11Recurso 21

Thomas Paine Park,
Manhattan, NYC

25 June /
/ 1 November 2022

Statements

Remains of illegally plundered trees
being rescued by Jaime Miranda-Bambarén’s Seeds project
2013
(Photographer: Juan Manuel Olivera)

"WOOD AND CLAY ARE LIFE"

A testimony by the artificer

All my Seeds are made by rescuing the remains of eucalyptus trees depredated in the wildly different territories of Peru. Those razed forests resonate with the emotion of what I want to symbolize.

I am interested in eucalyptus because, although highly resistant to weather conditions, its cracks and fissures make beautifully evident the passage of time, enhancing the germinal spirit that enlivens the surface of my spheres. Also, this species can be found in vast areas of my country, and I am intent in associating diverse landscapes through works that disseminate ––inseminate–– those condensed experiences into the very psyche of the modern urban dweller.

In procuring the raw material for my Semillas I have traveled extensively throughout the Peruvian jungles and highlands looking for the abandoned roots of plundered trees. Through the experience of those wanderings a special sense and sentiment has grown within me and is transmitted not only by the sculpted materiality of my work, but also in countless photographs, videos and journal entries that document that process. The edited results of it all are an integral part of what the Semillas finally become.

There is a particular method implied here. A lived system of art-making that has gradually forged my personal character. I have no problem with going into the jungle for several weeks in search of the fallen military plane supposedly turned into a totemic source of energy by Benigno Ramos: a mythical ecologist and shaman now disappeared by the dark mafias of illegal loggers. Such stories move me, and I act on those emotions. When I arrived at the small and now ghostly hamlet of Benigno and saw the wrecked military plane on his altar, like an object of shamanic power, I felt I was confronted by a Vision.

The photos and videos of that revelation are my spiritual treasure. For security reasons they are stored in three external memories in three different places. Someday I will find the reason ––or the call–– to publish them.

The use of wood has to do with my empathic relation with that material. Brian Catling ––the British Joseph Beuys, according to Iain Sinclair–– once confided to me that, for him, in sculpture, wood and clay are Life. Plaster, on the other hand, is Death. And, therefore, bronze is Resurrection. But then he quickly added, with a wink of the eye and a half smile, that resin and fiberglass are the zombies of sculpture.

I like to think that I am continuously putting those tenets to the test, exploring their variants and frontiers. In both an artistic and spiritual sense. But perhaps what is also being expressed through these Seeds is a twisted metabolization of the Catholic and baroque aesthetic project.

What, in contemporary and material terms, can be a truly lived poetics of resurrection?

(Jaime Miranda-Bambarén)

Close-up view of one of Miranda-Bambarén's Seeds
(Photographer: Claudia Alva)