Teresa Correa. Talk of birds and flowers

Exhibition title: Teresa Correa. Talk of birds and flowers
Curator: Raquel Zenker Castro
Dates: 19.10.2017 to 21.01.2018
Place: CAAM – San Antonio Abad. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Spain.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Free admission

On 29 November 1907, Catalina Gómez Suárez bought a property in Calle San Antonio Abad under private ownership in her own right. The house was in Vegueta, the old town of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

On 19 October 2017, Teresa Correa (1961), great granddaughter of Catalina Gómez Suarez, was invited to inhabit the exhibition room in the same building. This story that follows the mitochondrial thread is now revived through Correa’s identity as a visual artist.

In this space we witness an autobiographical examination revolving around knowledge, identity, time and memory. Although anthropology and archaeology are the main foundations of Correa’s research processes, this exhibition is the first time her findings are placed in a family setting.

Correa enters the house hand in hand with her ancestor Catalina to tell us of birds and flowers, in a place where secrets are concealed and truths are silenced. Concealment transcends the universe of female relatives and reverts back to Correa’s art story, making the hidden visible a constant of her artwork. This explains her unceasing interest in delving into museum storage rooms and archives, spaces where archaeological evidence lying dormant in the hope of being rediscovered and attaining new meaning can be brought into the light of day.

The house in San Antonio Abad becomes a new receptacle of Knowledge – residual knowledge – stacked behind the discarded and the unwanted, as Correa exhumes our forgotten collective memory through her images. She presents us with a view of the Canary Islands Museum in which the weight of the grains of silver erases all hint of authorship. These simple tricks of light refer to the fragility of her corporeal being and ultimately invite us to profane all visible appearance. It is a reckless act of existential activism, in which the image, apart from becoming a symbolic and ritual artefact, is transfigured into a contemporary phantasmagoria, the antechamber of a hidden rebirth.

Why else does she revive and immortalise these findings that have cheated death, if not to disconcert us? If we’re shrouded in the uncertainty of visible darkness (the light of pre-photography images), it’s simply to remind us of the inevitable entropic drive of death. So take care as you cross the doorstep: beware of being seduced by the random birdsong or the disturbing oddity of the garden. Don’t be fooled – these are simply distractions masking the warning symptom of the images.

The exhibition is complemented by the installation Caja de Luz (Light Box) in the Verneau exhibition room of the Canary Islands Museum.

Raquel Zenker Castro




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