Pienso que tus versos son flores que llenan tierras y tierras  (I think your verses are flowers that fill lands and lands)

Materials: wood, straw, jute, mud, water and glass

Variable dimensions

Place: Museum of Contemporary Art of Lyon.

Dates: From 18.09.19 to 05.01.2020

 

Jenny Feal’s facilities translate her personal experience of the Cuban history in poetic forms, sometimes symbolic and sometimes documentary forms, to testify the conditions of existence and the fragility of a daily life conditioned by the political regime of a country caught between Ideology and reality. In order to organize a frozen situation between a fantasy past and a painful exile, Jenny Feal proposes an immersive installation that combines different modes of narration, oscillating between historic narrative and fiction fed by her personal experience and the power of dreams. Aggravated by the land that symbolizes life and death, the walls stained with red mud bear testify an historic, symbolic, political and social violence expressed in the pages of a book that cannot be read, while, here and there, the everyday objects contribute to an enigmatic narrative.

Jenny Feal builds the scene of a crime with discrete clues and tracks, which main actors seem to be death and absence. A recurring element of his work, the book, between a diary and a history book, also reveals historical and social considerations marked by censure and self-censure, the desire of freedom and the need to create an intuitive history without words. Jenny Feal shapes her own landscape, which is not only the one that develops before our eyes, but the one we invent. The traces of earth to the wall come from a process of deposit and withdrawal, which reminds the artist, the walls of a prison. Poetry of the trail that one leaves in an obstacle, which marks the limits of her freedom, physical or mental.

Matthieu Lelièvre and the curatorial team of the Biennale de Lyon

 

Jenny Feal’s installation is presented in a single room on the first floor of MAC Lyon. It has three different elements. The right wall is completely covered by a red clay mural, that can be seen when you manipulate sliding wooden doors, proposing that the public could contemplate a whole vision of it. The artist drew, not for addition, but subtracting matter (clay) from the wall, thus showing white marks on the red background, and a butterfly flower, on the right, accompanied by a broken vase placed on the floor. The title is “I think your verses are flowers that fill earth and earth.” It is taken from a poem written by the artist.

Focus, context:

The artist maintained an epistolary relationship, composed mainly by poems, with her grandfather, whom she imagined living in the United States. The artist approaches her family history by inviting visitors to walk through this installation. The clay wall is painted thanks to the removal of the material previously applied by the artist. She digs to make or see a story appear, a drawing, like this “butterfly flower” associated to a broken vase on the floor. The marks on the mural also painfully remember the traces that public executions can leave on the white walls. The butterfly flower is also a reference to the Cuban reality and the censure imposed on the inhabitants. During the second independence war, Cubans used to hide written messages in this flower. The women adorned themselves with the butterfly flowers, which became a hiding place for independence messages in case of control by the Spanish enemy.

Jenny Feal’s installations function as narratives, histories in which she mixes her personal history with Universal History. As the artist’s family has missing pieces, the visitor cannot see all the fresco due to the sliding doors, the pages of the book are white and the story told is incomplete. The wall on the right is rounded, remembering that, regardless of the histories lived by men, the earth keeps on spinning.

An article by Lisa Emprin, mediator at the Lyon Biennale

Jenny Feal, I think your verses are flowers that fill lands and lands. Courtesy of the artist and the Lyon Biennial 2019. © Blaise Adilon

Jenny Feal, I think your verses are flowers that fill lands and landsCourtesy of the artist and the Lyon Biennial 2019. © Blaise Adilon

Installation detail, sliding wooden doors and straw. © Blaise Adilon

Installation detail, wall completely covered with a fresco of red mud © Blaise Adilon

Jenny Feal, I think your verses are flowers that fill lands and lands. Installation detail, butterfly, Cuban national flower, symbol of freedom, mud, vase. Courtesy of the artist and the Lyon Biennial 2019. © Blaise Adilon

Installation detail, wall completely covered with a fresco of red mud. © Blaise Adilon

Installation detail, wall completely covered with a fresco of red mud. © Blaise Adilon

Installation detail © Blandine Soulage

© Blandine Soulage

Installation detail, seen from inside the fresco © Michel Clerbois

With the invaluable support of: Artesylve, Buchet Ponsoye Endowment Fund, Dohyang Lee Gallery, Thibault Poutrel Endowment Fund, Brownstone Foundation, Mr. Frédéric Lorin, Mr. Gilles Blanckaert-Alizée, Mr. Roger Herrera Gutierrez, ARTICHOK Association, Bookseller and Michel Descours Gallery. With the assistance of: Artesylve, Rotin Filé and Establishment Corne & Cie. With the help of: Passerelles Buissonnières Association