Some time ago, Vicente Antonorsi and Isabel Cisneros, visual artists with established careers in Venezuela, shared a vision of aggregating their individual experiences in order to experiment with and enrich their creative processes. They recognized their common ground: an almost sensual pleasure in matter and working with the accumulation and assemblage of small elements to generate two- or three-dimensional shapes. Under the guidance of the curator Miguel Miguel, this formal dialogue resulted in an exhibition titled ¿Acumulaciones, Diálogos Visuales: Vicente Antonorsi / Isabel Cisneros,¿ which was presented at Trasnocho Arte Contacto.
Antonorsi is an architect, visual artist, and designer. He is intimately familiar with wood, on which he bases his impeccably designed furniture. His shapes also refer to primordial forms. Cisneros had her beginnings in ceramics, a medium she continues to use as she explores its potential in the field of sculpture. For this, she employs weaving and the assemblage of serialized elements created in clay. For their experiment, each artist became involved in the materials used by the other: Antonorsi explored ceramics while Cisneros experimented with wood, seeds, coconut shells, buttons, etc. ¿Neither or us would have come up with some of these works alone in our studios,¿ said Cisneros in an interview with the local press, while Antonorsi acknowledged he had been greatly pleased to be able to create his work ¿with her materials.¿
Even though their empathy is intense-both are passionate about the natural and the organic-their creative processes are individual and autonomous. Antonorsi retains an almost symmetrical order in his works, while Cisneros tends toward structures that are flexible and irregular. Yet there were works in which the authorship was difficult to assess, because of the experience of adopting the other artist’s procedures.
Nature gave them the material for their work. They transformed these materials without distorting their essences and were respectful of their original appearances: a seed was not posited as something other than a seed, and the sea shells or coconut shards never ceased being what they were. The transformation of matter came through the way that the artists handled the materials and through the accumulation of small elements that comprised the sculptural forms. Antonorsi’s works were solid and imposing in their volume; Cisneros’s resembled zoomorphic, highly organic shapes. Both worked with artisanal techniques, such as the way that beads are threaded to form a necklace. At the same time, the artists’ systems generated three-dimensional structures that were highly distilled and rational. In sum, these works were rigorously ordered and had been created with formal discipline.
The accumulation and assemblage of small elements implied abundance, yet at the same time this resource became a synthetic language. Both artists used it. This was the show’s curatorial message, which expressed the synthesis at which the artists arrived through a visual dialogue that emerged from the formal propositions that unite them.
Cisneros and Antonorsi appropriated the products of nature. They extracted nature’s formal richness, but this quality also promoted a sense of belonging from which Venezuelan viewers could not subtract themselves. These were earth works, from a nature that is ours and that defines our environment.
Arte al Día International, # 120, p. 120-1, Aug-Sep 2007
Acumulaciones, diálogos visuales
A partir de una intensa fase de trabajo en conjunto, Isabel Cisneros y Vicente Antonorsi han hecho público un “diálogo visual” que se ha revelado a la vez enriquecedor y desafiante. Durante un tiempo que tuvo que ser extendido por el interés que generó, un contingente de más de ocho mil visitantes se ha hecho emocionado testigo – entre la admonición y la exaltación – de una aventura del arte canalizada por un ánimo de encuentro e interpretación de sentidos. Los programas creativos de ambos artistas, de inequívoco sello personal, se han retado a avanzar más allá de sus coincidencias de entrada: el trabajo con la triada nodo-módulo-fragmento y la reducción geométrica e interpretación lírica de formas naturales.
El proyecto se ha planteado la destilación y la transfusión recíproca de elementos esenciales a partir del desgarramiento, la franca apertura de cada programa frente al otro. En este encuentro Antonorsi ha convocado a sus ensamblajes las táselas de gres, aunque no los adminículos industriales que Cisneros incorpora comúnmente en su obra, la cual, a su vez, se ha hecho permeable a la “materia viva” con los que aquél construye su imaginario. La muestra, bajo la cuidadosa mirada del curador Miguel Miguel, se ha planteado en torno a sus propósitos: el espectador inicia el itinerario flanqueado por ejercicios murales – las “extensiones” de una y los “canales” del otro – que juegan a desdibujar fronteras, para avanzar a sucesivas estaciones teñidas alternadamente por pulsaciones de fusión o afirmación de territorios. Al final, cuando han retomado el curso cotidiano de su trabajo, ambos artistas suman para sí la certeza de una experiencia de afirmación autora como protagonistas de una comunidad creadora que se desafía a tejer lazos orgánicos para potenciarse.
Accumulations, Visual Dialogues
Following an intense phase of collaborative work, Isabel Cisneros and Vicente Antonorsi have made public a “visual dialogue” which has proved to be at the same time enriching and challenging. Throughout a period of time which had to be extended due to the great interest aroused, a contingent of more than eight thousand visitors whose reactions ranged from admonition to exaltation, were witness to an artistic adventure catalyzed by a frame of mind that fosters a convergence and interpretation of meanings. The creative programs of both these artists, which bear an unequivocal personal imprint, accepted the challenge to go beyond their initial coincidences: the work with the node-module-fragment triad and geometric reduction and lyrical interpretation of natural forms.
The project proposed the distilment and reciprocal transfusion of essential elements based on the disembodiment, the honest opening of each program to one another. In this encounter, Antonorsi summoned ceramic tiles to his assemblages, although he did not include the industrial gadgets that Cisneros commonly incorporates in her work, which, in turn, became permeable to the “live matter” with which the former constructs his imagery. Under the watchful eye of curator Miguel Miguel, the show was structured in such a way as to meet its purposes: the spectator began the tour of the exhibit flanked by mural exercises – Cisneros’s “extrusions” and Antonorsi’s “channels” – playing a game of blurring boundaries to move on to successive stations alternately tinged by the drive to fuse territories or affirm sovereignty over them. At the end of the process, when resuming the normal course of their activities, both artists benefit from the certainty of having incorporated an experience of authorial affirmation as protagonists of a creative community that takes up the challenge of weaving organic bonds to enhance its potential.