pepe cobo y cía
Trashumancia brings together the last body of work of Irene Infantes (Seville 1989).
The title of the exhibition refers to the practice of moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle, feeding, adapting themselves to space and climatic changes.
Always in constant movement, changing the land perpetually, a cycle that does not end but is reborn every time, constantly in developing process.
The work of Irene Infantes focuses on her own interest in the transformation of
natural materials -especially in textiles-, and the alteration to which they are subjected through human intervention.
Infante’s textile works rely on wool as the only material to carry out the pieces, investigating the versatility of the material and the the process of transformation from a live being to becoming something you can purchase at a marketplace.
A material that we often forget that grows in the body of an alive and warm animal to be marketed later, in order to give in return that same heat but adapting itself to a new surface or body.
It retains its purest essence but at the same time, the material seems totally modified.
The Spanish merino wool takes special prominence in the work of the artist, this material was decisive during the last stage of the Spanish pre-industrialization in the fifteenth century which brought to the country an economic and social revolution.
Six centuries later, this same wool has undergone a drastic change at the time of its transformation, from being a craftsmanship material to a mass production element.
That production has been taken to other countries, there being a displacement of the merino race to new countries and causing social, economic consequences and environmental issues which are from the artist interest.
On the other hand, Felt, the only non-woven existing fabric, is very important in the body of work, specially in the tapestries for being considered the first material to ever exist, long before learning to weave or spin.
Trashumancia is composed of large scale rugs and tapestries, that in this context aims to separate the material from its practicality to be decontextualized in order to just focus on its visual attractiveness and only fulfill the function of being observed, as a museum piece.
Pieces such Pathway I and Pathway II aim to represent through shapes and colors what could be individual maps or pieces of a journey.
Trying to materialize the way that wool follows from shearing until its sent to
countries as China for its transformation and cleaning due to production costs and water regulations, an energy-heavy process that also reduces Spanish companies’ creative control over one of their more time-honoured materials.