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“In relation to the photographs of my children, i believe they have always been an extension of my own skin.”
Mónica Bengoa

The quotation of another surface of Bengoa –the textual one– in which she gave account of her work process –the body– in her reiterations with different resignifications that reappear in Sobrevigilancia (“Overvigilance”). Part of the register and the accumulations of everyday takes of her children that are now used in their metonymic condition (the part and the whole) indicatingly in the two toothbrushes in the glass on the bathroom sink.

Hence “Sobrevigilancia” alludes to a visible and another invisible surface; the first one is the generic addscription of this work to its pictorial condition that condenses as hypercodeification of the body of Bengoa as far as the own: the skin, the trace of the incidental actions, but now displaced in the other skin, the one of the surface of the wall of the gallery, that she covers with dyed thistles that manually compose the image of the framing of a bathroom: tiles, a sink and a glass with two toothbrushes, this is, layer over layer. The tile is also a material to cover the wall, specially those with dripping of humidity. What is painting if not the act of recovering the first action of the imprinting for retention.

The second one, speaking of retention, is because of the elements that Bengoa maintains giving “Sobrevigilancia“ continuity in its –metonymic character– the trace of the sequence of other works in which her children appear: En vigilia (“In wakefulness”) Valdivia 1999; Tríptico en Santiago (“Tryptich in Santiago”), 2000; and En vigilia IV (“In wakefulness IV”), Valencia 2001. In this journey of territories the photographic reference builds itself on the series of takes and their marking according to the place. Now it seems to me that she reinverts the process, the photograph is there as quote in its almost amateur condition, blurry or overexposed. Apparently Sobrevigilancia looks like a satelital photograph, this association is not casual, physic geography is a constant in the work of Bengoa.

In some way Sobrevigilancia is a scale operation that Bengoa conducts in which she condenses the constructive procedures of her body of work, reiterating the extensive notion of territory for the problematization of the landscape starting from cartography and climatic cards which are analogized in painting in respect of the representation of colour. But the accumulation of the residues and their delimitations is now displaced towards the intimate geography of the fragility of what is private and what is public.

Alberto Madrid Letelier

  1. © 2019 monica bengoa

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