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    Cecilia Porras-Sáenz

    18 NOV, 2023 - 25 FEB, 2024

    In April 2023, Cecilia Porras-Sáenz arrived in Paris after being chosen as the winner of the first MAZORCA grant. On her way through the city, she walked through the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale, a vestige of the French colonial empire. She learned about gardens without worms or insects: a nature designed exclusively for the human eye, in the “purest” version of the jardin à la française. We talked about the new policies of “re-wilding” applied by several European cities—an irony, seen from the vantage point of the Tropics. She dismantled the myth of Rousseau’s “good savage”; and we observed, through the prism of landscape architect Gilles Clément, the rich ecosystems of the spaces we “let be.”

    Cecilia, in turn, dreams of a world in which humans have taken a back seat. Obeying her intuitions and guided by her creative process, she allows herself to be trapped by ideas that become obsessive until they materialize. The artwork grows on the wall of her studio; unfolds and transforms day by day, as if animated by a life of its own. The “tigra” of her JARDÍN [Garden] was the first to impose its existence on the canvas. It appeared in a few days: the visible painterly gestures testify to the incessant work of Porras-Sáenz. Little by little, the “tigra” was surrounded by rich and luminous vegetation; reflected in the water in the foreground; and in strange triangular structures that, placed in the background, vaguely recall the architecture of a greenhouse that once existed.

    As a woman of theater, on the occasion of the open studio in Paris (June 2023), Cecilia imagined an immersive installation with dozens of plants, pink lights, and a sound oscillating between paradisiacal garden noises and industrial stridencies while she, half feline, half bird, rocked in the only space of “domestication:” the studio’s kitchen. Many visitors left the studio with the sensation of having traveled to other latitudes.

    After returning from France, JARDÍN will be displayed in íNTIMO, La Nueva Fábrica’s project space. Here, Porras-Sáenz’s work is reunited with the land that inspired it. Covered with mud and dry leaves, the work continues to question the relationship between domestication and domination; the power of the feminine—that implacable force that emanates from our blood—and of the Earth and its living beings that observe us as victims of a myopic humanity. JARDÍN opens our eyes to the qualities of a myriad of species. 

    What if, in the end, JARDÍN invited us to explore our own frontier; the one we carry within, between what we ourselves pretend to control and what ultimately guides us all: our savage selves. 

    Christina Chirouze Montenegro, Curator

    The first edition of the MAZORCA grant was sponsored by

    With the valuable support of