desktop.jpg

Commissions + Articles

Vanessa Donoso Lopez: I Shall Change The Way Things Are Ordered @ Kevin Kavanagh

On Clay and Transitional Spaces, an essay by Sue Rainsford, was commissioned on the occasion of I shall change the way things are ordered. 

Read an excerpt below:

Initially transcribed in Sumerian on 12 clay tablets, the material link between Gilgamesh and its birthing substance is further compounded in this exhibition. It is also fitting that this most pliable of mediums is paired with a piece of fictive narrative that, having undergone countless translations, exists now as a series of conflicting versions. Donoso López’s interpretations are straightforwardly depictive. In both drawing and sculpture, the characters regard us with uniform expressions; we see Gilgamesh, known to be a cruel king, exert his authority with a brute physicality. We see Utnapishtim and his wife – depicted alongside the animals they ushered onto the ark – who Gilgamesh approaches in his search for the youth restoring flower. The flower itself is portrayed as a simple floral substance without reference to its potential magical attributes.

Concurrent with this literal quality, however, is a marked blend of textual interpretation and embodied experience, the substantive crux of the work being the clay retrieved from the three sites across Spain. Integral to how they function in the gallery is the extended movement through space their making entailed, a repeated transitioning across borders geographical and political. Now directly embodying these locations, the works are rich with incidental detail and haptic content, with close and recurring contact: the viewer’s experience, though primarily ocular, is tangibly charged with the artist’s travels, with each micro-instance of petrichor in the studio as the clay, upon being wettened to be mixed with ink, releases a rain-rich scent.

Sue Rainsford