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Sangre y Polvo 

In “Zibaldone”, Giacomo Leopardi conceives of the natural order as a cycle of destruction, reproduction and constant change. Later, the Italian poet and philosopher argues that predation is the clearest sign of the perversion behind the design of nature. His concern for the asymmetric relationships between predator and prey coincided with that of notable painters from different periods who, far from disapproving of them, portrayed them evoking metaphors of triumph and victory. Indeed, the hunting instinct has been sublimated in representations that range from those identified inside caves with cave paintings, to those exhibited in museums that today have large art collections. Aware of the overabundance of these images and their consequent tendency to be trivialized, Ferrari takes up these themes to generate new readings and provoke other feelings.  


In Sangre y Polvo, the artist recreates the —perhaps— culminating point of the fight between a purebred pack of dogs and a wild boar. The dogs lunge at the animal while stalking it with threatening looks. His face is diluted in the painting, summoning the viewer to draw in his mind the expression that would crown this act. Meanwhile, the scene is perceived as contained by a first frame of branches and leaves bathed in dazzling reflections that contrast with the turbulence of the event. This plant repertoire comes from a detailed record of plants that the artist, originally from Buenos Aires, has found in her daily experience in Mexico City, some of them endemic and others domesticated to survive outside their original habitat.  


Contrary to Western academic tradition, Ferrari composes this work from the closest to the farthest from the field of vision, thus seeking to become intimate with the viewer of the scene. Despite the fact that the hunting genre usually places the human within the painting, attributing decisive powers to him in the ritual of sacrifice, Ferrari takes him off the canvas and places him in front of him. Thus, whoever observes is a silent witness to the act of aggression and torture, looking at it from the outside as a horizon on which he has no agency but also from the inside, flooded by a bloody atmosphere that, in the bowels, breaks the myth of the eye that sees everything. By leading us to recognize our carnal impulses, Ferrari warns that perhaps the human being is constituted by an animality that is not governed by vital instincts but by virtue of affections and motivations, one that makes us more insufficient than exceptional, that turns us into sick animals.  


The absurd existential condemnation of contemplating death while being alive leads us to the 'predation dilemma' so that we question what our moral obligation is in the face of the violence that governs the barbarian world. After finding ourselves shaken by a swing of liminal sensations that oscillate between pleasure and disgust, intrigue and shit and beauty and ugliness, the work finally invites us to turn our gaze to the world that announces itself as civilized to glimpse in the deep, in the repressed. and in the palpable all kinds of daily violence that are no longer subject to survival instincts but to perverse wills.

Pedro Cenalas Murga

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