Carola Bravo



"A land full of milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands" is affirmed in the book of Ezequiel: a phrase constructed in the great motor of Tierra Prometida (A Promised Land), from Carola Bravo, honored by the prize Iván Petrovsky, thanks to a proposal that conjugates the concept and poetry surrounding two white marble circles, located in the floor and drawn, with great subtlety, with the maps of the terrestrial hemisphere. They serve as support or the screen for the projection of two videos. From the ceiling, they constantly draw, and at the same time metamorphosize images and metaphors of the milk and the honey. The artist, who has been working on the subject of maps, of cartographies as illusory spaces and, nonetheless motive for the expression of territorial concepts has always maintained a referential sense and a conceptual focus. Resting on the illusion of space and the line it borders, configures and delimits the idea of an essential plot in her work: the real "I" and its location in a space, in a territory that establishes links and connections between the elements placed in relation: the architectural, the geographical and the poetic which, in this work, maybe, reaches a climax when it offers us the image of the most beautiful of all lands, a land of milk and honey, in which all distances and references are erased in order to create a single space. A good and spacious land where the being finds itself concentrated in the infinite vision of milk and of honey, conjugating the imaginary universe. But real by poetic and fluctuating.

José Napoleón Oropeza
President of the Ateneo de Valencia.
Salón Nacional de arte Arturo Michelena- Ateneo de Valencia-Venezuela.

The installations of Carola Bravo, her imprecise cartographies, are nurtured by the possibilities of spatial representations. They propose to those who experiment the journey, contemplating them, penetrating them, think about their own being located, their own being orientated, their own relation with space and body; which is the same as saying, that if we are faithful to our initial conjectures, their own relation with their memory and desires or, which is the same I believe, with their capacity for prospecting and retrospection, of evocation and projection, of experimenting nostalgia and of adventuring utopias.

When we propose to ourselves fractured cartographies of discontinued spaces; once we create maps of territories and juxtaposed materials; once we place in scene fragmented coincidences of geological phenomena (to see in the fracture of marble, for example, the premonition of the meandering of a river, or the evidence of a landslide, like Chema Madoz, for example, sees in a chipped wall the premonition of a world map); Carola Bravo invites us to think in the imprecision of our experience in the spaces we travel daily, in the ambiguity of our own conscience of permanence, of location, of belonging to determined territories; the work invites us to think, also, of the unpredictability of certain journeys, in the immensity of certain dimensions.

Perhaps that is why, between the pieces of marble and the planes and cuts of territory that are also crust and borders of the sea, coasts or crests, has had those threads of steel that organize reticules or, better yet, you make them appear to support the intolerable, the unbearable. One way or the other, those steel cables, those tense wires, reproduce the marvelous geometry of those antique *** portulanos, with their traced outlines of maritime tracks, their wind courses, in which straight lines appear to exorcise on the paper the inconveniences and the dangers of the hazardous voyages they used to serve as guide. It is clear, I know, that Carola Bravo¿s installations don¿t pretend to guide us anywhere; they aren¿t, in that sense, wanderings, courses; they are muddled letters, yes, imprecise; letters that are able to confuse us with their provoked and provocative imprecision. Muddled letters that invite, without a doubt, to navigate and that they themselves the place and the occasion of that navigation, for they are at the same time the cartography and the place on the scene of space that convoke the time that, piercingly, actualize, as though if we decided to penetrate in a map and live in it, as one lives in a room, or on a stage.

One could say, them, that Carola Bravo¿s cartographies are great maps profoundly deployed, as though if the geographic letter of a territory acquired an additional dimensionality of the plan. These are maps that have to be acted. It is in this sense that I wanted to propose you understand the scenery of these cartographies, like theaters of territories: scenes where space makes space its own representation¿ a representation that is not given beforehand but that is activated in each placement; that is, in each new journey somebody takes over its planes.

Rafael Castillo Zapata
Writer and researcher.
Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos-Celarg-Caracas-Venezuela

The center of Carola Bravos¿ reflections are constituted by the creation of new tissues that allow the reconstruction of the notion of city. A point of interrogation upon the classic definition of urban and the arrival of a new system of more open, flexible and dissociated structures is taken to achieve its representation. Superimposing the plans where the uncertain allows the incorporation of infinite lectures in the trajectory of a city is what forms her works. Her works reformulate the conventional cartography and propose a strange and restless urban trace that is characterized by its incoming multiple perspectives. The result is a different city, composed of various cities and various discourses: the topographic, the architectural, the poetic and the memory. It is an impossible and renovated city, framed by the possibilities of producing new maps or mental images of the surroundings. It is a work that activates the eye and the memory, that circles between the different levels with the clear conviction of introducing into the spectator the curiosity to relate with the surrounding using new paradigms of perception.
María Luz Cárdenas
Art Critic.
Director of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas.

We could say that Carola Bravo has inherited Claudio Perna¿s vocation for the use of the cartography as an expressive resource. She creates imaginary maps, to insist on the idea of the "plot" as the center for the vital relations of everything (the human and non-human); hence the universality of her message; her formation as architect has made her sensible to topographic representations, and the insertion of the urban in this context. Her maps are imaginary, subjective, but fed by what is real.

Elías Castro.
Art Researcher.

Carola Bravo raises a cartography of the urban development and structures the work parting from the reflection of human work upon free nature. In this case inscribes a particular interest in the growth of the city in Caracas and its landscape, for which she investigates and collects the maps that show variations of the city¿s development. The result is a city that fragments and superposes different segments of meaning.

María Luz Cárdenas
Art Critic.

Carola Bravo develops a proposal that reconciles the pretended opposites conformed by the natural landscape and the urban landscape, leading from naturalism to the conceptual abstraction the artist ends up offering us in a dissected representation, contradictory and profoundly intellectualized of the landscape.
Adolfo Wilson
Art Critic.

Glance and power of communication, glance and mechanisms of the same, glance and processes, technological glance and human eye in the work of Carla Bravo. Carola Bravo does impressions in which the eye, the photography or the most precisely, the glance through the lens, the newspaper, the framing, the macro and the detail, examine human life.
Juan Carlos Palenzuela.
Art Critic.

Carola Bravo assumes that need to remember and review our daily, stops to remember, to observe¿ her proposal conjugates the rationality of the architect with the passion of the explorer, the artist¿ and the dreamer.
Zhelma Portillo
Art Researcher.

Tridimensional drawing that occupies and reinvents the human space through the fragment, the solid, the serene and the open; formulating new perspectives. The displacement factor is important in this work. The marble sheets are long triangles, médium spheres or enormous rectangles that are suddenly interrupted to continue at a short distance. Thus the difference in planes is active, its prolongation is marked or drawn by shadow lines, its idea of excavation or deepness. Then everything seems supported in drawing notions. Plane, city. Drawing and "intuitive geometry" (Guédez), would be the installation work fundamentals.

Juan Carlos Palenzuela
Art Critic.

Drawing and space are plastic fundamentals in the proposal resolution. Next to the deliberate absence of color, only black and white. With the real traces (black) the lines-threads pieces of marble and walls (white) a very particular spatial dynamic is created which conducts to an unexpected appreciation of bi and tridimensional planes¿Imprecise Cartographies implies a deliberate spatial intervention which is solved by the notion of time. Five territories ¿ as we have called them ¿ that are here named works form a total body that communicates through invisible lines: they project and blend as a whole protected by the invisible magic. They form a texture that simulate a geographical chart that neccesarily implicates the being.

Bélgica Rodríguez
Art Critic.