- Elena del Rivero
Travesía Cuatro is pleased to announce the opening of My Friends and Other Animals II, a project by Elena del Rivero with Saelia Aparicio, Pepa Balsach, Lili Dujourie, Patricia Esquivias, Nona Faustine, Marina González Guerreiro, Justine Kurland, Regina Fiz Santos, Fina Miralles, Claudia Pagès, Mónica Valenciano and Claudia Wieser.
“I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.”
“Alice: And what is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?”
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
The title of the exhibition para-cites “My family and Other Animals” by Gerald Durrell, which I read in my youth and which gave me enormous pleasure. The first edition of My Friends and Other Animals took place in 2016 when Travesía Cuatro invited me to hold my first exhibition; in order to feel more accompanied for this first presentation, I proposed to do it surrounded by artist friends. Upon receiving Travesía Cuatro’s third invitation to exhibit, I offered to revisit the spirit of My Friends… The present project, nonetheless, explores something I have been pondering for some time, especially when sensing the passion people have brought, following the tough months of confinement, to meeting again in my park in the East Village of New York.
During this time of reopening and reencounters, I started to ask myself simple questions that provoked strong emotions: if some of the best art emerges from experience and its contemplation produces pain, how can we continue to generate meaning in a moment of ongoing ethical, social, and environmental collapse? How can we show our vulnerability? Is it possible to engage with healing and potentially painful lines of enquiry within the privileged context of art? I thought that an honest way to give voice to those thoughts might be to invite again a number of artist friends to attempt to poetically respond and thus have the opportunity to highlight the importance of relationship and the community.
My intent with this exhibition is to convey the urgency of belonging to a close community; to this end, the work of artists of kindred spirits will be displayed together with my own. My Friends and Other Animals II allows me the opportunity to pay tribute to our relationships as well as underscore the importance of our shared languages, and even -or especially- of our differences. Each of our works is essential for the overall group message. I imagine a common idea flying -like a unifying banner or great prosthesis- protecting us, so as to facilitate our task of being witness to the spirit of the time. We thus will continue to capture the unexpected aspects of the ordinary and elevate everyday routines to a spiritual realm. In this mise-en-scène, the narratives and personal associations woven together by these artists from different generations and origins emerge, establishing surprising political-poetic and vital connections.
Memory – Vocation – Curiosity as inspiration – Process as an end
The urge to shake up the symbols around us – Humor and intelligence – Wit
The body as a constant battlefield for women, even in its absence
Unanswered questions – Forever transgressing
Elena del Rivero
New York, November, 2021