Viaje al centro de la tierra, Penetrable, 2014

Author: Damián Ortega


Metallic structure and suspended objects.

Tubular leather, pumice stone, zamak, ceramic, glass, red tezontle stone.

Installed pieces approximately 300 x 300 x 400 cm.

Ortega explores the forces that give shape to our world, and does so with a unique use of materials. His work, a mixture of humour and poetry, reveals to the spectator that art is also in engineering and that everyday objects possess hidden powers that transmit social connotations.

His work is often a balancing and coordination act that uses powerful conceptual gestures as tools. He identifies delicate and unstable forces that constitute the contemporary society and the environment in which we live.

Viaje al centro de la tierra [journey to the centre of the Earth] interacts with the inherent cosmic ideas of the decomposed shape. The rocks and minerals are suspended from the ceiling as if this were the Big Bang, stopped in time. These pieces find their roots in forensic archaeology, where a researcher slowly discovers fragments and meticulously reassembles them in order to recover the lost time, the deep time according to geologists. This time illustrates the age of our planet. This idea is a perfect opportunity to explore how the principles of geology and the phenomenon of basic sedimentary layers can be used as a formal approach for sculpture. In this way, he simultaneously embodies the monumentality and the fragile complexity of our ordinary landscapes.

One of the distinguishing marks of Ortega's work is that of reformulating complex conceptual ideas while using familiar materials. The elemental forces of materiality and gravity coexist with a cultural symbolism and with the instability of contemporary society. The spectator is encouraged to participate in the creation and to interact with it.