Luciana Lamothe. Folding roads

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Relations and dynamic tensions between body and
matter define Folding Roads, a solo exhibition of
Argentinian artist Luciana Lamothe (1975),
hosted at the Venetian venue of the Alberta Pane
The show is accompanied by a critical text by
curator Ilaria Gianni.

Appointed to represent her country at the 60th
Venice Biennale, Lamothe proves her versatility
with a retrospective exhibition that, in dialogue
with the important installation project set up in the
spaces of the Arsenale, allows visitors to delve into
an artistic universe made of sinuous and
orthogonal forms, organic, and at the same time
architectural shapes.

Folding Roads unfolds in the spaces of the
Venetian gallery, bringing into dialogue four main
bodies of works: sculptures, works on paper,
photographs and videos created over the last
decade. Through different media, the exhibition
invites us to explore Luciana Lamothe’s practice,
focusing in particular on the constant tensive,
empathic, sensitive, and physical relationship
between body and matter that has been a constant
feature of her work for many years.

The sculptures on display, made of solid and
structural materials and made flexible and mobile,
are indeed activated by the action and perception
of the viewer: in an osmotic exchange, without a
solution of continuity or hierarchy, the viewer finds
himself involved in a vital and destabilising
relationship with the work, between material and
spatial tensions.

On the other hand, the sculptures of the Adentro
series stand out for their more intimate dimension;
these are handles that, having lost their function,
make the energetic force of destruction the
starting point for a process of transformation.

Visually and conceptually echoing the sculptural
works, the exhibited drawings are characterized
by geometric and curvilinear shapes that coexist
between order and chaos; work tools and pencil
outlined hands draw ambiguous forms that are
combined in an infinity of solutions. Delicacy and
fragility thus cohabit with geometric, solid and
defined elements in a series of ever-changing
tensions, behind which action is implied.

Body, hands, and action are also recurring
elements in the photographs on display, which
highlight a performative, sometimes even
vandalistic and subversive aspect of Luciana
Lamothe’s practice.

In the Encd and Perspectiva series, the artist’s
hands, leading actors, capture the silhouette of an
unaware passer-by, who becomes an accomplice
to an action and a projection of an idea. In the most
recent series of self-portraits, Retrato Borde
(2022), an ephemeral and transient reflection in an
urban puddle sees the artist’s body superimposed,
Narcissus-like, with water and urban waste.

In a continuum of relationships and
correspondences, between plant elements,
materials and human interventions, remains and
detritus are also central in the exhibited video Caja
Tarra Silla Marco from 2011, filmed in a rural
landscape, in which the artist moves, camera in
hand, between waste, nature, and industrial
architecture. However, it is in the fleeting
intertwining of fingers that appears in the almost
imperceptible One Frame Life (2022) that, as
Lamothe is wont to do with other materials, the
artistic medium is brought to its full potential
through its minimal possibilities; a work that, by
annulling movement and inhibiting the vision of the
image reflects on the fragility of materials and the
passing of time.

In Folding Roads, Luciana Lamothe’s transversal
ability to deal with different media and materials
thus emerges strongly. In particular, the concept of
trans-materiality through which the artist rethinks
the condition of the materials, conceiving them as
sensitive and tense entities is highlighted.

Moreover, the vital communion between body and
matter remains the essence of an important
research into the potential and sensitivity of
materials, presented here in the form of
installations, sculptures, drawings, and videos
created over the last decade.

Luciana Lamothe works with sculpture, drawing, photography,
video and, especially, installation. The public is invited and
equally challenged to walk through, traverse, and relate to
Lamothe’s installations, which often provoke feelings of
instability and vertigo, as a metaphor for the fragility of socially
established structures. In her works, a brutalist and minimalist
aesthetic coexists with delicate and sinuous forms, created
from solid and structural materials pushed to the extremes of
their potential.

Lamothe is the artist selected to represent Argentina at the
60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia
(2024). Her artworks have also been exhibited at the 11th Lyon
Biennale, at the 5th Berlin Biennale and at the 3rd Montevideo

Her work has been shown internationally in institutions and
events such as Art Basel Miami Beach Meridians; Art Basel
Cities, Buenos Aires; Kunstraum Kreuzberg/ Bethanien, Berlin;
CGAC, Santiago de Compostela; La Maison Rouge-Fondation
Antoine de Galbert, Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Da Maré
Museum, Rio de Janeiro; Museo del Barrio, New York;
MAMBA, Buenos Aires; Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires;
MNBA, Buenos Aires.

Luciana Lamothe has also been Artist-in-Residence at MANA
Wynwood, Florida; Art Dubai, Dubai; Air Antwerp, Antwerp;
Skowhegan, Maine. In 2021, she also participated in the Artistin-Residence program at Atelier NI in Marseille.
The artist was awarded the 1st Prize of the Lichter Art Award,
Frankfurt; the 1st Prize of the Itaú Cultural Award, Buenos
Aires and in 2011 was a recipient of the fellowship of the
Artists Program of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, in
Buenos Aires. Lamothe also received the Pollock-Krasner
Grant for Artists from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New
York in 2019.

Her work is part of important private and public collections
such as Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC),
Santiago de Compostela; Fundación Itaú Cultural, Buenos
Aires; Museo Arte Contemporáneo de la Provincia de Buenos
Aires (MAR), Buenos Aires; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de
Rosario (Castagnino+MACRO), Santa Fe; Museo de Arte
Moderno de Buenos Aires (MAMBA), Buenos Aires; Museum
of Fine Arts (MFA), Texas; 21C Museum Hotels, Kentucky

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