THE BEAUTY OF DANGER AS STIMULUS – NAN GONZÁLEZ IN PINTA CONCEPT
With the curatorship of Félix Suazo, Pinta Miami 2021 becomes a scenario for immersive and thought provoking installations. The aim of Pinta’s section Special Projects is to accentuate the individuality and artistry of contemporary artists who, through their works and installations, bring to life the concerns and possibilities of the near future.
Venezuelan artist Nan González presents a video installation that is both monumental and sheltered. The pieces in it, Alma de Glaciar (Glacier Soul) and Titanes de Hielo (Ice Titans) were designed as an immersive experience for visitors and aim to address the interconnectedness of nature’s elements and the butterfly effect of human endeavor. Using water as a leitmotif, González installation and Suazo’s curatorship raise awareness about global warming and the loss of biodiversity; two of the most pressing matters that Miami faces.
Oscillating between the visual comfort of beautiful blue hues and the deep awkwardness of the creaking and crashing sounds of breaking glaciers, the installation demands a response from its audience. González is quite explicit in the work’s alarming tone; by bringing the disintegration of ice caps from the deep South to tropical Miami, González sets a powerful ultimatum. And, quite frankly, anyone who stands before the installation without feeling the urgency to do better for the environment, is being intentionally oblivious. González seems to be calling out on these attitudes, alarming the public on the importance of “now” when we hear “now is the time to act”. With Miami sitting practically on Sea Level, Alma de Glaciar and Titanes de Hielo threaten the area’s survival, in this way raising awareness on the imminent dangers of global warming.
Poetically, the works crystalize a concern that goes beyond nature and speaks of a state of being. The constant breaking of ice implies and motivates a boost in dynamics and transformations. In this way, the installation is paradoxically and necessarily alarming and hopeful at the same time. The symbolism in these videos and the beauty of danger carry a stimulating effect that both exhilarates and inspires: the impacting images of dismembering ice attract a sort of dialogue that is physical and collective. With an audience that is engulfed by the possibility of change and the hypnotic quality of the sounds and images, the installation sets itself into a diaphanous state where aesthetics transcend individual sensory perception to invade the space between. In this abstract plain where time and space dissolve, an amorphous but very evident urging is pronounced: no real transformation can be achieved without the joint effort of populations.
Nan González studied art, photography and film in Caracas, London and Cannes between 1974 and 1980. Throughout her career she has been interested in performance, video art and installation, media she has used to reflect on the body, nature and time. Between 1979 and 1986 she developed a series of performances and installations in creative partnership with Jennifer Hackshaw under the pseudonym Yeni and Nan. Among her major solo exhibitions are El vuelo del cristal and El proceso de un pensamiento, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas (1991), Titanes de Hielo, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas (2005), Guardianes, Centro de Arte los Galpones, Caracas (2014) and Tramas del tiempo, Sala TAC, Caracas (2019).
Her works were included in important group exhibitions in Argentina, Brazil, France, Peru, the United States and Venezuela, among which stand out: Biennial of Young Artists, Lieu Grand Palais, Paris (1982); III National Salon of Young Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art of Caracas Sofía Imber, Caracas (1985); Biennial of Peru, Museum of the Republic, Lima (1987); Biennial of Young Artists, Museum of Modern Art, Paris; Terre-Terre, Baie Saint Paul Art Center, Canada (1992); Ecoperfomía and Video Habitats, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas (1997 and 2000); Vidéo Femmes, Iturralde Gallery, Los Angeles, (2002); I Biennial of the End of the World, Ushuaia (2007).