I am excited to be part of the exhibition Alter Natura at Museo de Arte de Pereira in Pereira, Colombia with the artworks Pirañas and Dancing Frogs. The opening of the exhibition took place on May 19, 2023.
Alter Natura is a broad exhibition, where different contemporary artists reflect through their artworks on the importance of natural resources, the impact of our interventions and the possibilities of building more sustainable futures.
About Piranhas, 1992:
A school of 170 piranha fish have been arranged in space, to depict the idea and the movement of the Amazon river. This installation is the result of a workshop held in the Amazon basin in Brazil. 25 artists from countries around the world were invited to make art in the rain forest for three weeks.
I decided to work with native material that could not be found anywhere else, and that depicted the sense of the place where it came from. The preserved piranha fish are sold as souvenirs for tourists. With their mouths wide open, they seem to be swimming after the viewer, showing their sharp teeth, and their eyes and bellies painted red. These ferocious looking piranhas seem to fulfill the tourists’ ideas and fantasies of the rain forest; the rain forest which itself embodies the notion of nature as threatening, wild and dangerous.
About Dancing Frogs, 1990:
A geometric arrangement of frogs is suspended in space, functioning as a drawing against the white walls. When the viewer gets close, he or she discovers that the frogs are real, preserved biological specimens. Their legs and arms have been stretched out, in the stylized geometrization of nature, which is
characteristic of precolumbian zoormorphic and anthropomorphic representations. The repetition in number creates the suggestion of movement, as in film and animation.
I wanted to raise questions about representation. Why is it morally correct, and even educational, to contemplate taxidermic animals at the Museum of Natural History; whereas it is questionable if they are presented, both as art and as representation of death? What is it about us that make us edit reality and leave out whatever reminds us of our own mortality and animalness?