"Protoforme", by Alejo Ponce de León


Some glass shops specialized in armor plating services offer their customers samples of pure material. I am not talking about prototypes of car or houses shields but about a kind of mass incredibly solid and irregular: a dwarf meteorite made of glass. The surface of these samples is usually covered by long fissures and peeled-off areas; under the surface, thousands of still splinters lay like insects preserved in amber. These marks are a result of the resistance proofs  undergone by glass; the record of amusing procedures such as throwing it into the void from high places or hit it with a drop hammer. In this way, sellers aim to unveil for their customers the elemental heart of the product that is being commercialized: the material reliability and its ability to fulfill the function for which it was designed, that is, in this case, to keep the illusion that nobody could ever shoot you down.      


The sculptures to be seen at Protoforme are also samples of pure matter, but it is difficult to imagine in which senses they could ever become reliable. Materially speaking, they doesn´t say anything about the broad practical potential of resin. As a representation, it would be too hard to try to define the idea they intend to represent; actually, they seem quite literal, self-evident, incapable of representing anything else. As an exercise in contemporary art, they put themselves on the margin of mainstream. The apparent invariability of its look can be also questioned: they have the faculty of renewing their details independently, of altering their textures and reorganize their surfaces at any time. At the end of the day, the only certainty they bring ends up to be a requirement: to oblige the spectator to align him or herself with his o her own physical presence, to synchronize with them. Furtado´s work plasters the gap between body and mind trough a proposal of synesthetic vision, a vision that emerges from movement, something like a tactile concentration.


At Protoforme, the artist doesn´t work for the creation of an ambient; her interest is not to stipulate the conditions of the exhibition machinery. She doesn´t mediate in the relation between her sculptures and the space, neither controls the incidence of lighting upon them. She delivers them directly into the frozen waste land of the room as if they were just brought into the world, leaving them to manage by themselves in their changing and adaptation. Precisely, given an environment that is not controlled by any conceptual guideline, the circumstances in which one faces these figures get deeper; at the same time, in the spectator grows not only the need of mixing with them but also the need of constantly realize the terms in which that relationship develops. One can see one of the figures from here, for instance, and obtain a certain result, but immediately one will feel the urge of watching it from over there, from a further point of view, or even to delicately touch it to feel its rough and smooth areas. One will tend to get as close as possible so that, through this physical approach, the myriad of singularities that cover the external face of the work keeps broadening.     


There is a kind of mineral called garnet and there are varieties of it of virtually every color. Green, black, orange, yellow, violet or pink garnet can be found. Some of them, like the recently discovered blue garnet, present an anomaly, a particularity in its chemical composition that makes it change colors when exposed to different kinds of light. Under a natural light beam, the chromatic range goes from blue to chestnut, going through grey, brown and several green shades. If it is exposed to a LED light, it gets pinkish. It is inert but it reacts almost like a living organism when it is stimulated in a certain way. This biological potentiality is also present in Protoforme. To be in touch with these figures for a prolonged period of time, may lead us to think about different organic processes, regulated or unconscious: the slow invigoration of the muscles, for instance, or the soft tissue that swells up with blood; the appearance of stains in the skin, the unwilling secretion of fluids or simply blushing. This biological potentiality prompt us to imagine how Protoforme` sculptures will be some time from now. Not in five years, standing in the middle of a collector`s living room, or hidden in a gallery storage room. Not even in one hundred years, when the collector dies, when whoever might be reading this dies too and galleries become something from the past. I am talking about six hundred years, a thousand years, a million, when there won´t be anybody around to relate with them ad when the impossibly gradual change that works at every moment over their figures shall transform them in something else, something unidentifiable.