Johanna Unzueta: Nyctinasty, 29 Nov 2017 — 01 Apr 2018

Johanna Unzueta: Nyctinasty

Chilean artist Johanna Unzueta reflects onthe history of labor, industrial processes, and about modernist sociocultural movements. Her work in the formats of scultpure, drawing, video, installation, wardrobe design, actions, and publications assimilates elements from the geometric discourse of Latin American vanguards specifically in relation to kinetic art and the Brazilian neo-concrete movement as well as that of artists like Hilma af Klint, a pioneer of abstract art. “Nyctinasty” is a sculptural mural that incorporates some of the industrial materials used in the manufacturing of Acapulco chairs as well as the craftmanship techniques employed to produce them, immediately evoking memories of a luxurious past, leisure time, and the Golden era of Mexican show business. The geometric forms, which appear to be multiplying through meiosis (a form of cell division and reproduction) come from imagining an esthetic abstraction of nyctinasty—movements made by the leaves of some plants in order to optimize energy, resting during the night and waking up again in the morning when the sunlight comes out. The mural has allusions to labor, vacation privilege, biological responses, and to the manufacture of synthetic industrial materials. Unzueta’s work does not disclose a particular story, instead it often combines multiple layers of signification through its images, materials, and the space where it is shown or produced.

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