In The beasts she engages in a kind of contemporary archaeology that starts with the recontextualization of objects containing various strata of meaning, in such a way that what is shown - even though it is inscribed in a place of safety such as the museum - has a potentially threatening dimension. Conceiving of artistic creation as a critical intervention in space (both physical and social) and making use of different types of tools and theoretical and methodological contributions, Maria Loboda (Krakow, 1979) explores the power of attraction exercised by the fetish, the influence of the irrational - and the unconscious - in our lives, thus revealing how blurry the boundaries are between the real and the imagined, between what is cultural and what is natural. In The beasts she engages in a kind of contemporary archaeology that starts with the recontextualization of objects containing various strata of meaning, in such a way that what is shown - even though it is inscribed in a place of safety such as the museum - has a potentially threatening dimension.
Assuming the Freudian maxim “the ego is not master in its own house,” Loboda believes culture and civilization to be precarious entities that arise not from the earth but rather from the need to protect oneself from it, from the primeval fear that humans have of the hostile setting they try to domesticate. Her fascination with the symbolism of antiquity, with the capacity that myths have to show the complex relationship between nature and culture, prompts her to place some crustaceans like those found in Egyptian obelisks into a paradigmatic piece of Enlightenment architecture, the old Sabatini Hospital. With this metaphorical gesture, she generates a disturbing connection between the discourse of the Enlightenment and an animal full of arcane symbolism, the Greek carcinos, or crab, which appears menacingly in the present with its Latin name, cancer, the most greatly feared epidemic of the developed world.
María Loboda has a special interest in the 1920s, a period that was born of a traumatic war and during which another war, even more cruel, was fermenting. In the exhibition, that experience of the impasse, of the strange calm that precedes and succeeds the storm, is suggested by pieces such as Interbellum and by the presence of a single falconry glove that seems to have lost the reason for its existence. In other works, the artist looks at the oblique relationship between violence and the sacred (showing the persistence of taboos in the social unconscious), or proposes a departure from history by using celadon, a glaze used traditionally in Chinese and Korean ceramics, which allows her to create a monochrome vacuum free of references.