By Daniela Arroyo
“What are the virtualities, the potentialities, within biological existence that enable cultural, social and historical forces to work with and actively transform that existence?”
Elizabeth GROSZ, «Darwin and feminism: preliminary investigations for a possible alliance» (1999)
Unknown life forms seem to float in some kind of strange fluid, it is not possible to define with certainty whether it is viscous, liquid or water. It could be before, after or during; inside or outside of a body; it is no place and no time at the same time. Although at a glance, one can know that it is alive. Movement is perceived there, those forms are neither plants nor animals, some seem both, others pretend to be something else, they play with the plausibility of species of fungi, whales, jellyfish, algae, eyes, tentacles or rocks. These strange and heterogeneous organisms seem to relate to each other as they float. They are connected, some intertwine, others rub against each other, or even overlap. All these interrelationships between bodies and forms seem to build a weft. In fact, each of these could be part of a whole. That is to say, to compose a single creature.
It would even seem that moving in a kind of a sensual dance allows it, her, to capture other mediums. Perhaps this is how she was able to take the same wall that houses it and rejoin her previously fragmented parts into two separate papers that hang. Its center line is soft, it does not look as defined and dark (yet?) as the others. This collective organism, expanding and branching, seems to demonstrate a process that neither begins nor ends there. Immersing herself in a system as different as the sea was an experience that Ligeïa Ozanne lived and the starting point towards the unknown, towards depersonalization; towards a dynamic, but non-linear artistic production. Towards a decentered, multifaceted and non-hierarchical work that never ends; towards her own creaturely becoming.
If I can only write from left to right, from top to bottom, constructing a line, metaphorical and literal, that the reader must then follow in their reading, it suddenly becomes an insufficient practice. How to write in this way about a non-unitary, non-linear and multiple process of exploration? Perhaps I just need to make these words stimulating enough to lead to its own exit, outside of itself, to an extratextual experience with the artwork. It is not a matter of inscribing meanings, or finding concepts, but of imprinting on the gaze a moving image that awakens curiosity and desire. Reading is only the beginning of the experience of facing her, of standing in front of this collective, ever-expanding organism. Or the other way around, the artwork takes you to the text and returns you to it, again. To generate more movement, to be a vanishing point, or the beginning of other new beginnings.
Between the state of panic caused by accelerationism and the anguish about a lack of future, we find the anxiety that awakens the possibility of transforming into something else. In the words of Rosi Braidotti, it is not a question of knowing who we are but rather, finally, what we want to become. May the experience of encountering Mi amor me llevó al fondo del mar (My love took me to the bottom of the sea) be an opportunity to do so. Enter its environment, let the collective creature capture you completely and dance with her.
Buenos Aires, 2021.
Translated from Spanish by Santiago López