In exhibition at Newcastle University, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, funded by the Institute for Creative Arts Practice. September-October 2021.
Can the beautiful be sad? Is beauty inseparable from the ephemeral and hence from mourning? Or else is the beautiful object the one that tirelessly returns following destructions and wars in order to bear witness that there is survival after death, that immortality is possible? — Julia Kristeva, Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia.
“My words demand the silence of a wasteland.” Alejandra Pizarnik.
This is a work about freedom. A series of digital drawings about murder, flowers and hope. Printed in acid free, museum quality paper, 105cms x 75 cms.
I have been researching and recording in a botanical logbook the flowers that grow in the territories where the bodies of women are dumped in Ciudad Juarez, for example, Anoda Cristata, Rumex Obtusifolius, Eryngium Carlinae. With forensic anthropology ideas I have been exploring the transmutation between human remains and nature, how buried bodies slowly turn into the soil and then into flowers, and into birds and insects that feed on them. As an act of resistance to femicide, and a homage to the mutilated and buried women in that soil, each drawing shows the ‘soul’ of each of the flowers that grow in that land.
Ciudad Juárez is located on the border of Mexico and the United States, in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert. Since the nineties it has been infested by the murder of women whose bodies have been found buried in different parts of the region. The impunity of the local and national authorities has made the specific reason of this endless femicide unknown. Thousands of bodies have been found mostly in desertic soil, sometimes first by scavengers or birds of prey.
The work is in exhibition also online on the site of the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Newcastle University: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/apl/events/item/beastly-landscapes-symposium/helen-blejerman/