Here and there, now

By Josefina Dartiguelongue


Nora Correas has a conclusive power when naming and denominating. With that peculiar strength, she gives name, identity and legitimacy to her exhibition. Action that fixes the core for the words: Here and There, Now to unfold in a categorical texture. In a “here” that flows and heads towards a “there” that returns concentrated in a present temporality: “now”.

Suggestive and concise, deeply rooted and metaphorical, her work establishes an anthropological Place and an ontological Time; a time that is not a mere conventional lasting but one that “allows man to be”.

An exhibition of such nature invites us to enter an empathetic circle, in an interaction moved by the sources of significance that each of her plastic presences are, so as to reach a transformation of the “now” and spread from a “here” towards a “there”. But also from the resonance of this “there”, it offers the possibility of rediscovering and redimensioning this “here” and this “now” and, moreover, it allows as many movements as possible experiences, thus opening a non-conventional Space and Time.

From a philosophical perspective, something extraordinary happens: it generates a qualitative leap within which space and time are linked in such a way that the frequent “and” which was used to separated them in our cultures, concentrates now in a more comprehensive transversality.

This qualitative leap of the conjunction “and” makes possible that, thanks to the uniqueness of the exhibition’s display, space and time cross each other at a slant without generating any dis-junction. In this sense, her work is one of synthesis and conciliation of opposites, as in emptiness-fullness, habitual-rare or original-originating. It is a meeting point: for the being-simulacrum, the materials, metaphors, the pain and the criticism of the current social scene, but from the perspective provided by the construction of the future.

Such qualitative leap derives from this harmonic reunion of the apparent opposites which are neither denied nor homogenized but have been laid in an anterior, previous “place”. A space-time within which there is more comprehensive unity, from which it is, then, possible for them to con-front.

So this is how her apples impact from scratch; one natural; built the other. Alone, bare, at hand, questioning with the strength of the simple and primitive about the constituency of the real: what is, truly what it “is”?, what is the “appearance”, “to appear” and “appear to”? Which is the game to demonstrating what is “real”?, what is real, virtual and arti-fact?

How to assume a position in relation to these queries?, what is choosing?. The questions seem to take part in a reflexive game: why do we choose, and how?, where does this query itself leave us?. From which perspective do we ask ourselves?, which is the “there” of this “now”, “here”?. And so on…

Within this perplexity, two works, La Caída y Oropel verde (from Latin aurea pellis, XIIth C a.d.) gold skin…
In the first one, we can see two ladders that, as they rise, not only their frailty but also their superficiality and transparency increases. The ascensional metaphor refers, once again, to the riddle presented by the questions, where from? and where to?; the up-down, the holding and the nothingness.

With another sense is how the glitter of flies impact on us because “there”, in her childhood, she collected insects. She discovered the green flies, those whose lives were related to the death of other bodies. The artist subtly states the power of accumulation and “the strength of the minute” as she herself utters it: “the minute related to sequence and rhythm allows the construction of a surface”. Concentration of the minute that may become something “powerful”.
In marginal times of reduction, of social liquefaction and transformation, these aesthetic presences remind us of the human condition that, organized in rhythms and sequences, does not prove to be a sheer quantitative accumulation of experiences but “a plot or scheme” that can build “power”. Her own saying lingers on “Reality hits me, I am like a sponge…Being alive is being permeable to everything that happens”.

All this con-motion appears in several ways: irony and pain in Platos nacionales. How to withdraw from the implications of “swallowing frogs/lies” (“comer vidrio”, “comer sapos”) at the same time of being served homemade pies filled with frogs/lies? The local-particular and the universal within the human condition concentrate with the power of the simple, yet primitive. The same amazement and reflection is suggested by another work, Los maderos de San Juan that follows a similar line of thought: the hunger. In this case what appears is the unspeakable experience of approaching a paradoxical table: “those who ask for bread, are not given any” since the leaves of bread slip within their transparency, showing the power of their not-being. What seems to be something and it is not. The emptiness and the absence of what it is.

Nora Correas shapes a present-place of origination with the concreteness of her hands, spreading philosophical queries, because her work-question stand as a spot interpretation. Her works open themselves as a communicational link in the expectation of posing questions and generating answers. Answers that, perhaps, are not a resignation hurled into the future but the formulation of the questions, subtler and more personalized, that make possible the choice of a future to the human condition. “The first real change takes place within ourselves, urges the artist, We are artists of our own life”.

In this sense, it is also necessary to highlight the peculiar movement of “time”. Al time that does not follow the fixed line “past-present-future”, representative of the so-called Western history of Aristotelian heritage.

