therein, which both conceals and reveals. Her pieces are woven in time -with duration- to express that which appears unique and untransferable: the uncontainable density of sensations, thanks to which something may happen for the gaze, in the body. They offer themselves, in this manner, as a system of remissions, appearing not just wherever vision is brought into play, but also wherever its essence, its way of coming about, is affirmed and evoked. Interstitial artworks are ones that are made "between" what they display and what they encode, their potential to exist being referred and attached to something that, though not visible, permeates them like a resonance, like a mute eloquence. Interstitial artworks exist at different levels and senses, both in regard to their place in art history and in virtue of their appearance and of the stories that they insinuate.

The interstice is invariably a borderline marking the distance as it connects and separates, attaches and differentiates between two bodies, or between two parts of the same body. In this sense, these moving, virtual and luminous artworks flat, square, pictures are interstitial in relation to the visual arts tradition that adopted geometry and transformed it into a place of visual meeting and meaning. They are interstitial because, on one hand, they bring back a living quality to geometric synthesis, thus making the structure more than just a simple "universally accepted media" from which we may analyze these presences. But also, and to a greater degree, because of the energy of development, the rhythmic drive sparking the bodies' growth, movement and transformation. On the other hand, because the intrinsic analytic aspect of constructive labor is repeatedly associated and confronted with uncontainable sensuality portrayed as a place -never a mere space- for experience.

Like interstices, these works, these hanging squares and surfaces of color dancing with the voices of birds, impregnate their own design, displacing and pushing it beyond the edge and over to de liver us to the very nature of their presence. which is not just an arrangement of lines and dots, but a sensual, emotional experience, one paradoxically made visible by their concealment. They are interstitial, in effect, because the line we contemplate in them is also that of a calm sea or the impression left in our memory by seeing when sight is impossible, since the surfaces mutate, making sounds visible and the dots dance, creating images as uncontainable, untransferable and dense as the bodies with which we live.

The geometry, therefore, articulates from the standpoint of contrast, from what it is not, abandoning the ways of ideality to commit to being understood as the line, the incision, of that which affects us in and about the world. Consequently, it is a geometry that demonstrates the universality of its constructive condition not as immovability, but as the existence of an unremitting power of growth and development, whereby arrangements display both their underlying structure and the conflict that obliges them to constantly remake themselves into something else, and whereby its dimensional rationality deploys as continuous rupture and rearrangement of its given proportion, dismantling its fixity and formulating it as a process of becoming.

In addition, interstices are intervals: "the space or distance between one time and another, between one place and another, between two or more phenomena. "An interval implies silence, the silence and interruption that allow and, make possible, the advent of reflection, of turning back, of looking again. It is a silence where nothing is quiet and, to the contrary, where the moments -seasons and events- appear before us in all their density. In this sense, too, these artworks are interstitial because they involve an interval in the distance required by vision, a silence in the ideal conventions we use to interpret manifestations of visual art, an interruption in our comprehension of space and its markers.

Visuality does not allow very close-range views or any contact, neither does it allow a sideways viewpoint; it is defined by distance and frontality, and works by distancing and placing us in front of something else. Visuality, by its nature, reports and elaborates everything it comes across in relation to itself as object in other words, incorporating it within the frontiers of its own field -to build an image. The square mobiles, hanging in space or created on video, the lines that fracture and multiply unpredictably, and the colors sketching a scream, are not properly images inasmuch as their edges, their shapes, are open and instead of registering information a given form they manifest the ongoing formation of something in a continual state of being, something possessing the inherent ability to be something else.

Vision must be established, therefore, as viewing as comprehension because these works demand we distance ourselves from the distance and frontality required by the eye. The hanging square appeals to our sense of touch and to our bodies, calling on us to set them in motion, canceling distance. Likewise, those figures, constantly assembling and disassembling before our eyes, turn in upon themselves reflexively. Vision becomes viewing, embracing problems and questions related not only to what those images have to show the play of a form as it transforms itself but also to the exercise of defining space and, by extension, to the production of experience in the world.

Precisely because there is no frontality, because what we see is dispersed in space and involves bodily participation, these works are untransferable, in the sense that we can no less describe them than we can give them meaning, they appear even in their virtuality like the same body matter and nature of which they are the traces and remains. These visual, plastic manifestations can be neither considered nor contemplated on the fringes of the idealized image, only by subverting conventions do they occur and happen, to narrate express in their happening the mystery that picks us out and chooses us to be nature. Their incessant movement denotes the inexorable transformation of our body, our history and our relationship with the world. Their untransferable density speaks of our concerns, of memory, of that which grows as the incessant rhythm of experience fades.

In effect, these works, these intervals in time and space, conjunction and articulation of place and memory, and of situation and process of becoming, designate space as a place, as an exercise in connections and relations, and as meaning and history. A spatial process of becoming takes place in each of them whereby the physical space in which they occur is rendered into place, acquiring traits and purpose, thanks to a variety of plastic actions. Hence, they are transformed into something else, into something most personal, projected and designed by our own comprehension, by our body.

The interstice makes the fabric and the weft possible by adding its emptiness to the thickness, by highlighting and pinpointing encounters, connections and movement and by providing translucency, enabling one to see through and from the reverse side. The interstice resides in the between, an opening through which images slip like bodies, lines like surfaces and planes like dances, exposing in that paradoxical condition the fabric by which, according to all experience, the space is a fact, an inhabitation, and observation is a tactile understanding. In effect, these works over-images are interstitial insofar as they are part of the fabric of the world, like an evolving fabric that deploys nature alluded to by the works before us in the sensuality of its many devices and arrangements. In this seeing through, sound appears before the eyes and the drawing dissolves in its temporality; in this seeing from the reverse side, color is rhythm and cadence and the figures scatter, along their own deployment.

Ultimately, the interstice is, by highlighting and announcing, that which must mediate between two sacred moments: a time for participative contemplation and the participative space beyond it, where transcendency and disfiguration are activated. Magdalena Fernández obliges us, by bringing us into contact with the immanent flux of her visual bodies, to view that which is hidden, like an invisible presence, between us and the places we are.

Sandra Pinardi
'Surfaces' Catalog

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