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Writing the Psyche

Monday, 26 May 2014 21:03 Written by Fernando Gálvez de Aguinaga
 
Corenstein’s artistic work has undergone a dramatic change in recent months. She was previously known for her textile art, paintings and drawings, but is now driven by the need to express deeper questions on her intimacy and personal story. She has therefore looked for new media to enable her to express her living process explicitly and convincingly. This exhibition is composed of various individual pieces, which are more effective seen together as a whole, as a kind of setting, emphasizing the connection between them, and representing a discourse covering several determining aspects of the artist’s life.  On the one hand, Corenstein unsentimentally depicts her own life and the relationship between humans and their environment, the mechanisms of personal exploration she has carried out to find a response to her interior life. The central work of this exhibition comprises a table, chair, books, cup and plate covered with scraps cut out of the texts she writes every morning about her dreams. In this way, she attempts to review her subconscious to find answers to her personal concerns. This piece plays a particularly important role because the entire exhibition aims to broaden the spaces of that exploration, so that her profession and work can guide that intimate immersion to a creative dialogue, and reveal profound aspects of her emotions and psyche to the viewer. She has achieved a happy solution. Having spent years sitting at a table, the artist now devotes the first hours of the day to self-exploratory reflections, during which the words emerge almost automatically to record the immediate memories of her dreams. This writing period takes on a metaphorical quality constructed in reverse order to the space and the reflective process itself, and everyday appliances and furniture are bathed in these intimate meditations.
 
On the other hand, the reflective piece linked to Corenstein’s textile work but with a marked tendency to transfigure the Classical language of tapestry, is not merely artwork but involves a complex reflection or proposal and a long process of conception, conceptualization and manufacture. Consisting of hundreds of plastic pill packets sewn together, the work includes medicine taken in clinics and by friends, and this collection of material makes recycling a fundamental part of the creative process. In this patient collecting process, she is not only looking for more material for her work but also establishing a dialogue with the other persons seeking relief.
 
A sequence of biographies looking for an outlet for their psychic calamities, these tapestries of individual pain enable viewers to reach their own conclusions on a reality that faces numerous persons in our society. These pieces do not contain a discourse of imposition, but rather present a reality. As I interpret them, the works depict a society in which many sentient beings become immersed in depressive processes not only because of the chemical characteristics of their organism or traumatic experiences, but also due to a society marked by destructive logic, which focuses on false values such as extreme materialism, consumerism, the commercialization of everything, from humans to seeds and water, the destruction of Nature for economic interests, the degradation of life due to increasing violence, the domination of war, corruption and crime. Many minds and lives are overwhelmed and placed in traumatic situations by a decadent society, and cannot easily overcome intimate experiences.
 
Moreover, the photographs and photocopied and intervened documents are also a living anthology, a sequence of journeys, cultural identities and official paperwork, depicting this struggle and personal story. Corenstein has emerged successfully from this process, making her experience a call to reflection for viewers, suggesting that instead of absolute individualism we are all experiencing life together.
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