Cecilia Avendaño's work has revolved around the portrait since 2008, addressing issues of identity, gender and age.
In this research, begun in 2015, the artist investigates the biological, cultural and natural aspects that affect our body and spirit.
The oxymoron -precious diseases- is then understood as the relationship between the apparent and the authentic. It's an indecipherable body, unutterable a constant uncertainty between possessing a body and to be a body; an interstitial space between the socially imposed and the need for healing.
There is a substantial difference between the disease as a synonym for martyrdom and the sick patient in the process of transformation. The disease is outside, the patient is inside, but many times there is no apparent differentiation. Many times this differentiation is not taken into account, because the disease is marked, classed, and judged. In Western culture, the pain of the body is equated with a violent act, a kind of martyrdom that must be minimised as soon as possible. People enter a state where we are unable to listen to our own impulses, contain our own organism. We are led to believe that the less we listen to our biological rhythm, the healthier we are. Our body thus responds to external influences and is no longer able to connect with its own essence, its own demands, its own rhythms, its own regrets. The disease becomes something that must be hidden, erased, made up, displaced, silenced.
Avendaño sculpts, through digital post-production, the possibility of an autonomous existence that, through aesthetic and technological resources, allows us to reflect on the unexplored beauty of the anomalous, which allows us to be unique and that connects us with nature. A kind of resistance to the categorisation of bodies, to listen to ourselves again and to coexist in a more harmonious and intuitive way with everything around us, connected with the natural principles that govern our vital rhythms, in relation to the construction of 'adequate' images for life in a contemporary society. In this way, disease constitutes the metaphor of the precious symptom, which exposes a relegated part of our most intimate existence and its autopoietic capacity.
Andrea Jösch, curator.
Enfermedades Preciosas is a project co-financed by FONDART, National Fund for Cultural Development and the Arts, Call 2017, in the Line of Promotion of Visual Arts, of the Ministry of Arts, Cultures and Heritage of the Government of Chile.