Constanza Marques Guedes’ installation explores the relationship between industrialization and conservation techniques embedded in development-related practices patent in our society today. She does so by shedding light onto how natural materials – such as seeds and ecological paper – are used and manipulated by and for industrial purposes. She shows us that even deemed ‘ecological materials’ are a product of industrial manufactory bringing our attention to the fact that the production behind such materials requires mechanized manipulation.
Through her piece, Marques Guedes exemplifies how the two worlds of ‘industry’ and ‘ecological’ overlap and in some ways need to coexist. This is so, she argues and demonstrates, as often times the industrial (read raw-looking metal) supports the natural (read plant seeds and ecological paper) in order to ensure the environment is well accounted for and preserved.
In a way, one could argue that her work serves as a critique of the misplacement of industrial methods that more often than not could be focused on ensuring that nature is protect – be it by the use of mechanized processes or not.
Besides, she claims, there is an obvious irony in these matters. First, as environmental-friendly measures often require non-eco-friendly solutions for their execution. For instance, for Marques Guedes’ metal structure to effectively uphold the paper and the seeds inside it, the artist felt ‘forced’ to manipulate and transform the metal’s original form into a chair-like structure, using non-environmental friendly techniques to achieve her end result. This includes welding and soldering the metal (often harmful for the environment) although its final aim was to ‘uphold’ and help preserve something ‘natural’.
It is also important to note that the artist created a chair-like structure as a way to symbolize society’s ‘armchair theorizing’ that is often superficial and lacks action.
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