Argentinian artist Eugenia Soma is interested in how we inhabit everyday spaces and the world. How do our choices affect our relationships to our living quarters? As the seasons change, does the space around us change too? How do these evolutions affect our level of comfort? Eugenia explores the ever-changing conditions through her large-scale pencil works on paper.
Space, light, and residencies
A source of inspiration is French writer and philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Deleuze says to live well is to fully express one’s power. Instead of using the value system of the masses, one should go to the limits of one’s own potential. Modern society still suppresses difference and alienates people from what they can do. Value standards should be internal rather than external. He wrote about philosophy, literature, film and fine art. When referring to Monet’s Rouen Cathedral series, he notes that it is not the cathedral that is important, it is Monet’s capture of how conditions can change our perception. Monet explains, “To me, the motif itself is an insignificant factor. What I want to reproduce is what exists between the motif and me.”
In this situation, it was light and weather conditions in one place. But what happens when we change locations? Eugenia is exploring this by participating in residencies once or twice a year. Light is different in different countries and that affects the colors. Another one of her interests is the focus on how to alter the dimensions of the paper into the space, into a different structure. “I want to inhabit the space, that is the experience I can afford.” In her self-proclaimed poetic dwellings, process is above all.
“In residencies, you put your body into the process of art. There are automatisms, you just let it go.”
images by PILOTENKUECHE or supplied by the artist
In 2018, after returning to her home in Buenos Aries from time in Berlin, she felt that drawing was not enough. She needed to create in 3-D. At the same time she felt that she had outgrown her first house in a busy downtown neighborhood. It was time to go, but she wanted to record what she loved about it to take with her. Paper was transportable, so she covered all the walls and began tracing memories and impressions. This was a slow and deliberate process that, ironically, lasted through the pandemic.
Eugenia moves and develops
She moved into her new house in 2021, but was not ready to exhibit the drawings until May of 2023. This piece marked a turning point for Eugenia. That which had been born out of a desire to move into 3D couldn’t be shown hanging on a wall. Eugenia moved them into the space by creating freestanding wooden frames for them to hang from.
In her work Time Machine for her first show at PILOTENKUECHE she took things a step further and created wooden cube for her work to inhabit. While the pencil drawing reflects the various weather conditions she has experienced in Leipzig since coming in July, the structure reflects the architecture of her studio. The refurbished factory features original windows with a second interior layer of new windows, capturing two points in time.
As Eugenia continues to look at how we affect and are affected by our space, her pieces grow dimensionally. People somehow feel at home in them. During the Circle Becoming Body exhibition, her piece was the most frequented spot for selfies. It seems others also saw themselves in her space.
written by maeshelle west-davies and Diégo Philip
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