View Isabel Hurley´s page in facebook View Isabel Hurley´s tweets View Isabel Hurley LinkedIn page

OFF LINE april 30 - june 20, 2009
  • A ras de piel

    A ras de piel, 2009

    Installation and performance. Variable dimensions.

  • White veil

    White veil, 2008

    Video, 2' 22''

  • A ras de piel (detail)

    A ras de piel (detail), 2009

    Installation and performance. Variable dimensions.

  • Veiled 1

    Veiled 1, 2009

    C-Print on dibond, 150 x 77 cm.

  • Neuronal suite

    Neuronal suite, 2011

    Mixed media, 60 x 60 cm. (x 9)

  • Neuronal suite (detail)

    Neuronal suite (detail), 2009

    Mixed media, 60 x 60 cm. (x 9)

  • Offline (La historia de Nastagio degli Onesti)

    Offline (La historia de Nastagio degli Onesti), 2008

    Video, 6' 00'', Ed.3 + AP

  • Offline (La historia de Nastagio degli Onesti)

    Offline (La historia de Nastagio degli Onesti), 2008

    Video, 6' 00'' Ed.3 + AP

  • Hurted shadow

    Hurted shadow, 2009

    Mixed media, 200 x 200 cm.

  • Overlay I

    Overlay I, 2009

    Mixed media, 60 x 60 cm.

  • A ras de piel

    A ras de piel , 2009

    Installation and performance. Variable dimensions.

  • Veiled 1

    Veiled 1, 2011

    C-Print on dibond, 100 x 75 cm.


Off Line, Elena Rendeiros´s first individual exhibition in Málaga, means, according to her own statement, “that which remains hidden in the shadow”. The translation from English, “entre líneas”, makes reference to that which can be sensed but cannot be seen. Eco, in his “Definition of Art”, suggests that Del Sublime, a classic of aesthetics, shows that this category lies within the indescribable, something that can´t be noticed in the fabric of the analyzed work, but only provides the emotional-intelectual weave (plot) that explains it, and that can be found within the interstices of both realities. In this very case, the artist tries to reveal not only her own shadow, nor the collective shadow of the other “I”s, but that which cannot speak. Azorín defined movies as that which remained in the intervals.

Different concepts interweave in the “Off Line” exhibition, which allude to the sensory and deeply analytical, physical and metaphysical levels. The skin is choosed by the artist to be the link that guides us among the visual, here represented by the nylon stockings, a kind of second skin layer for a woman´s legs. Juan Antonio Ramírez comments, in Corpus solus, that “clothing adheres to the body and, therefore, it represents its double and its metaphor”. He speaks eloquently of “that which wraps, but also serves to evade or conceal” – Maite Méndez´s Camuflaje treaty is, in this sense, very interesting -; ”The clothing is the body and viceversa”, Ramírez says.

According to Jung (Mysterium conjuctionis), one needs to discover, identify and friendly talk to the shadow. Influenced by the Tao philosophy, he is convinced that the new Man, a whole human being, emerges from the union of the Ying and the Yang, the visible and the invisible. The oposites are also complementary: “Everything has a double meaning, all truths are half-truth, all paradoxes can be reconciled” (Hermes Trismegisto). The dream represents the shadow – an invisible factor that is acting all the time – and the complement for each of us and it is by means of our dreams that we may get to know aspects of our own personality. It is essential that we should get into contact with the shadow in order to learn to know us better. The shadow is a narrow gate that make us experience the unavoidable tightness necessary for us in order to be able to understand the other that lies within us; the shadow also contains collective factors that connect with the external life of each individual.

The pain and the suffering as an initiation practice to attain knowledge and the nudity and the eternal return in time justify the reference, in the video and the triptych, to Nastagio degli Onesti´s story - octave of the fifth book of Decameron -, a story revealed in the three works by Boticelli displayed in the Prado Museum, and which were assigned by Lorenzo the Magnificent as a wedding present. The works were created to be part of a spalliera, a mural paneling with double function – decoration and contributory element to maintain constant the temperature. “The lovers´hell” tells the terrifying story of the suicidal lover after having been rejected, condemned to die for it just as his running bride, he plays the double role of executioner and victim respectively, in an endless hunting ritual during which, after having pursued and reached his prey, he pulls out her heart and throw it to the dogs.
A ghoslty vision-like second story level finds the main character of the story in the loneliness of the wood where he tries to alleviate the grief and spite/sorrow of his own rejection. This level is also a persuasive solution for his bride, who, after contemplating the terrific fate of the other woman insensitiveness to her suiter´s love, consents to marry Nastagio. The artist makes it clear that the allusion to Bocaccio´s story is being legitimized in the mentions above, and not at all in the “countenance” of the feminine canon mentioned by Deleuze; the story also evokes, in a sort of allegorical deja vú, the daily and repeated succession of drmatic episodes against women, in another terrible waterwheel. Stanley Kubrick, in his “A Clockwork Orange” resorts to a similar method of dissuasion, although by means of different reactions, in order to eliminate the violence against a human being.

