⟨ Art ⟩

Wayfinding

Teresita Fernández

Words / AY
Translation / Ian Tsang

「甚麼是景觀?(landscape),你作品中指涉的是外在景觀,還是內心的風景?」我這樣問藝術家Teresita Fernández。

出生南美古巴現在美國定居,Teresita Fernández的作品中很多都是景觀或是地景(landscape)「外在及內地的風景也有,當然這些都不是在真實環境中看到的風景,都是我對風景的想像,但用了取自大地的石墨為創作材料,你也可以說作品刻畫的是大地的一部份,都是風景。」

Fernández的特定場域裝置作品《Rise and Fall》,是一系列用石墨做成不同大小的浮雕版畫。浮雕上的是景觀,版畫掛置在高低不同的位置,牆上描繪着潮汐漲退和不斷變化的地平線,石墨景觀像是浮在海上的島嶼。Fernández利用不同的礦物去表達歷史的沉澱,也描繪抽象景觀,從中不單是探索人與大地的關係,也是記錄著兩者的記憶及對立。石墨是由冷卻了的煤或炭質礦物沉積而成,那一層一層的灰黑色,就是大地的經驗記錄,是礦物結構亦是歷史痕跡。在《Rise and Fall》中,參觀者像被整個裝置包圍著,在欣賞作品的同時,也是身處作品之中。於是不單是視覺的觀賞,也似乎能夠感受浮雕中的景觀,感受發自內在,景觀也因此內化了。那種景觀與人的對置,既渺小也巨大。

對於「身在哪裡?」這個問題,人們都會回答地點的名字:我在香港。我在戲院內。我在外地。我在辦公室中。我在畫廊中⋯⋯。但 Fernández要探求的「哪裡」不只是位置上的詮譯,更是希望從人們的想像中與物質世界的一種連繫。因此她喜愛以不同的礦物來創作,礦物來自大地,它們經歷的變化是歷史,也是人類存活狀態的見證。她把石墨、金、鐵、孔雀石等的形態改變,以不同的技巧將礦物變成景觀。《Rorschach》及《Golden》都是以金作為材料,前者是雕塑後者像是山水的畫作,金的形態改變但內涵依舊。Fernández相信縱使形態及外形改變了,金的前世也包含在今生之中。無論物件的外形如何,當中有因天然侵蝕或人為斧鑿失去的部份,物料本身印證的記憶也完好無缺。

Fernández的藝術創作是一趟尋找之旅,不同物質的型態變化,是希望觀眾能夠通過想像從物質中找尋記錄,既發現大地的歷史,也明白自己身在哪裡。

Teresita Fernández, Rise and Fall. Installation view.
Photography by Kitmin Lee. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

“What is landscape? Are your creations about landscape on the outside, or scenery on the inside?” I asked the artist Teresita Fernández.

Born in Cuba in South America and currently based in the USA, Teresita Fernández has created many pieces featuring landscape. “There are both external and internal sceneries. Of course, they are not sceneries that can be found in the actual environment but rather my imagination on them. But since I have used graphite for my creations, you can also say that what these pieces depict is part of the Mother Earth, and are all sceneries.”

Fernández’s Rise and Fall is a site-specific installation featuring a series of relief panels of various sizes made from graphite. Depicted on the relief panels are landscapes, and the panels are hung at different heights to depict the rise and fall of tide and continuously changing horizons lines. The graphite landscapes resemble islands floating on the sea. Through the use of different minerals, Fernández intends to present the precipitation of history while depicting abstract landscapes. Through these works, she intends to not only explore the relationship between human beings and the Mother Earth, but also to record their memories as well as what set them against each other. Graphite is formed through the metamorphism of coal that has cooled down or carbon based minerals. Layers of grayish black serve to record the experience of the Mother Earth, representing both the structure of minerals as well as traces of history. Within Rise and Fall, viewers feel like being surrounded by the whole installation. They are appreciating the pieces but at the same time they are inside them. Therefore, this amounts to more than a kind of visual appreciation. One can also seem to feel the landscapes within the pieces. The feeling comes from within, and thus, the landscapes become internalized. The positioning of the landscapes and humans against each other is at once tiny and huge.

In response to the question “where are you?”, people always answer with names of places: I am in Hong Kong; I am in a cinema; I am overseas; I am in the office, I am in an art gallery… However, the “where” which Fernández goes after is more than just an interpretation of a location. She further hopes to find a link to the material world from people’s imagination. That explains why she loves to use various minerals in her creations. Minerals come from the Mother Earth, and what they have experienced is history, and also bears witness to human beings’ survival. With the transformation in the shape and form of graphite, gold, iron and malachite, she turns minerals into landscape through various skills. Both Rorschach and Golden were created with gold. The former is a sculpture while the later resembles a landscape painting. Despite changes in the shape and form of gold, its inner quality remains the same. Fernández believes that even though the shape and outlook of the gold has undergone changes, its previous incarnation is still contained in its current life. Regardless of the outlook of objects, including parts lost due to natural erosion or artificial chiseling, the memories recorded in the object itself remains intact without any deficiency.

Fernández’s art creation is a quest. Changes in the shape and form of different materials serve to prompt viewers in search of records from materials through imagination, during which they can discover the history of the Mother Earth while understanding where they are.

Teresita Fernández. Golden (Obsidian Sky), 2014. Gold chroming and India ink on wood panel.
120 x 288 inches (overall). Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Teresita Fernández. Rorschach (detail), 2013-2014. Fused nylon, gold chroming, and aluminum.
21.5 x 84.02 x 47.99 inches. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.