Sustaining Softness amidst Thistles and Snakes

Sustaining Softness amidst Thistles and Snakes

Sustaining Softness amidst Thistles and Snakes
Daniela Medina Poch

Felted yarn, chain and metallic structures

Various dimensions

ArtFest, Garzón, Uruguay 2023

Sostener la Suavidad entre Cardos y Culebras seeks to celebrate a softness that exposes and protects; a softness as a political stance of re-existence that is sustained despite the geopolitical and eco-social adversities of the planetary times we live in.

At a time when I was questioning the value of art in the face of such a dystopian and frustrating human scenario, I was inspired to find myself in the environment of Pueblo Garzón, Uruguay, where sheep walk among thistles and snakes with relative fluidity and harmony, often even interchanging and amalgamating properties of forms and in unexpected configurations.

The piece is made in dialogue with José Soussa, a local sheep herder with whom an exchange of stories was made by felt technique, seeking to revalue the value of wool and the work of shepherding that, in the local context, seem to be materials and trades increasingly invisible and precarious. The softness and roughness are also expressed in the rural environment where beyond a romantic relationship with nature as landscapes of contemplation, there are also present dynamics of domestication towards the countryside that is sustenance and food. Behind the softness there are invisible labors and, as in the case of thistles and sheep, a tangle of non-binary and admirable symbiotic relationships.

I worked on this installation by letting myself be led by gesture and latency, rather than by a previously defined form. It was a joy to have the guidance of my friend Rafiki Sanchez who is, among other things, a master of sculpture. This installation is accompanied by many sunsets, moments of listening and complicity with the countryside.

Installation made during my residency at CAMPO Garzón.
Curatorship and accompaniment by Patricia Bentancur
Photographs by Rafiki Sánchez, Lu Lee, Darío Invernizzi and myself.
Thanks to the support of José Soussa, Patricia, the resident friends, the neighbors of Garzón, the sheep, the CAMPO team, and the CAMPO team.

Metaprotesting Metaprotesting Metaprotesting Metaprotesting
Metaprotesting Metaprotesting Metaprotesting Metaprotesting

Rapport –  geolistening shelter –  What do Snails Think About Nuclear Power Plants? –  Atlantic, Mediterranean, Collision, Coalition –  ARDE, homage to reparation processes –  Environmental Matrix –  If You Listen to Nettles, They Won’t Sting You –  Staying with the Wonder –  Das Zentrum von Gestern –  Intersecting Mediterranean(s) –  Cuerpo Colectivo –  The Land of Thunder and Lightning  –  Becoming Anti-Monuments –  Aqualiteracies –  Reset (Quimérico) –  Babel Media Art –  Fictions / Facts –  ERROR 14-92 –  Ciudad Anfibia –  Beyond the Döner –  How high? –  1m² Parque la Independencia –  Papel Soberano –  Unitedstater –  A Picture with a Latina –  Metaprotesting –  Public Complaint Office –  Wiping Out My National Identity