Carolina Aguirre’s mythopoetic works question the experience of belonging as it relates to location, nature, and otherness. Belonging is chosen as an embodied and emotional access point to wider themes of environmentalism and identity politics resulting from mobility. The interdisciplinary practice incorporates painting, video, sculpture and performance and is guided by materiality, spirituality, and tenderness.
The painting process, which forms the foundation of the practice, feels both archeological and psychoanalytical. It starts with covering the wooden panels in ink, and then carefully washing layers to unearth interlocking or fusing masses. The resulting landscapes allude to land as seen from a flight home, browsed longingly on google maps, or studied up close on a rock. This is also how migrating birds, Gods, insects and ancestors see our world.
The textures, which feel geological, biological and at times almost glitchy, are achieved through attention to material; the mineral sheen of Sumi ink, the sticky, bodily gloss of shellac (made from the female Lac beetle), the smokiness of charcoal and the chalkiness of Gofun (made from crushed up seashells). Painting on the floor is key as it provides an aerial, unfixed view, with the final orientation of the painting often settling quite late in the process, only once human narratives (mythical, layered and ambiguous) are fully woven into the landscape.
The latest series of sculptures/installations address waste as fertile material through its physical and metaphorical potential. Domestic debris is compacted into circular time-capsules and sealed with tinted paper pulp. They are reminiscent of fossils or coals, which can be reimagined (and reused) into different forms. In this way, the past is cared for and welcomed back to interact with the present, creating space for alternative understandings and healing. Other materials incorporated into these narratives include human ashes, hair, and live plants.
Writing, soundscape, video, and performance act as primary research for, accompany and /or activate the physical work; these incorporate field-recordings, music, phone-calls, active imagination and spoken word.