Over a career spanning more than four decades, Mónica Giron (San Carlos de Bariloche, 1959) has essayed different models to tackle with internal violence, social violence and the violence we inflict on the planet, as well as love, loneliness, unseen forces and the unquantifiable. For Giron, art enables us to discern and understand that which overwhelms us, opening the way to projection, imagination and transformation.
Giron’s practice has always been in perpetual motion, appealing to a way of conceiving art and life through nomadism, hybridism and transformation. This has led her to work in various media – sculpture, painting, drawing, mural and digital – with materials precisely tailored to each investigation, including: beeswax to refer to the social binding agent; watercolour to give form to the liquid currents of the body and the planet; 3-D printing in biodegradable materials to quantify the proportions of the seas and continents; the blackboard to appeal to learning, among others.
The exhibition establishes connections between a series of new projects and works from other periods in Giron’s career. Through these connections, the artist endeavours to stabilise the disruption that the world and also her work may provoke without losing sight of it, as it is a substantial tool of art in beginning to reconnect us not only with our present but with our predecessors and successors, so improving our relationship with the biosphere.
After Argentina’s economic and political crisis in 2001, Mónica Giron began to shape Neocriollo [Neo-Creole]: a monumental beeswax sculpture that took her five years to develop. The work is a response to the divided, broken society we found ourselves immersed in. A being with twenty-one heads and forty-two eyes, erected upon its forebears. It is an image that may be viewed as utopian, but it is also shocking: a creature as beautiful as it is suffocating, a communion that feels necessary but can also entrap us and disenable diversity.
Giron produces dense, hybrid images, loaded with paradox and bewilderment. Her MED drawings attempt to accommodate the energy of individual suffering bodies, while her SX watercolours probe the fusion of forces between two bodies, and Lagunas [Lagoons] give form to a confusing, unknown mental space that can surface in response to the social bond. This passage between the individual body, and its relationship with an other and with a social body stem from a search for greater understanding of the environment or critical space – local and global – in which they are inscribed. The local is developed in her series ‘Lugares desolados’ [‘Desolate Places’], works that reflect on empty habitats, Patagonian wilderness and the historical extermination of their original inhabitants. The paintings of Enlaces Querandí [Querandí Connections] build up an idealised projection interlacing the past and future of the River Plate Basin. Global geography is explored by Giron in order to quantify, objectualise and so understand the corporeality of continents, the movement of land masses and the circulation of energy through the seas and marine currents.