Arte al Dia, Heliconia Projects presents group exhibition at Casa Velazquez

April 11th 2024

Spanning sculpture, photography, painting, and textiles, the exhibition touches on how time is a fragile construct – our connection with the past, present, and future is fleeting. The individual’s connection, albeit unnoticeable, with its ancestors is a notion Walter Benjamin explores in his writings, specifically in “On the Concept of History”. Benjamin explains our connection with the past fittingly – referencing a ‘secret agreement’ with past generations or ancestors. Benjamin alludes to a weak messianic power represented by the revolving movement of time: our strong relationship with our predecessors and how this can bind us to certain realities. The ultimate answer Benjamin arrives at is that the future and present are built over contemporary legacies.

Self-taught Danish artist Cecilia Fiona examines the idea of our roots in nature. Fiona looks to transformation, connectedness, and movement as central powers in her practice; coming to the realization that we each have an ecosystem within us, a portal for other species in our microbiome. She ingeniously constructs dreamlike scenarios through mystical figures – both sculptural and in painting, as well as costumes. Her oeuvre is filled with stories where time is just a construct: life and death occur simultaneously, in a symbiotic way. Fiona’s intricate visual vocabulary lends to a masterful practice, rich in unique materials such as rabbit skin glue. The Danish artist blends the glue (normally used as primer) with natural and handmade pigments to create a luminous finish across the canvas.

Work by Olamide Ogunade.