Prometheus´s myth – the titan who stole gods´fire, and who was condemned by these to have his entrails eternally devoured by a vulture – identified by Aeschylus with the birth of conciousness, represents for Unamuno the opening of reason, simbolized by the scavenger bird – an eagle in Hesiod´s interpretation – to the impossibility of believing in a conscious immortality; Prometheus would symbolize the human consciousness and his thirst of knowledge and eternity. However, reason would not serve to capture human being´s reality, but the myth and the poetry that lies within himself, the “phantasmagoria”, a form of knowledge that springs from another source which is not the pure reason, but the mythological fantasy and the myth, revealing an ineffable, irrational truth. Equally, Sisyfus´s myth symbolizes, for Weckler, the human man´s fight for reaching wisdom. In order to avoid death, Sisyfus kidnaps Thanatos and misleads Hades to get out of the underworld, for which he will be eternally condemned to climb a pending slope repeatedly, until the end of times, carrying a giant rock upon his shoulders. According to Homer, Sisyfus was one of the most prudent human beings.

The continual return back in time can also be detected in the Egiptian mithology in Ra´s perpetual circular journey around the day universe of light and the nigh one of the shadow, renewing it when starting each solar route. Nietzsche adapts it to the eternal return, with the identical overrating of the solar zenith, the midday, and makes it the basis of his thesis of the destruction of the end of history.

Time is conceived, in each and every case, as a waterwheel where everything occurs with a repetition rhythm characterized by a certain regularity in its frecuency. In Elena Rendeiro´s work, the obsession of time lies on the impossibility to measure it, on the skepticism of a convencional notion of time, which does not exist. In the “Off Line” video, a woman partially gets inside the stockings arrangement, in an exercise of introspection, a search for her unconscious, her other “I”, her shadow. She does it repeatedly and at certain times, and, due to the overlapping of the images, it creates the impression of actually being three women. Equally, in the performance with the same name and in the photographs of the woman who coveres her head with the stockings, the artista makes reference to the analytical introspection. The same function had Ligia Clark´s “clothing and sensory masks”, through which she discovered her interior space and the external one, and by means of which she pursued the creation of the “collective body” under different forms. Juan Antonio Ramírez´s book points to the fact that clothing has a potential to “make possible in the metaphorical environment of art all that which seems impossible in the strictly carnal reality”. On the other side, “the old skin abandoned by snakes, symbolizing a previous life that renews itself once reaching the end of the life cycle”, can be associated with the clothing that we take off every night: “Undressing is in fact a resurrection or, more exactly, a metamorphosis.”

Nudity in Rendeiro´s work resorts to the authentic, to that which is visible and not stifled. Skin is the only wrap up, which can be pierced, scanned, in all the possible and necessary layers to find that which is searched for, after having eliminated every obstacle to gain access to the deep and abysmal subconcious.

The other displays in the exhibition, paintings of mixt technique and stockings on wood, are the result of the artist´s investigation both in the field of the use of this material as in the field of redifining painting and searching for new borders and limits. Skin continues to be a leit motiv for the same reasons. The conceptual relations with surrealism are visible in the representation of the inside of the body, including thoughts, and discovering this way the ultimate haven of shadow and dreams: the cerebral synapse of Neuronal suite, the suspended. The big, very sculptural piece of work at the entrance petrifies the foam of a black sea, which can be detected between the hollows left by the stockings, as if they were skin pieces.

Senses, their different combinations and superposing carrying an informative weight and the various sensory levels, constitute the pillar of Elena Rendeiro´s work, whose poetic breaths sensitivity and firmness, in a multidisciplinary format and with an aesthetics that some would define as similar to neobaroque , due to the simbolic and de facto deconstruction of the images, the scenographic character of the display, the multidimensionality, the importante of the visual or the impressive capacity of the montage.

Rendeiro agrees with the Japanese poet Junichiro Tanizaki in saying that “the essential lies in capturing the mistery of the shadow”.


Translated by Cristina Tanasse


© 2011 Isabel Hurley