Natural history lesson / Jorge Villacorta (Complete text)

Lorena Noblecilla has started off on a new creative process as a result of material and personal chellenges she has experienced. LESSONS IN NATURAL HISTORY brings together the first fruits of her explorations. In this one woman exhibition, the artist insístently observes and records her circumstance and surroundinngs, and swerves off-centre and reaches the unknown, beyond her immediare perception. She opts for continuous displacement and begins the construction of a visual universe, where a convergence of her artistic vision of organic and inorganic, natural and artificial forms, that together share -mostly unnoticed-, the dimension of existence, and her precise handling of media occur, and the results include digital images (both still and moving), and sculptures such as a monolith and a line in space like the spider’s thread-like polymer. This time, Noblecilla even reaches out towards the informattion obtained through the use of advanced scanning devices that generate images for the analysis of living matter, as enigmatically graphic as the detailed recordings of the energy emmission of stars in the cosmos. Speculative readings multiply but only to add to the survey of the contours of the intangible.

The difference between natural history and the biological sciences is that the former is fundamentally based on observation, while the latter are mainly supported by experiment. Lorena Noblecilla slipped into the shoes of the naruralist in the domestic settings of her home. The origin of it all, a spider that started to weave her web and stopped her in her tracks and pulled her out of her distractedness in her daily life. Among the same old plants,, the artist noticed one thread, one life, previously unseen. The free time she had became a time entirely consumed by an obssession: to observe the work and life of a spider. Quite simply, and obssessively, the progress of the weaving of a web absorbed her day after day, and she gradually understood that what the spider wove was, plainly, just the fabric life. With the videocam she recorded this instinctive and blind process, and parallel to this, she gave herself up to something outside of herself. The arachnid is a dimension in which temporal duration reveals its trepidation; the body of the spider is a bundle of needs and resources that produces the thread it weaves, upon which its life depends. A thread that guided Lorena Noblecilla to the heart of her creative process. Once immersed in it, the sculptural came her way, as line in space, and was the pointer to an imaginary requiring other possibilities of materiality to embody a new vision. That which led her to the centre of the labyrinth, allowed her to emerge fortified to start on a new path. At this point, her personal corporeal experience and the daily observation of a behaviour that never ceases to construct, feed off each other and the vision arises from an amalgam of life-affirming impulses, way above the contingency of life. The consistency of the thread changes. It turns into metal, becomes ductile and conversant in the hands of the artist; and also resistant. It captures the stone and subjects it; it is incrusted and vibrates in it. The spider would yet impart another lesson.

In a new imaginary, the thread takes the form of an amplified and polyvalent sign, arising from instants of observation that were initially strange and incomprehensible; and then, startling. A change of skin took place before Lorena Noblecilla’s eyes. The arachnid was divested of the coherence of the habitual mode of the inferior we have assigned to it; that, supposedly, it occupies in the realm of the living. The web was where the spider elaborated and anchored the scaffolding, to which it affixed its already tight and frayed skin, and by effect of the tension at the attachment points, forced the old structure that it was trapped in, to emerge free and easy, in a new exoskeleton.

To change skin is to be reborn. It is to be back from a place one has known before, and from where, perhaps, one feared never being able to escape. It means leaving one stage behind and to enter, necessarily, another one that will begin to take shape in time. It is to give oneself space and an oporttunity, too, in time present, anew. The present is, for an artist, the only propitious moment.

Jorge Villacorta Chávez, September 2022

© Lorena Noblecilla 2023
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