Focus

Ana Roldán

Ana Roldán , Sculpture 1 (Tissue), 2018. Courtesy: the artist and Instituto de Visión, Bogota

Ana Roldán , Sculpture 1 (Tissue), 2018. Courtesy: the artist and Instituto de Visión, Bogota

The project Physical Structures presented by the Mexican artist Ana Roldán, is a close examination of the photographs of the series Primeval Forms (2011). The photographs were all taken in the botanical garden of Oaxaca and depict autochthon and sometimes prehistoric Mexican plants. Roldán is interested in archetypal forms of nature that serve humans as inspiration for the development of their own forms and designs. In architecture, for instance, forms are often derived from nature. Just as nature, architecture is subject to basic physical problems like gravity and balance and architectural solutions are often found with nature's constructions in mind. In the sculptural continuation of Primeval Forms, Roldán manages to shed a light on similarities between nature and human-made design.  

In Physical Structures Roldán translates her own photographs of botanical shapes into alleged design objects whose impracticality and uselessness only reveals itself when taking a closer look. Roldán’s architectonical physical structures evoke the question of the essence of ‘home’. The wall, awning and deconstructed tent can definitely be understood as embodiments of basic architectonic needs – they delimit a certain area and build, at least theoretically, a sheltered space. But the execution and materialization visualize the fragility of ‘home’. Through their formal reduction the objects become quotations of a home whose forms, as artificial they may seem, are directly derived from nature.  

Ana Roldán (b.1977, Mexico) lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland. After studying history at ENAH, Mexico, she studied fine arts at HKB Bern from 1999-2003. In the same year, she began showing her workin well-known institutions such as Kunsthalle Zürich, Kunstmuseum Bern and Kunstmuseum Solothurn. In 2005, Roldán was awarded a grant from the swiss federal office of culture, as well as a residency in Paris. In 2006 and 2007 she won two prizes and exhibited in France, Germany, England, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain and China. In 2008, Roldán spent one year working in Kunming, China, invitedby the cities of Zurich and Kunming. Two further prizes were awarded to Roldán in 2009 and 2010. Important exhibitions include solo shows at Badischer Kunstverein and at Kunsthaus Langenthal in 2011 as well as group shows at Witte de With in Rotterdam 2012 and the participation at Lulennial in Mexico in 2015.

Her work is inspired by cultural phenomena: Historical events, philosophical ideas, language, systems, reflections on aesthetics; theoretical concepts in general. Roldán is interested in how the spectators can bestimulated physically as well intellectually through the opposition or displacement of the mentioned systems. Ana Roldán works in diverse medias such as performance, sculpture, installations, video and collage. She often employs natural materials such as coconuts, bamboo, wood, semi-precious stones or leather that reflectthe origin and usage of the material in the investigated cultures.