Brutal Ambivalence, 2019 is a project developed in collaboration with Art Basel Miami Beach for the section Meridians, curated by Magalí Arriola.
The work reflects on the way authoritarian regimes run by patriarchy in the artist’s home-country have reinforced the dependent role of women, while institutionalizing inequality through the art world. Lamothe is interested in addressing the authority implicit in the identity of the industrial materials and shapes she employs. The scale and weight of the elements can be clear indicators of brutal displays of power. Brutal Ambivalence hints at the omnipresent violence in Argentina by employing hard materials such as stainless steel, that have historically been linked to the masculine universe.
The sculpture is a structure of scaffolding consisting of a number of tubes placed vertically and horizontally subjected to a series of transformations and weakening of the constitutive material, thereby acquiring a new symbolic meaning. The ends of the tubes are burned, broken, opened and cut, so that they become very fragile by the dematerialization, and yet very aggressive by the corrosion and the edges. The horizontal ends of the structure are sharply inclined and form two oblique and parallel planes, creating an inverted symmetry, reinforcing the view of the piece through two different perspectives (one with the burnt edges moving forward and the other, retreating). The “aggression” employed in the weakening and dematerialization process of the constitutive materials of the sculpture, can be also read as an understanding of what happens within societies that are in a constant crisis or social tension.
In other words, the sculpture combines rigorous and strong elements depicting masculinity, and yet flexible and soft depicting femininity, allowing a transexuality of the materials coexisting in the work. And is this same ambivalence of the materials that can become descriptive terms of value of the constructed concepts of gender, the compelling and challenging sexual politics, and the patriarchal valuation of power and control ruling our society.
Brutal Ambivalence | 2019 | Intervened steel pipes and clamps | 190 x 600 x 120 cm
Exhibition View: Art Basel Miami Beach – Meridians | Miami | USA
Photograph: Oriol Tarridas