Manuela Ribadeneira, Varillas de la Esperanza
On the occasion of Pinta New York 2013, Casa Triângulo is pleased to present a series of new works by Manuela Ribadeneira. The artist will participate of the section Emerge, curated by José Roca, with a series of works under the name Varillas de la Esperanza [The Rods of Hope].
Varillas de la Esperanza is a project that the artist has been thinking about for a long time and it finally crystallizes in these pieces created specially for Pinta. On this occasion Ribadeneira plays with a typical element of Latin American urban landscape: the unfinished or abandoned construction columns. In Ecuador, her country of origin, these cement and steel columns that protrude from many rooftops have the witty and poetic name of Varillas de la Esperanza [The Rods of Hope]. Often people build the first floor of their houses and add the construction columns for that desired second floor in the hope that one day they will have enough money to built it. The money rarely arrives, and The Rods of Hope remain standing, truncated and hopeful sticking out from the roof slowly becoming posts for a washing line or a volleyball net. They become ruins because they seem to have lost their function and have no meaning in the present “but retain a suggestive and unstable semantic potential” [Julia Hall in Ruins of Modernity].
The artist started to work around this idea as part of her long-standing investigation on the rituals of appropriation of space. To plant rods and columns on the roof is a way of declaring ownership of that piece of sky, it is literally conquering space. The intention of this gesture remains, even when the columns have become ruins.
These abandoned construction columns happen not only in private houses but it is common to find public buildings stopped mid way. Perhaps in the case of public buildings, the artist points out that they are the rods of political hopelessness. When Claude Lévi-Strauss visited São Paulo in the 30’s he said: “here everything looks like it is under construction but it is already in ruins.” Las Varillas de la Esperanza are constructions in ruins and ruins in construction.
For Pinta, Ribadeneira has made a series of 10 silver nickel stencils [50 x 30 cm], of simplified graphic shapes of the Rods of Hope. As stencils, they suggest an action, the possibility of going out and with these images and marking things as Construction? Ruin? Dream? Truncated Dream? Past? Future?
The second piece is composed by three models of cement and steel construction columns, [22cm high] titled with the ancient Greek orders of architecture: Ionic, Doric and Corinthian.
Ribadeneira has reproduced [3D printed] a large number of these types of columns each with a slight variation and has created an architectural model for what she calls a Resting Place for Second Floors.
Lastly she will show Borra y va de Nuevo, [Erase and restart], a strip of mirror that reflects it’s title on the wall.