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Instalación de fieltro de lana natural calado a mano sobre árboles.

Monica Bengoa: The ineffable joys of enumeration


Text written on occasion of the International Art Symposium in-situ , Art and Nature LIEUX / LIEUES, held at Les Jardins du précambrien, in Val-David, Québec, Canada.


Mónica Bengoa’s plastic research developes around the concept of private space and its material expansion by transferring photographic images to various media and materials (including among others embroidery, drawing and the use of objects), creating new visual constructions, ranging from large-scale murals to full size reproduction.

Trees are dressed in long scarves made of words, muffled as to protect them from the cold of winter. Literature swapped its vocation as a reference for the work of art. The artist indeed integrates art and textuality in an installation that takes the form of six trees with felt letters cut out by hand. A quote from French writer Georges Perec, taken from his essay Sort of Thoughts, is introduced with care and precision in the forest, as an integral part of it. The insertion of text in three languages ​​reveals a dialogue between North and South, a relationship between the three Americas, which constitutes the essence of the Symposium. The extract expresses the duality between the intention to identify everything and the impossible character of that same desire. The feeling of vastness towards nature and the inability to delimit space, somehow reflects the adversarial relationship that humans have with it. The letters sewn, and pinned to trees and entwined -evoking both a thoughtful gesture, of ritual and craft- come to define the physical boundaries, creating an echo, a dialogue between the elements involved. While some texts are more visible, others merge with the landscape. The different colors of felt are like many tones of voice, whispers (white, gray, black), in recital (red, peach, purple tones). And if the silence of the place otherwise, somehow opposes the intellectual density of words, the latter yet harmonize visually with the environment. Between rational and irrational, culture and nature, complete and incomplete, like an unfinished gesture that can be repeated indefinitely, Perec’s text could dress the entire forest.

Chloë Charce

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