2018 - 2020
Ira Lombardia is a visual artist whose practice has emerged out of photography’s expanded field. She focuses on the impact and value of photography and how images are produced, distributed, and consumed, to grasp how these fluctuations affect the meanings and ideologies hidden behind images.
Defining herself more as a "visual artist" than a photographer, Ira Lombardia "uses appropriation to read images from a new angle, focusing on new context and meanings that could arouse in between groups of images from links, connections, conflicts and interstices " she explains. She also defines herself as “visual ecologist”, that means somebody that chooses not to produce new images in a hyper-visual environment. “Narrative is in crisis, we consume tons of images every day, and as visual readers we have become capable of use a sophisticated method to process information through fragmentary sources and clusters of images: I´m very interested in those dynamics and that is why I rather use iconography and iconology as a method to work with images than narratives or storytelling”
Analyzing her last series Impudens Venus, the artist explains: "Thus, through the appropriation, collage and use of secular and contemporary iconography, these sculptures have emancipated themselves from the weight of representation and today invite us to reflect on women's bodies as an ideological and symbolic pillar, questioning the role of art in the objectification, legitimization and construction of the feminine ideal. »
With her fragmented statues that she "completes with the arms of the women demonstrators, with limbs that no longer hide but raise closed fists," Ira Lombardia helps us deconstruct female archetypes. If Venus Pudica, the goddess of beauty immortalized by Praxiteles, hides her nudity with her hands, illustrating values such as prudence or discretion, "values cemented over the centuries as the feminine ideal", the artist contrasts and claim a representation "of women which recognize themselves as impudent, reckless and indiscreet". Is a homage to the women protesters around the world and from demonstrations related to feminism, social justice and BLM, in countries such us United States, Spain or Iran, among others.
In Victory, artist Ira Lombardía draws from her research work in the Aby Warburg Institute, whose images so inspired Benjamin’s dialectical philosophy of history, to provide an appealing artistic commentary on the semiotic unfoldings of the word “Victory” and its plural connotations. The result confronts viewers with the contradictory images of triumph from antiquity to the current geopolitical state of affairs, from grassroots social revolutions to imperialist wars, from micro to macro contexts.
Other images range from statues of the goddess Victoria in ancient Greece to, more recently, Victoria’s Secret models in the last runway show before the brand’s decision to cancel the media spectacle definitively, or the Instagram photograph of Nike brand shoes set ablaze over the Colin Kaepernick controversy.