Diana Larrea .- De entre las muertas
This proposal was born from my online artistic action “Tal Día como hoy” (“On this day”), a hybrid work of feminist activism and historical research that consists of publishing on social networks the biographies and works of women artists of the past, forgotten or unknown. This intense process of study and dissemination, carried out over two years, has allowed me to know the work of more than 480 fine art creators from different disciplines, from different cultures, and from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Thanks to this historical review focused on the recovery and revaluation of women’s artistic work, I have found new feminine artistic references to which I feel linked in a strange and permanent way. It is a recent collective imaginary that has been hidden until recently and whose discovery has been a revelation to me. In this process I have been able to verify how my personal need coincides with a collective need shared by today’s artists. As if a new artistic movement that I call “Magic Feminism” was born. This new stream of art is in line with our particular contemporary social context and reflects an intuitive way of feeling, connecting the artists of the present with those of the past.
This project is planned as a tribute to all these historical women artists. Based on an appropriation exercise, I have selected 100 self-portraits of great painters from the history of art to digitally modify them and present them to the viewer as if they were records of a phantasmagoria. By way of false cyanotypes I have decided to reproduce the self-portraits of these painters, in the form of a negative and in bluish copies. The result shows a file of historically decontextualized post-photographic images and reconfigured in a new aesthetic to bring them to the present. Self-portraits offer a reaffirmation of the identity of each creator and helps us to better identify with their uniqueness. The mention of the old blueprint procedure refers to the magical origins of photography and is a reference to Anna Atkins (1799-1871), a British botanist, who is considered the first photographer in history. She is recognized as responsible for experimenting for the first time with the cyanotype method and also for publishing the first illustrated book with photographic images. The cyanotypes embodied by Anna Atkins have been a direct inspiration for me when conceiving this project, in how I want to achieve an effect of printed radiographs. The faces of the 100 historical painters I have selected appear in my proposal revealed in dark silhouettes, and exposed on paper as if they were visions of an apparition.