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"Both the body and its parts are in a continuous state of dissolution and nourishment so they are inevitably undergoing permanent change."

Theologus Autodidactus -Ibn Al-Nafis

Following her fascination for plant life and corporeal partitions, METABASIS unravels fragments of an imagined biological world. Loosely inspired by museum displays or anatomical illustrations a collection of fragments is re-mixed in a complex and intriguing visual puzzle.

Bodies, be those of plants or animals, are cut and reassembled into uncategorised forms. This imagery of hybrid organisms is disconnected from a context or explanation. We know nothing about their origins. They could be specimens of the post-natural world or newly discovered species. They could be intact or dissected, alive or dead. In the realm of indeterminacy, systems begin to unfold: ambiguous images are revealing the workings of vision and cognition. Rootless anatomies raise questions about uncharted information and taxonomy. Subtle visual references to recombinations hint at the possibilities behind genetics and bio-politics. However these notions are not examined directly. Much like in medieval manuscript entries depicting far-away places, in METABASIS, facts contain some degree of fabrication, poetry and biology may overlap on the same page and the borders between the real and the imaginary are sometimes hard to pinpoint.

Floriama's works often make use of experimental artistic procedures to bring about renditions of flesh-plant morphologies. Her artistic enterprise is highly intuitive; discovery plays an important role. It is a constant negotiation between existing mental images and seeking ways to bring them about. Photographic impressions can be miss-interpreted as scribblings or ink-blots, figures are hidden in a tapestry of intricate details. Perception is brought forward as mechanism, making the viewer question not only what but also how does one see. In order to uncover all of the ingrained artefacts, the observer needs to spend time with the paintings.

METABASIS is constructed around the idea of transformation, of the continuity of an object in time. Two different artistic approaches, exhibited in parallel reflect the same concept employing different procedures. Genetic mutations are used as a pretext for variations: series of canvases and skins each bearing a rendition of a strange body part, each noting a detail about a different configuration, a change, a transformation, a new species.

The canvases are depicting the evolution of these hybrid specimens in all of their varieties. Image transfers, prints, photographic impressions, as well as drawings, and painting overlap on the painted surface. Layers upon layers are added then removed from the canvas surface. Photographs of fruit, viscera, flesh, leafs or other fragments are digitally altered and morphed together. The resulting digital image is then used as a negative and printed on large films, then photographically impressed onto the paintings. Small gestural interventions are sometimes emerging from the colour layers below, or are overlaid onto the photographic emulsion.

Introducing highly aestheticized articulations of decay, light-boxes display dried kombucha film, cut into hide like shapes. Sometimes images are transferred on these skins. Kombucha is a symbiotic microbial culture, containing bacteria and one or several types of yeast. It is usually breed in sweetened tea, feeding on the sugar and fermenting the liquid in this process. Once removed from its tank, the biofilm dies and dries out in a couple of days, resulting in a thin, transparent membrane. Over a longer period of time oxidation darkens the material; it becomes opaque and changes colour to a dark shade of brown. The images, once imprinted on this material will also darken and disappear. This conceptual approach follows the metabolic development of a living being up to its death and deterioration.

Floriama Candea's works prove an ongoing attraction to biological forms, here presented as subjects. They are dismembered, reassembled and re-contextualised into complex and close-knit visual embroideries. She is challenging the way memory, cognition, perception and taxonomy are set in motions as mechanisms in the subjective relation with the world. New means of expression as well as unconventional materials are constantly expanding her uses of mixed media techniques. Drawing, painting, photographic or printed image transfer, kombucha film or found objects are interlaced on large format canvases, revealing a clear preference for sophisticated textures and dense materiality. Floriama is set out to: “describe the visceral experience of perceiving an image “.

Text: Ana Lemnaru

With her series, FFF-XXX, artist Floriama Candea argues that contemporary society is dominated by the (ab)use of graphic/explicit imaginary of sex and sexual behaviour. In this context the artist questions whether sex is purely a physical act or if there is a deeper spiritual and emotional meaning to it. The series looks into the meaning and symbolism of sexual behaviour and sexuality as a human attribute. It is inspired by the exploration of sexuality and its visual meanings.

Almost all living creatures have some form of sexual behaviour. Because of this she has chosen to make an analogy between the reproductive systems of flowers and humans. The reasoning behind this is that flowers, as components of plants, are sexual organs. Whilst normally genitalia are not perceived as beautiful due to certain sexual taboos, the correlation between flowers and reproduction is generally absent. Flowers are seen as icons of beauty: fragile and seductive, they inspire to love; flowers even attract other natural forces through seduction.

This subtlety is absent in FFF-XXX. Flowers are represented as what they truly are: reproductive organs. In this series the artist expresses the correlation between the two different kinds of reproductive organs through the portrayal of flowers as human genitalia. The works evoke the beauty of flowers as a metaphor to the emotional aspect of human intimate interaction. At the same time however, the presence of human sexual organs in this traditionalist, almost baroque sense of beauty, will give a viewer feelings of disturbance. The works revolve around these feelings; whilst the explicitness might be subtle, there is still sort of guilty pleasure of looking at it.

As the artist explores, the viewer is invited to do the same since the repetitive aesthetic of human genitalia disguised as flowers return throughout the series. The sense of visual exploration is encouraged by the open composition of the works. They might seem infinite to the viewer, with each pattern being unique when observed more closely.

The images were digitally processed, combined and overlaid until a mirror-like relationship emerges. They were incorporated in larger compositions using a combination of print transfer techniques and other materials such as resin, oil, charcoal and others. This resulted in an accumulation of shapes and gestures that are repeated on layers, forming non-hierarchical, non-centred compositions. There is no actual evolution in the implied narrative of this imagery; no single motif is dominant in the composition. Thwarting the narrative is an important way to engage people’s interest.

Text: Stefan Blokker