Hilo de Tiempo/Acción de Tejer un Cuerpo, 2018. Video installation with mother and daughter weavers, 300 x 400 cm. Video recording by Melanie Dealbera. Photo: Lucia del Milagros Arias

Intense Reactions: A Conversation with Celeste Martínez Abburrá

The work of Argentinian artist Celeste Martínez Abburrá focuses on the body as social metaphor and fragile physical entity—an embodiment of identities, a container expressing thoughts and feelings, a structure for doing, and a host to disease. Combining installation, photography, video, and different techniques of object production, she aims to open a dialogue across disparate fields and areas of knowledge. Her research often starts with medical science, particularly pathology and its diagnostic images, which she incorporates into faux consumer objects whose seductive allure quickly becomes unsettling. Abburrá calls this “translating symptoms to things.” Blending the codes of art, medicine, and product design/display, mixing technology and machinery with ancestral crafts and organic materials, her work forges unexpected links between seemingly impossible-to-relate mental states and experiences.

María Carolina Baulo: Your work is disruptive and disturbing in its ideas and forms, experimenting with different media and framing devices in order to manifest a conceptual search in which the body becomes the protagonist in a performance of the social framework. What is your process like, and how does this search develop in a material way?
Celeste Martínez Abburrá: At the beginning, the process is quite intuitive. The conceptualization comes first, followed by the search for how to materialize that idea in the most appropriate way. Over time, I have developed a working methodology defined by research and a negotiation between the organic and the technical . . .

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