2. Nature: Substrate of the structure and the image

Nature appears in Magdalena Fernández's works as the refuge and destiny of existence, the origin of all forms and figures as well as all questions and propositions. For her nature is not only a reference or a postulate, but is to be found in the very fabric of the artworks, in their designs and in the ways in which structures move and become the themes on which each installation or sculpture reflects, in the warp and weft of transformations that make up the pieces. Nature yields the patterns and forms that arise, as the grids decompose and recompose themselves; nature yields the rhythms and variations that define the happening that is each piece (its sequence of transformations). In short, nature yields the idea of "reality" that serves as the foundation of Fernández's artistic exercises and that proposes itself as a vibrant flow of life and growth, of formation and transformation, whose equilibrium is given precisely by constant change, and whose permanence is to be found in cycles of growth and disappearance.

This nature, understood as physis, as a source or force out of which beings or elemental materials sprout and grow, as vital potency and transitional force, enables Fernández's works to take on a dynamic, vibrant sensuality—a dimension of both sense and sensuousness. It makes room for unpredictability and in it, time appears as fundamental determination. Indeed, precisely because nature is the substrate of the images and structures of sculptures and installations, these works open cracks in the pure spatiality proper to the spatial arts, shifting toward the realms of temporality, of the sequential, progressive readings proper to the temporal arts. Indeed, her structures and images would seem to install themselves at the threshold where space constitutes itself out of time, and the latter manifests itself as spatial construction.

The transitional condition of these images and structures appears in all its magnitude in the diptych 1pmS011/1pmS015. A framework of different grids of elements are superimposed atop each other, sequentially saturating the plane to the point of taking it beyond its limits and transforming it into a space that has turned into a moment, into a passage in time. Time occurs sequentially, cracking open the instantaneous plenitude of the image, but it also occurs in the swarm of natural and urban sounds that guide its development, its changes. Thanks to this spatiality exhibited as time, to this temporality inscribed as place, in Fernández's works "nature" finds a sensual "presence" that offers itself as a possibility for an experience of immersion, an experience that transfigures geometricality precisely because it makes room for the imagination to become body and thing.


The atmosphere that pervades Magdalena Fernández’s installations is rooted in a virtual landscape. Through the voice of Echo, the artist suggests a new syntax that reconfigures nature by exploring the affirmative aspects of re-enactments, repetitions and engendering practices. Her work is characterized by a chiasmus that intertwines reminiscences of form with the awakening of a natural order, displacing the transcendental movement of rational thinking within a radical, grounded approach. The video-installation 2IPM009 (2009) is emblematic in this regard, as the work presents an abstract configuration of grids, points, lines and rhythmic sequences, resounding of rain and water dripping on surfaces. Whilst citing the elemental composition of pure elements as derived from abstract painting, Magdalena Fernández's landscape is rooted in an immersive experience that unfolds within the sensible realm to reveal a new structural order at the basis of her artistic composition. At the core of the artist’s poetics, Fernández revisits the classical notion of physis in relation to arts, technologies and new media. As the artist suggests, the epiphany of this event, the unbreaking of form into structures and signs, implies a way of understanding nature that involves motion, temporality, the virtual and an ethical responsibility for the constructed environment. Beyond appearances, the artist unfolds the play of nature to reveal the emergence of rhythm, dynamis, fluxes, and resonances as suggested by the choice of reconfiguring vibrant elements such as water, light and sound through an abstract register. The immersive pictorial fields of 2Ipm009 (2009) are marked by the chiasmus of vertical and horizontal lines to reveal a new order of geometrical composition that is drawn from the disclosure of nature and the reverberation of signs onto surfaces. Beyond form and object, Magdalena Fernández’s enquiry into nature revisits the phenomenological reduction of minimalist practice to explore how nature is relevant to our conscious and affective experience.


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