Federico Uribe

In your shoes…

Where did the need to cut the stories of my childhood into thousands of small impossible pieces come from?

Why do I contemplate and destroy the papers that keep the impossible adventures that I lived, the inexistent places I visited and visions that I could not remember?

If the memories of my childhood are sacred, this is an act of sacrilege in which I try to kill the child that I no longer am.

With anger and tenderness, I sit for hours cutting without stopping and without thinking in these stories with which now I am writing my own, an adventure where I impose an adult mathematical order.

I recognize myself in these stories that I did not live but I felt like a reality I was trying to escape. I recognize myself in this compulsive behavior that all parts turn out to be the same.

I want that these mutilated adventures to say that I am looking for an order, a structure that opposes the chaos outside.

I build following a pattern that I have not invented but that I feel is my own. It is the order of organic mathematics with which nature is built, the same order in the veins of the leaves, the fish scales –  that we only see when they are dead – and the black seeds of the red watermelon – which we only see when it is opened.

The objects that I make, conjure up puzzles, tiles, grandmother’s tablecloths… observed in silence.

The only thing I want, is for it to be perfect as the Tintin Desert, where there was a heat that you did not feel and perfect like the idea that good people always win.

Despite what I have done in these pieces and what I have written here, I know that with this work I am preserving what is left of the child that lives inside of me.

Roberto Scafidi

Las obras pertenecientes a Magdalena Murúa nos ofrecen el atractivo de contemplar una  vibración molecular cuyo material de base es la perforación o el fraccionamiento (alguien diría “deconstrucción”) de elementos tomados de la cultura popular o chatarra mass-mediática, según se desee (Hulk, Batman, Archie, etc), la cual es resignificada, hasta subvertida, pasando de ser mero entretenimiento para constituirse en los bloques estructurales de una construcción superior en belleza y en significado,.que se caracteriza por la desmaterialización y esencialidad, y, aunque pueda parecer contradictorio, con un pié en lo lúdico y otro en lo espiritual.

Construcción atonal, (en el sentido que le da R. Arnheim), atómica, de un ritmo minimalista, serial, en apariencias sin demasiadas variaciones, pero que en realidad está cargado de sutilezas y pequeñas perlas, cuya belleza se hará mas accesible si contamos con una fe poética que cumpla la función de llave iniciática y develadora. Ritmo continuo, vibración perdurable, movimiento inmóvil que energiza y apacigua a la vez. Belleza de superficies que parecieran en ocasiones sintetizar y reordenar el all-over painting de Jackson Pollock trastocando la técnica y el desborde expresivo de éste en un “all over pasting” que se encuadra en un orden geometrizado y desdramatizado, pasando de la angustia existencial de aquel a un orden vital posible, más alegre y no exento de una cierta catarsis, expresada a través de una labor manual intensa y de la también intensa observación y meditación que estas obras requieren de la artista, para cobrar vida y existencia formal. Sin preconceptos ni elaboraciones discursivas forzadas, esta joven y destacada artista nos propone un cosmos alejado del dolor, una belleza sin profundidades abisales, pero viva, dinámica, generadora, luminosa.

Valeria Traversa

Con una dedicación minuciosa y un trabajo puntilloso, que podemos asociar con momentos de meditación, Magdalena Murúa arma y desarma imágenes que se entretejen en múltiples ritmos e infinitas combinaciones. Cuadrados, rombos, círculos, son algunas de las inagotables formas que la artista encuentra en su afán de investigar las posibilidades del collage. Dicha técnica le permite mostrar su fascinación por el trabajo manual que la sumerge en un estado introspectivo de profundo ensimismamiento.

Capaz de generar ilimitadas disposiciones en el plano, compone sutiles tramas y texturas que presentan imperceptibles variaciones formales y tonales. Partiendo de diferentes recursos como la repetición, la superposición y la  yuxtaposición, da cuerpo a una imagen en constante vibración, que es reforzada por el tipo de material que elige para  realizar sus collages. Casi como un juego, selecciona el papel de comic como medio para resignificar una historia y proponerle al espectador articular la propia. De esta manera se produce un anclaje a través del lenguaje, los colores y distintos personajes que evocan relatos. En esta instancia los exquisitos diseños geométricos se transforman en textos fragmentados, figuración, episodios, grafismos, así como sucesos de una historia  contada que nos reúne en un mundo de movimiento y sucesión.

Sus obras contienen una gran libertad, acompañada de una inquebrantable voluntad y el albedrío necesario como para mostrarse en la complejidad de sus magníficos diseños.

M. Constanza Cerullo

From the distance, and at first sight, Murúa’s works are a colorful and organized composition that vibrates lively. This intriguing kaleidoscope made by countless fragments of comic book pages, lures us to get closer as we seek to understand more.

Magdalena Murúa has chosen to work with comic books, not for an intentional pursuit of reunion between the fragmented images and the spectator, but for the appealing configuration of colors she was able to conceive with them. As she saw how people reacted in front of her works, she realized those colorful pieces of paper could never be separated from the excitement they produced on us as readers.  Each small piece of printed paper is a fragment of expression that brings to life our own personal relationship with each story. They have the power to even recall our haptic memory of the paper texture and smell. Having acknowledged this, Murúa felt the desire to display small cutouts of  iconic elements from each comic, strategically placed, inviting the viewer to play hide and seek in this thorough and restless composition.

Dazzled with this revelation, she understood that the evocative power of her works is an emotional assessment in consonance with the spiritual process each piece represents. Resembling a meditation, Magdalena embraces the challenge of bringing order to this chaos of infinite paper cutouts. Once she decides which path to take, repetition, overlapping, juxtaposing, she gives herself to each work as a mystic enterprise. Working like a conscious machine, she loses track of time while she glues each fragment to its precise location.

This young Argentine artist has achieved two mayor goals. First, the revitalization of geometric abstraction, and second, the continuity of pop art with a new enhanced, evocative capacity. She has successfully accomplished what seemed impossible in the Argentina in the 40’s, by reconciling concrete and figurative art in her works. Murúa has managed to create art that is a geometrically based composition, and her medium are the pieces of mass-produced figurative images, that display and recover the power of a popular well known archetypal image. In relation to this, it appears suggestively interesting to recall Marshall Mc Luhan words in his book “Understanding Media”, where he develops his thoughts on how media communication influences the human relationships, and proposes that the technologies involved are not only the medium but the message itself.

There are many captivating intersection points between Magdalena Murúa’s work and pop art, in particular with Roy Lichtenstein. The first of them is the reference to Benjamin Day’s dots, the man who created the printing system that is used for comics. While Lichtenstein works can be interpreted as a painted depiction of Ben-Day dots, Murúa uses pages printed with the mentioned system as a medium to paint. Also, it is characteristic of pop art comic paintings, that the viewer receives the image with immediacy, in a single flash. However, with Murúa’s works we need time to interact. At first sight they produce a lively perception, a vibrant configuration of colors and textures meticulously organized and yet impossible for us to mentally reconstruct the original sequence. She has transformed the tabular organization of the comics into a different concept, proposing a new way to read the storyboard, one that captures our sensibility in a quick glance, and immediately afterwards our memory.

The mayor statement of the Gestalt is that “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. That being said, it is necessary to ask ourselves: “How come the whole became to be greater than the parts?” While reading a comic, we enact a Gestalt closure, by being able to look at texts and images as a whole. Perception not only is the way for us to acquire knowledge of the world, but also shapes our post-development and psyche configuration. In front of Murúa’s works we understand the composition as a totality, meanwhile our sensitive and mental experience of the world prevails above the fragmented images.