The Shipibo Conibo Center is excited to present artist
in her first exhibition in NYC at The Austrian Cultural Forum
THE PROJECTIVE DRAWING
Curated by Brett Littman
FEBRUARY 6 - MAY 13, 2018
In addition, an archive of Kené soundings in response to Flores’ work has been collected. These recordings are of performers and artists improvising according to the vibrations they see in the paintings, without any surrounding soundscape.
An improvised concert by acclaimed US-percussionist Billy Martin joined by Austrian bass clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer in response to Sara Flores’ work took place in the Austrian Cultural Forum auditorium.
Sara Flores projects and recasts the Kené form with her own intricate design and astonishing exactitude. The way the patterns and the repetition and variation motifs, hand-drawn in free form, without the aid of prepared patterns or computer modeling, emerge to fit the canvas, points to the mind-bending way in which these patterns are stored mnemonically and mapped back on to the canvas through an embodied practice, making it seem like neuronal mapping, an exercise in connectomics. Imbued with intention, her artistic practice moves through a cybernetic codified system that taps into and represents the substrate of existence, to a healing design or design medicine , to a musical pattern accompanying the icaro of a shaman in an ayahuasca ceremony.
In other words, the visual imagination of the work is not only on the surface, relating to the 2-D ocular image, but performs the possibilities of a wider synaesthetic world of perception in which multiple forms of energy, sound, bodies, and space are entangled. The hypnotic quality and vibrating power of a Kené are amongst the valued aspects of the art form – in which Flores’ work excels.
Sara Flores utilizes a variety of polychrome natural dyes that she personally prepares from autochthone flora such as the leaves of the amí for the purple, the fruit of achiote for the red, the bark of the yacushapana for the black, the root of the guisador for the yellow – just to name a few of the plants her practice requires establishing relationships with.
Sara Flores’ collaborations with The Shipibo Conibo Center entail the re-mapping of the paintings back into sound forms. For the Projective Drawing exhibition curated by Brett Littman at the Austrian Cultural Forum, a special interactive sound piece was developed to allow audiences to enter into the spirit of the paintings and modify its ambience by responding to the patterns and the environment. First, an immersive soundscape was composed based on recordings from the Amazonian rainforest. Then through special software, the composition became subject to live modification by the audience as they whispered, hummed, sang, whistled, and cried into the microphone at the center of the room.
The Shipibo Conibo Center collaborations are part of an effort intended to overstep the colonial paradigms that have separated indigenous artists from the contemporary art setting.