Valeria Latorre presenting her latest project - Normalized Strangeness.
It started during the first pandemic lockdown, March 2020, and was completed in September 2021. This is the period to which it refers to, even if I actually made the paintings until October 2022. It is an analysis of self perception in meditation during lockdown. I felt a sense of calmness, since I didn’t have to live my long solitude escapes in shame anymore, like I was strange. At that time solitude was forced on most of us. It was normal, it normalized my “strangeness”. With this sense of calmness I could see through myself clearly and many questions arised. What is introspection, reflexivity?
Would self-reflection generate an infinite truth which is perceived as finite? What is infinity? Would infinity reflect the truth? The search to explore these questions revealed the interconnection between many theories and concepts ranging from Mathematics to Advaita Vedanta philosophy, whose answers are hidden in the visual work that emerged during this period of time. The theories on self-luminosity of consciousness (svaprakasata) in particular reflect the essence of this visual project, just as light does not need a second light in order to be revealed so consciousness does not as well.
Water is depicted as a lens. It reflects the light penetrating the surface from one side and, at the same time, its own shadow on the other. Infinite textures of light projected into the human eye create a finite image. Its motion through time and space defines its natural shape and responsiveness to external elements. Silent observation came from calmness that was given by a normalized strangeness state generated by a collective isolation (lockdown) surrounding my isolation escapes, created to protect my energy and use it wisely.
Solo Work. Most of the work was created in solitude, within an existing balance. With one hand I was holding the camera, with the other hand I was throwing water from a bucket. I was filling the bucket to the top in order to feel the heaviness of water in my wrist. My strength was challenged by the weight and could not influence water motion in a systematic way, in pursuance of natural shapes of water.
End of Solitude - The last images, instead, delineate the end of solitude and the dawn of a love relationship; the disruption of the antecedent harmony and the search for a new one to be shared.
The artistic possibilities increased, we were two people now. One of us could throw water using two hands, the other could control the camera setting and push the button at the right time and in focus. We had to synchronise ourselves and create a rhythm that we both could follow, giving ourselves more limits to filter our doubled strength to let the organic motion of water unfold.