Artist Leonor Serrano Rivas (Málaga, 1986) presents Natural Magic, an exhibition framed inside the Museo Reina Sofía’s Fissures programme which takes as its starting point a time — the mid sixteenth-century, with Giovanni Battista della Porta — in which scientific methods, magic and philosophy shared myriad terms and interests.
Articulated in three spaces inside the Museo — Space 1, the Vaults Room and the Protocol Room — the exhibition seeks, almost with alchemy, to create a new cosmos inside the Museo’s walls, following the precepts of natural magic which, via instruments or apparatuses such as mirrors, reflections, sound tubes, automata, etc. had the ability to trick the senses, leading the spectator towards aesthetic experiences in an unprecedented world. Therefore, the show puts forward a new reality with logic and idiosyncratic rules, flowing through and articulating the different rooms in a constant dialogue of practices and spatial temporalities, where an illusionist mechanism located inside the body — or in the eye — of the spectator unfolds.
Space 1 welcomes a large-scale video projection which exceeds the limits of the screen, inserting the visitor inside it to become part of the scene. The Vaults Room, in a game of material translations, houses a 16mm projection, its reflections traversing the room’s architecture. Finally, the floorboards of the Protocol Room turn into a large jacquard tapestry, made with the patterns of the soundtrack of the video piece flooding the Vaults Room.
Leonor Serrano Rivas studied Architecture and Fine Arts in London, where she has lived for almost a decade, developing a significant part of her artistic career. In her work, Serrano Rivas draws from installation as a medium when it comes to generating spaces in which the spectator is no longer merely a passive agent and takes on a key role. Thus, her work swings between performance and theatre, understanding the audience as an indispensable element for the artistic experience to materialise and requiring their presence to make the piece complete. The artist has held solo exhibitions in spaces such as Intermediae in Matadero Madrid, the Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía (C3A) in Córdoba and The Swiss Church, Chisenhale Studios and Serpentine Galleries in London. Her work has also been part of group shows held in institutions such as the Centro Cultural de España in Mexico (CCEMx), the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC) in Seville, the Botín Foundation in Santander and the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M) in Madrid