Curator: Alexia Atala
Place: NC-Arte, Bogotá, Colombia.
Year: 2019



By Alexia Tala

The exhibition Órdenes Sistémicos [Systemic Orders] by Cristián Salineros for NC-arte, continues his research on politics of space through prototypes that make bodies dialogue with the space and reflecting on what we understand from and what we activate on it by means of a sensorial experience.

His work addresses key issues that link sculpture with architecture. Volume, scale and the possibilities of movement guide the construction of its structures, in this case they are bird cages, which operate as managing systems of the spaces. This is the case of the main piece of this exhibition Órdenes Sistémicos, 2019, which was conceived in close relation to the architectural space of the gallery. This piece involves a large-scale structure composed of a series of 34 identical and interconnected cages. The structure is made to encourage the experience of the viewer as a body that travels and perceives through the senses the scale and possibilities of this modular sculpture.

When navigating it, the structure, with its translucent grilles generates a kinetic effect, which is only possible to perceive at the moment we walk around It. The form is a kind of labyrinth that, unlike other similar pieces, now leaves more space for the flow of movement: if before the experience pursued was that of overcrowding and impossibility, it now conveys to us a certain organicity between us and the space. We interpret this lack of rigidity of the structure as an attempt to go more “towards the bodies” and their perceptions. Bodies dwell outside and within the structure simultaneously and interchangeably, fluently walking through this systemic order.

With this piece, Salineros recovers several of the traits that have appeared in his history of sculptural exploration, for example, the place of repetition of a shape to create an experimentable weft in space or, following what has been mentioned above, as space itself. The cage, for its part, has appeared across the space, referring to caging and the limitations of the behavior of beings.

On the second floor of NC-arte, control opens to other dimensions related to its opposite, chance. On the one hand Ovo error (2019) a series of brass eggs placed in a row, fixed to the wall, and Ensayos cartográficos. Serie Migraciones (2019) a series of pictures of shapes that are not easy to recognize with the naked eye, perhaps only as some kind of geographies, similar to what could be a satellite view of the earth. The pieces from Ovo error are made from real molds (eggs), which when boiled longer than they should be, become amorphous because the egg white comes out as an explosion. These small phenomena of error interrupt the perfect shapes of the egg, which at the same time seeks perfection in the straight formation the wall. On the other hand, following this logic of the organic, but from the traces of the behavior of birds in captivity, the next work, Ensayos cartográficos, deals with photographic records that capture the plates that are under the cages, splattered by the feces of these animals for a certain period of time. These random shapes generate some sort of maps and symbols with colors and shapes that change depending on food and behavior. As seed feeders have continent forms, photographs of excrements become cartographic fractions that also consider the migratory flows of birds in a metaphorical way to the world’s large migration flows today, entering a political dimension that had not been present before but that given today’s reality is impossible to ignore.

Thus in the relation between the two floors at NC-arte a certain flexibility with behavior and space is highlighted. Salineros’s quest has had to do with denaturalizing what is built in space, always determined by ourselves and our experience. We create space from systemic relations: every time we enter it there is a possible sensomotor experience that makes us perceive it. This condition seems abstract only in appearance, but in reality it connects with specific questions of the human condition such as power and control. This is intrinsic to architecture, defined by its ability to operate on bodies and to define behaviors. Hence Salineros’s sculptures must dialogue with the architectural space, all human construction is the result of an order. These pieces bring us this problem shifting a bit more towards the possibilities of fluidity and the dialogues between us and the forms.