In Venezuela, legend has it that there weren’t any mountains in Caracas in ancient times. Everything was flat and the sky fell into the sea. One day, the goddess of the seas, furious for being offended by the tribes, conjured up from the abyss the highest wave ever seen. But before it could crash down, in an act of compassion, she decided to spare the inhabitants and transformed the wave into mountains; that is how the coastal range which now encircles and protects Caracas was formed.
Inspired by the mountain legend from her childhood, Angyvir Padilla has taken many a trip through northern France in search of an “analogous” mountain. She discovered the slagheaps in the mining regions; these strange conical shapes made up of waste from coal extraction that produce a unique relief on the horizon. The exhibition “La ola que vino de lejos” [The Wave that Came from Afar] presents a video in which Padilla climbs – in a Sisyphean manner – one of these slagheaps to place a black trampoline on its summit. From atop, the artist reaches for the skies while looking in the direction of another slagheap, in silent conversation with the elements. As she bounces, the trampoline evokes the earth’s depths through the upside-down image of the mountain triangle.
Having recreated an imaginary landscape, Padilla invites the visitor to cross through the exhibition space where she has placed mounds of plaster covered in a thin coat of clay that pours out onto the floor and crackles. Her digital ceramic reconstituted stones and photographs taken from her travels are dispersed throughout the area. And with a focus for detail, she revisits the spaces between natural and artificial, living and inert, near and far. The artist thus reinvents a landscape based on her experience of displacement. She brings forth physical, tactile, auditive sensations giving her process a symbolic and imaginary as well as a metaphysical dimension.
Upon finishing the art and design programme in Caracas (PRODiseño) in 2009, Padilla continued studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Bruxelles in 2011 before joining the art schools ENSAV La Cambre (2015) and Sint-Lukas (2018). Her artistic process takes shape through installations that combine a wide range of materials and mediums including plaster, ceramic, photography, video and performance. She has been awarded the ArtContest and Amis du SMAK (Ghent) prizes. Her work is frequently on display in Venezuela, Belgium and other European cities, most recently at the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles in Paris, the SMAK in Ghent and the Centrale Vitrine in Brussels.
This exhibition was designed in partnership with Château Coquelle and the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles | Paris and presented in the scope of the biennial Watch This Space 11 organized by 50°nord – Cross-border network for contemporary art, with support from Wallonie-Bruxelles International (WBI) and the printing house ICODK.
The artist would like to especially thank: Keylan Ansel, Mathilde Babé, Stien Bakaert, Salomé Cabat, Florine Camara, Josephine Jadot, Yoel Pytowski and Michiel Venmans.
11.12.2021 — 30.04.2022