Text by curator Anissa Touati
"Samantha Leiva starts from one point unwinding her thread, as an automatic writing in a landscape that she often chooses empty or in-between.
Her work is characterized by its heterogeneity through the diversity of its supports: installation, photography, painting, writing, performance. These are echoes to the variety of intellectual domains from geology, science fiction, cosmology and religion.
To achieve this, Leiva uses very simple and industrial materials like white thread, rope, sand, staircases, fishing nets, and other common objects, to create a relationship based on the esoteric principle of correspondence and generate specific energy in the space.
Drawing on her shamanism and spiritual backgrounds, knowledge that she has studied extensively, she starts threading; investing a lot through cosmos, planets, sensory experiences that she transmits to her installation.
Leiva uses small pieces of mirrors as light reflectors, spread all over her landscape installation, creating a moon scenery, a constellation using the landscape as a backdrop in which she describes forms.
She said « A landscape is a universe in movement, worked from the inside by a principle of instability and permanency at the same time »
She evokes the idea of social stratification, through the placement of common objects in nature, as a reminder of the cosmological relationship of man to his environment.
Leiva reveals a stage for transforming perception, which she links to the imaginary impact of the extensions of the scientific knowledge of the cosmos (or at least the time of the world).
Her practice, alternating between workshop spaces and open air, responds to a dialectical tension that involves the content and context of the work, the second and third dimensions, nature, culture and, inevitably, time and space."
Everything real belongs to nature. No material, nor that which is the result of a human process, escapes the natural, the terrestrial. The sacred is, therefore, in everything real.
I do installations that transform vacant lots, construction areas, places in nature, archaeological sites and other undefined spaces, which are part of everyday life, in abstract landscapes.
In them I probe the origin of the places and materials with which man and nature have built and destroyed through time.
I draw lines with white thread that at the same time delimit, join and point to a place. It is an anthropological resource that indicates a finding, an exploration.
By revaluing and redefining the functionality of space and materials, a way opens up to transform and redefine also our perception of reality.Through painting, drawing, photography and writing I explore the bond, which I perceive as immutable, between the mundane and the sacred.
I build bridges to go beyond cultural and social identification, aiming to search or question identity parting from the recognition of the self.
Todo lo real le pertenece a la naturaleza. Ningún material, tampoco el que es resultado de un proceso humano, se escapa a lo natural, a lo terrestre. Lo sagrado se encuentra, por tanto, en todo lo real.
Hago instalaciones que transforman terrenos baldíos, áreas de construcción, lugares en la naturaleza, zonas arqueológicas, viviendas abandonadas y otros espacios indefinidos, que forman parte de lo cotidiano, en paisajes abstractos.
En ellas sondeo el origen de los lugares y materiales con los que el hombre y la naturaleza construyen y destruyen a través del tiempo.
Trazo líneas con hilo blanco que a la vez delimitan, unen y señalan un lugar. Es un recurso antropológico que indica un hallazgo, una exploración.
Al revalorizar y redefinir la funcionalidad del espacio y los materiales, se abre una grieta para transformar y redefinir también nuestra percepción de la realidad.
A través de la pintura, la fotografía y la escritura exploro el vínculo, que percibo inmutable, entre lo cotidiano y lo sagrado. Construyo puentes para ir más allá de la identificación cultural y social, apuntando hacia una búsqueda o cuestionamiento de identidad a partir del reconocimiento de uno mismo.
ABOUT THE SAMURAI SERIES I-VI
The architecture of Casa Wabi by Japanese architect Tadao Ando is based on the ancient Wabi Sabi Philosophy, which served as the stage for the Samurai Series Installations.
The use of found materials and day to day materials of the south-pacific coast of Mexico allowed me to create culturally charged installation landscapes inspired by a series of Samurai Death Poems mixed with local mysticism and objects.
Each installation was created ritualistically obeying certain natural laws and making nature itself the engine behind them.
They are conceived as a continuation of one another starting from I going on to VI.
In Samantha Leiva´s work, there is a sensory reflection and experience, which is transmitted to the viewer, by her strive for a particular symmetry. Objects and materials are carefully placed in each setting to find a balance between opposite forces, colours or textures and specific functions are attributed to them.
Leiva uses white thread to create geometric focal points that serve as conducting lines to guide, transmit and hold the energy of the space. In ancient mythology, the white thread was considered to be a sacred material to guide and uncover hidden aspects of the human psyche or different levels of reality. It can also be seen as a symbol of the law of correspondence, which states that everything is part of the same thing, so each part has essentially the same value.
There is a strong link to the artist´s spiritual and cultural background, which opens a way for exploration and research of what is considered to be sacred in different cultures and the ritualistic approaches that there are, to restore balance and heal.
Leiva´s installations often reflect on human sentiments, actions, beliefs and ways of life contained in each object, and the function it was created for originally, is often honoured and replaced.
The objects and materials that Leiva uses, are chosen not only by what they are but by what they can potentially embody and by the energy they can generate if put into relation with other objects, spaces and surroundings.
Each installation reveals different layers of reality by playing with different layers of perception.
Everyday places, with everyday materials, carefully placed and given the sacred value that they have, suddenly become powerful and poetic tools, to find correspondences between the mundane and the spiritual.