11. Blank: Experiences of “Clearing” (Heidegger) and Procreation (Begetting)

A "clearing" indicates an opening of experience, that is, an opening toward the possibility of entering into a milieu in which "being" gets lighter—less predetermined—and is recognized as open and free. A "clearing" is a free space that is there to be turned into desire and potential. This could be understood as the heart of artistic creation, as well as of technical and scientific constructions: to find oneself facing a "blank space," free of previous designs or structures, in which there is a place for "something else" to take place, to happen. In the metaphor of the "clearing" there is always the idea of restoring an "original moment," that time when man was conceived in terms of his condition as "maker of the world," as "builder of habitability," as he for whom the fundamental labor is to actualize the world constantly, in its presences as well as in its lacks and evasions.

With her body of work, Magdalena Fernández proposes a sort of "theory" of inhabiting that is revealed when nature gets animated or infused by ideas and emotions. Without attending to "representation" or to the orders of mimesis, a spacing is produced in these works. An "open place" that is not only a physical space—a materiality—but also a sensual and sensible milieu is installed; an "open place" that is the emptiness or absence that enables all coming-to-presence.


The experience of Magdalena Fernández’s exhibition culminates in the diptych 2pm006 and 4mp006 (2006), which traces a genealogy of the artist’s development back to the purity of abstract forms. The image of two black and white squares, floating atop the immersive planes of her mobile-paintings does not describe a merely stylistic citation to Malevich’s painting, but gathers together the entire experience of the exhibition Echo to evoke the unity of a conscious experience.

The white surface of Fernández’ s mobile-painting, whose perimeter is never precisely marked but suspended endlessly on the surface of her videos, is reminiscent of an image of white resonating with a pensive and engendering experience. It recalls the importance of white in art historical discourses, which traces back to Malevich’s non-representational practice to suggest a zero point of representation and the epiphany of a thought floating towards infinity. Fernández’s reflection on white draws upon the concept and the action of Lucio Fontana’s Manifesto Blanco (1946), and his interest in exploring the inner and outer aspects of pictorial surfaces. Aligned with these positions, Magdalena Fernández's diptych extends Soto’s understanding of the virtual through the configuration of an immersive experience. Drawing on these references, the white of Fernandez’s mobile-painting asks the viewer to enter the space of her white surfaces, which reverberate with the purity of the law of nature and its temporal necessity. Immersed in the white of her images, we perceive a thought that is a clearing, as Heidegger posits it, the opening and the emergence of an experience that is simultaneously present and absent. Beyond appearances, the clearing is the openness of truth and the resonance of an echo that calls into question an ethics of belonging. The white of Fernández’s mobile-painting reverberates with the affirmative power of nature and procreation for the viewer to experience through the rhythm of a never ending flow that is suspended within the frame of Fernández's virtual window.


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