It Shouts Your Name

I met with Inma in Venice a year ago. She had just arrived to spend her 9 month residency at the Spanish Royal Academy in Rome and was visiting Venice to study the Museo Correr archives of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Also José de Ribera was a reason for Herrera to spend time in Italy because both Tiepolo and Ribera had made their lifework in Italy and in Spain. Herrera was there to find out their ways of seeing, thinking and touching.

When one sees Herrera’s works, the surface strikes first. Surface of copper, surface of skin made out of ink and silicone. Copper which illuminates, deep, black etching skin that swallows the light. One reaches immediately ones hands towards these materials. Take me there, they shout. But where, one asks? The journey of investigating Herrera’s works requires patience. What one sees, are the details, which give the clues to keep on going. That’s why it’s necessary to think while seeing.

The way one thinks, helps. With focused mind and giving the time. After seeing, or while doing it, one thinks. What are these hints one sees? To focus. To lift your gaze towards the line where the wall and the ceiling meet each other. There might be a next clue. Or then not. Breathing into the works. Thinking what you see. To think.

Touching the invisible. To let the mind touch. It shouts your name. Like crazy. But you don’t touch because it wouldn’t change a thing. You can think how the material would feel in your fingers. How the soft, thick blackness would roll over you. Taking you under its arms. Ribera’s works are known for their cruelty themes. He lived in a time when strappado was one of the torture methods. To take the skin off. As the tortures do in a painting The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, 1644.

To leave your fingerprints. Smash the surface. Drying, etched surface. Shiny under, unknown handle. To guide one forward, into the darkness or to the light. The light which is illuminating around you. Let it touch your mind. Step. Think.

Inma Herrera discovered the light of Italy. She found the stone carved altars in Roman Catholic Churches and the eye drawn by Ribera. Think of Ribera’s The Sense of Touch, 1632. Eyes closed the blind man is touching the head of an statue. The closed eyes give him the information needed. To see, to think, to touch.

Herrera’s exhibition sums up the working period which she started in Rome in 2017.

                                                                                                                                                                           ULLA-MAIJA PITKÄNEN

Comments are closed.