Lucía C. Pino Makebelieve Neuromancer

23 Feb - 30 May 2021
Makebelieve Neuromancer


vest armour coming to rest
be brown
light as you lie against me
I will be heavy as August over your hair Our rivers will go to the same sea

We will leave full of amazement and illuminations dealt through the short tongues 


Makebelieve Neuromancer is an immersive sculpture installation that explores the idea of transience and its ability to form other modes of existence and subjectivity.

Lucía C. Pino’s research in materials and their qualities, their assemblages and agency is based on our intriguing relationship with them. She explores the behaviour of resins, iron, synthetic or biological plastics, fibreglass, binders, etc. by deconstructing and testing various assemblages, thereby expanding the common ways of relating between these and their potential for change and contingency.

The installation reflects the artist’s explorations of states of matter and the crystallisation of viscosity. Her goal is that brief moment when the material is pure power, just when it acquires a malleability and fluidity that forever alters its form and composition. Even though it retains the hardness and memory of what it was, the material assumes the imprint of its transformation process and becomes an archaeology of the present still pointing to the past, while at the same time outlining future possibilities. This memory is also maintained in recovered, reused materials that
have been used for other purposes and retain the memory of their own journey.

The elements comprising Makebelieve Neuromancer and the bonds between them appeal to transience, to having been something else and becoming something different. The sculpture pieces, their components and gestures of intervention in the space, all these elements insist on hybridising their intrinsic qualities, on responding by coming into contact with other molecules, on structural transgression.

The solid sections confront light volumes that recall the idea of a skeleton with its protective armour, taking the concept of prophylaxis that formally surrounds the pieces even further. The sculpture is an integument overlaid over a frame, light as you lie against me, heavy as August over your hair. A covering that recreates large non-canonical bodies, fragile and vulnerable bodies that multiple biopolitical crises strive to awaken.

The body, like all other materials, has its own agency and capacity for transformation. This potential for mutation is encouraging and hopeful and converts the exhibition space into a Heraclitean place, a panta rei whose only constant is change, celebrating continuous positive becoming.

One senses a tension between the concept of the double and the transit condition of its components in the installation. The double, the pair, the binary is in tension with all that is hybrid in between, creating a mutant place whose coordinates are not yet fully drawn. That place where one lacks the feeling of having arrived but of always going, and yet this does not imply any failure. That celebrates transience as a habitable place and not simply as a place of passage.

Insisting on the transitory questions the subjectivity that flows and slips away from stringent terminologies and normative, castrating definitions. It recognises and pays tribute to those who choose to live this transformation and position their bodies at the centre of situations that urgently need to be debated and changed.

The title, Makebelieve Neuromancer, is a play on paired words based on two transgressive fictions from the late 20th century, cult works in the queer world: Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg and one of the stories from the book Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles, which takes us on a hallucinatory journey through the gay bars of New York in the 1990s. The fiction of bodies as living sculpture across the city is recreated (in the sense that it is reproduced and rejoiced) in the fiction of the exhibition space, with the imagery and semiotics of a formerly religious space.

The lines that follow the title are a linguistic twist of one of the poems from The Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde. This twist to which the artist subjects the word becomes an added material to her work and leads to questioning what things are supposed to be, firstly because, as has already been mentioned, everything is in constant change, and secondly, because if the materials that we have are of no use to us, then why not modify them?

The installation Makebelieve Neuromancer recalls the way in which the artist understands sculptural practice, as a poetic becoming and a way of approaching knowledge that goes beyond binary and logocentric discursive immobilism, a way of introducing re-enchantment and re-signification in certain stories without intending to illustrate them. And furthermore, it offers an optimistic-queer confrontation that serves to discuss the anthropo(andro)centric extractivist hegemony that has mired us in the dystopian swamps of a planetary duel.

Pilar Cruz

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