Her interest is focused on the present and in the concentrated density of the “now” but, as she expresses, focused on the construction of the future and knowing that “without a past, the present does not take place. “ “Here” is a present-place that pulses at “there”’s disposal, a future-place, a movement “towards”, launched, in turn, to another memory-place into the past, while re-agreed from the call of the future. This is why, it is possible to reread the past, whether personal or social, and “make it present” as the artist says.

The transparencies metaphor –something Nora Correas has used through out her work- offers the possibility of experimenting that, what is trans-parent has, however, a consistent presence in its levity. Starting from this space-time’s whirl, the NOW is established. A concentrated expression of the immediate present. Sheer presenciability. However, this has nothing to do with the urgency of the occasion. It is all about the joy of the maximal punctuation of time; a joy that, perhaps, facilitates the experience of the absolute while there is a maximum concentration of time that grasps the mystery of its wholeness. Her work is a serious invitation to “learn how to see” or “to keep your eyes wide open”, not only as a biological phenomenon but also as a vital attitude. Her work deals with the strongest experiences within the human conflicts, those belonging to the people and to societies. Her symbolism allows the passage towards the greatest cultural archetypes. Within the interaction it establishes, her work spreads significance while searching for the origins in an articulated, natural and coherent way.

Such is the shared wealth of such an intense perception: being participants of an originating wealth that aspires to a more humanized future and, therefore, converges into a symbolic communication “here”, in the dimension of the concentrated present. Within this scenario, works such as Los centinelas and Nacimiento en el paraíso perdido can be placed: sand and oil transmutation that turns into blood when reaching the surface. Flowing of the origins that nowadays become concrete in victims and wars, in the domination of the weak that cannot get to be.

Human imbecility overwhelms Nora Correas. It is the pain at the sight of living without any real autonomy, without essential joy, while building our own and collective “blindness”.

And she asserts: “to blindness, one gets without any intermediator”… And she works with one of those intermediators: social communication.

Rats let the metaphor unfold. Her installation is strong and subtle. Rats as individuals and also as a gregarious collective. Is this what the human condition is all about?. The artist expresses almost with tenderness the paradoxical reality of guinea pigs: “they can be used for experimentation and can be manipulated but those who often work with them say that rats respond to demonstrations of affection when they are petted”
The possibility is always open.

Humanity can be built in a process of social and personal learning. It is possible to understand why many human beings are not able to become persons since they are excluded from the minimal conditions that allow them to accomplish so. To abandon human condition is possible due to the multiple facets of corruption. This is the reason why this metaphor of the in-formation and the de-information, as the artist states, “is handled at convenience”, and, somehow, constitutes an ethical appeal in an aesthetic manner.

This appeal is essentially ethical because of the choice of the metaphor of the rats. And what is surprising from language is the “etymological cascade” that flows when analyzing the word corruption – to corrupt. Corrupt derives from two fundamental sources: corrode and break.

Corrode refers to the way in which rats process their food: they corrode, gnaw, erode and grind. The outcome of this process makes the worn-out and the eroded become waste, ruins, residues.

Metaphorically, peoples and persons process of corruption begins a long time before the concrete visualization of their crimes, transgressions and horrors. Before it is possible to categorize and frame actions within some kind of penal lawfulness –a long time before- a slow and concealed process of erosion of principles, values, pulsion of Eros builder of life, has taken place.

Break refers, in turn, to the destruction of some established unit or harmony. Excision, which is linked to the idea of a way as erosion of a landscape that is crossed by some form of construction. But, at the same time, this action becomes the routine of going through the same with neither amazement nor sense. A routine, then, as a way of assuming the role of the mediocre who find a false power in preventing something to happen.

The communicational erosions and distortions, the segmentation and the sense of the absolute in the possibility of seeing and being seen, the human presence mutations expressed in the metaphor of rats as objects of manipulation are an ethical –aesthetical culmination from which we can find our own vulnerability and the stertor of freedom.
This installation is highly moving because it moves us with it. And, in doing so, it does it from one of the greatest sources of motivation-movement of cultures: art. It invites us to make ourselves comfortable and feel at home in the empathetic circle of communication.

If this work touches us, it will move us; and if it moves us, perhaps, it will be possible that, while experiencing the rat’s shocking route we become aware of our eroded skin, worn out to the sensitivity of values and to the mean and ruined situation that surrounds us, so we could feel able to have access to a renewed amazement of being keen and able to become human.

NOW is what we celebrate looking for the place where one comes from and one goes to: HERE and THERE.