Work in progress
(2016 - to date)
On earth molding forces
Text by Roma Bernardele
In his essay on the feeling of the beautiful and the sublime, Kant introduces the idea that the sublime is a combination of disgust and pleasure, and he sets it apart from beauty. While the quiet pleasure of beauty is calming, the sublime produces pleasure combined with terror, it creates tension. While beauty delights, the sublime moves. The sublime must always be great, Kant says, “a great height is just as sublime as a great depth.”
Her obsession with water and winter takes Ángeles to the mountain range, where she dares to search for the sublime. She distances herself from the beautiful Patagonian postcards, where valleys filled with flowers lie among lakes and snowy mountain peaks, to find a more somber, more immense beauty, which reveals thundering, stormy forces greater than Man.
Her work is based on a thorough observation of the water element, it follows its path and its different states. This is what moves Ángeles to go on long walks through the vast Patagonian ice fields and glaciers. Out in the mountain, she walks and walks, sometimes for several kilometers, through glacier paths, inside caves, alone with her equipment, in search of these encounters with cascades, ice blocks gifted to us by nature, but who knows for how long, or a rock that might fall at any second. At this instant, when the fleeting and the eternal cross paths, is when Ángeles snaps her pictures. Pictures which are instinctively taken to tell the tale that the land narrates through its molding forces.
A fundamental difference between the beautiful and the sublime lies in the presence or absence of shape. Beauty can be found in the shape of an object, whereas the sublime “appears in shapeless objects.” This absence of shape is clearly depicted in Ángeles’ work. Her photographs have no reference points, as she flirts with scales, the shape or size of her objects are unknown. She misleads spectators with the similarities of water in its different states. The outline of a mountain resembles the shape of a wave, a cascade could be a storm.
Darkness, nostalgia, more nostalgia, melancholy, paradise lost, a resistance to change. An undercurrent of romantic ideas runs through Ángeles’ work, manifesting a deep fear coming from the bottom of the universe, which is knowing that what has always been will eventually disappear.