Victoria Civera

Galería Soledad Lorenzo

Over the past few years, Victoria Civera has explored space and volume through the objects she constructs, and experimented with form by going from painting to objects and back to painting. In her recent exhibition, Civera integrated painting with her delicate structures, painting on rubber, canvas, paper, dyed or plastic-coated cotton, scagliola, wood, etc. She builds three-dimensional objects out of materials as different as jute, modeling clay, crystal, mirrors, foam, or methacrylate, and uses “found objects” such as steel flatware, plastic dolls, photographs, empty cans, wigs, gloves. This diversity of materials provides a formal point of departure, and it is here that the works’ interest lies.

She has gone from large canvases to small formats, occasionally opting for the three-dimensional. In Civera’s recent show, a door close to the entrance presided over the installation, though it neither opened nor closed. Beyond, on the second floor, a noise emanated from a room, evoking the beating of a tired heart. Objects strategically located around the room created an obstacle course the viewer had to negotiate. In this way, Civera built stories, since though each piece functioned autonomously, it was conceived in relation to other pieces, as part of a whole, transforming the neutral space into one that seemed to have a life of its own.

In the course of her career, Civera has not given up the medium of paint, despite the possibilities presented by working in three-dimensions. Paint has become one more element in her pieces, acting in space and adding complexity to her structures. In her work, the specific takes on the importance of the general. Each part, no matter how minute, plays a role in the formation of the object. The resulting piece is comparable to a small room or cell, inhabited by a seemingly endless series of heterogeneous elements.

Strong, complex metaphors resulted from the association between the titles and the physical attributes of the works. Hondulada (Wavy) defined the show. This “door-wall,” in allusion to Marcel Duchamp’s famous door, created a fake separation between before and after, between inside and out, compelling the observer to maintain a certain distance from the work. On the other side of the room, stood Setting, two converging mirrors cut off, as if they had just been casually broken. One was vertically mounted on the wall and the other was on the floor with a table setting on it, inviting the viewer to stay and relax. The least figurative, and perhaps riskiest piece, Potentiometer, was in the basement. The use of a laser and the architectural elements in this piece pointed toward a new avenue of plastic expression. The other compositions were smaller, though the complexity of the work seemed to be in inverse proportion to its size, particularly in works such as Balsita de arroz verde (Green rice paddy), or in the case of Memoria fabricada (Fabricated memory), Autorretrato con pespuntes (Self-portrait with stitches), Docena de continentes (A dozen continents), and in Sueño flexible (Flexible dream)—a pictorial representation of a three-dimensional abstraction. Overall, her work may be summarized as an ongoing investigation of limits, one that begins with specific materials, informs the realization of each object, and, finally, the strategic connection of the whole.

Menene Gras Balaguer

Translated from the Spanish by Gladys Segal.