Helena Kanaan exhibition at ´ace, Argentina

"Espacios Provisorios", installation of the Brazilian artist Helena Kanaan at the ´ace AiR.

"Espacios Provisorios" [Provisional Spaces] is the result of a month of residency of the Brazilian artist Helena Kanaan at the 'ace AiR International Program, located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The installation was presented to the Buenos Aires public within an 'aceNITE in which was also presented the work of artist-in-residence Dries Ketels (Belgium) and the exhibition "Sublimación" with artists from Argentina, Agustina Girardi, Elinor Peiretti, Lucas Maeder and Lorena Tiraboschi.

Accumulation, covering, discovery. Things that have no fixed form. The fold, the empty body, the fugacity, the deviations of the technique ... Kanaan's work takes both from Deleuze and Bataille, and looks at Kiki Smith and Rivane Neuenschwander simultaneously.

During her residency in 'ace, the artist wondered in a creative search with many entries and unequal outcomes. In the end, and paradoxically, the circle - shape without beginning and end that represents the universe, eternity, the whole, the incarnation of oneness - served as a leitmotiv to reflect upon what is not determined and finished and is configured in the process.

Although it is not the theme of this installation, when we walk around it, we can not stop thinking about the islamic culture, the Mudéjar architecture, the desert tents and the veils that cover heads and faces of Muslim women. Of Syrian heritage, the artist uses the repetition of simple elements interlaced or superimposed for her compositions. Sometimes they are printed, sometimes only insinuated in the memory of the form that pressed the paper, others escape the plane and take physical life. The detail organizes but does not prevail in the set. The reiteration of the circles that gave rise to these works acts as a metaphor for eternity and at the same time as a way to contradict it and raise its constant mutability.

In the series of frotagges, which insinuate organic forms (although they do not come from them), it does not imitate nature, which would be an act of impiety on the part of the artist. On the contrary, it is suggested, remembered, discovered ... and there is no fear that this fact can lead to something non-representational that at times becomes pure space. It is in these "deviations of technique" that Kanaan shifts the limits of print media, removes its specificity and expands it, discovers new deviations and with them builds a work - unclassifiable between the print media, the textile art, drawing and installation - in which the means to construct it do not respond to its own laws but to the philosophy that generates it.

Text by Alicia Candian

Helena Kanaan exhibition at ´ace, Argentina

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