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River Dreams

It’s a series of paintings that emerges after two years of living in the upper region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. During this period my research focused on Amazonian cosmologies, relational ontology and walks through the forest. To visualize my ideas I use painting in dialogue with object oriented ontology, co-creating the works with traditional and non traditional materials in painting. Through this gesture I aim to expand the contemporary painting discourse, collaborating with the agency of the materials, which decentralize the painting practice by placing it in the southern region of the American continent. On the surfaces we can find obsidian rocks, achiote pigment, hand made cabuya paper, huairuro protector seeds in conversation with oil paint and resin. I trust the agency that the materiality of these non-human agents inserts in the creative process and in the final outcome of the works. Each one of them invites us to think in the temporality for their formation, the diverse processes, industrial and organic that have to take place for their emergence, and, the tensions they generate on the painted surface. The represented beings are mainly birds and plants that act as the interface between the natural world and the spiritual world.


The fascination for birds in my practice comes from years before, were I drew similarities and differences between human and bird migrations. In River Dreams I take on magical thinking, ancestral mythologies and Amazonian cosmologies in relation to scientific research to relate to birds from divergent perspectives. The images I use as reference for the paintings come from photographs taken in different places where I spent long periods of time in a state of contemplation. This shots where captured mostly in bodies of water and rivers where bird-watching is better. In a way this gesture becomes a performance of the artist as a bird watcher, an activity that I cant boast about but surely gives me some clues that are useful for my research methodologies like specialized bird guides and apps. This becomes a generative space to develop ideas related to their anatomy, behavior and ecosystems. Once I have an idea of their biological functioning I try to get away from rational thinking and open up a space for speculation and playing, finding flexible ways to relate to them. Here is where I dive in mythology and alternative cosmologies to find a plurality of narratives about birds that can guide me in the process of making the work.


Like this matter and touch emerge in a simpoietic act. The pieces become maps of tentacular thinking. Is in this way that the paintings of River Dream are not just paintings but also they are emissaries of biological and mineral worlds, of animal and spiritual worlds in tension with cultural and industrial worlds. They are a reflection and a question in how can we project ourselves towards new possible futures.

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