Natura Root, an individual exhibition by Aixa Portero, took place from June 6th to July 19th, 2019, at La Cometa, the prestigious contemporary art gallery in Bogota, Colombia. La Cometa was interested to show the installation “The Roots of the Flight”, previously presented at two international contemporary art museums, and at the international contemporary art fair ArtVilnius19, in Lithuania.
The centerpiece is a series of books with a black cover, suspended by a thin thread, whose letters have fallen to the ground, in a silent ethereal hush. These ‘book-roofs’ invite the viewer to walk under them, experiencing the sense of individual spheres and at the same time the collective expanse of our social fabric. There is a duality in the flight of the letters: where on the one hand, overthrowing their burden, those heavy letters open the door to a serene peace, inviting rewriting a personal elevation, on the other they emanate a complaining silence, as if the absence of those letters confirms an unavoidable loss of values and culture.
In addition to some pieces from her known series “LibrEs Plumas” (Free/Books Feathers), the “Poem Books” series was also presented at the exhibition, expanding this series with some new works. In it, the contradiction and the duality emanate again. Branch feathers sprout from inert roots, life emanates from the stone, the natural means are reversed, and the void is transformed into a creative generator. The static state does not exist; it gives way to a diverse, different unit, in full change, like life itself. The universe is a harmonious unit; everything becomes a “here-now”, and harmonizing opposites leads us to flow with nature. As in “Poiesis”, it transforms “non-being” into “being”, where nature and its care are essential for survival.
The narrative of this exhibition, curated by Daniela Marín who was in constant dialogue with the artist, continues on its journey with the series, Nature’s Glyphs, evoking the circle, but open to infinity. Here Portero has continued to seek harmony, and once again records her interest in the relationship between opposites, in line with the previous work, in an attempt to unite the culture of East and West as a whole, and to reflect an uroboros relationship with nature. It is as if the artist with this series winks at Colombian culture, focusing on the rock art as a pre-Hispanic expression, as a historical legacy, to make it present.
The rock etymologically refers to the rock as a support, as a cornerstone. That is why Portero wanted to include those glyphs or signs engraved or painted on the rocks in her drawings, since they speak of belonging to a group or relationships between them, often from a magical function. The artist in this has sought to resignify those glyphs and recover, in some way, the social meaning that is immersed in them, to recover the communicative function through its representation. This series reflects on the return to the origin of the first human signs, of reconnecting with the historical imprint of memory, and also of oblivion. This exhibition tries to recover that sense of ownership and belonging, to rewrite memory and the importance about not forgetting the environment to which we belong.