Fear of transhumanism drives the artist Ela Fidalgo to honor the naked human body, imperfect, diverse…in her exhibition De ente et essentia. Equipped with tulle,cotton, oil paint or crayons, her own silhouette – having entailed much suffering – is also one of the protagonists.
The human body is the protagonist of this exhibition. The artist confronted the human silhouette, inasmuch as her own, as an anatomical study. Fidalgo studied the body ́s proportions through her fashion studies, but because she hasn’t been to a fine arts school, she didn’t possess the knowledge required to draw them as one would expect. “This exhibition has been a learning process, but also therapeutic, yet a daunting one”, she says.
Her remedy to that was to get photographed naked. Later on, she would draw herself in order for her to further distort these silhouettes. In the aftermath of this process, she realized she was using this method so that she could learn to draw naked bodies based on her own. In the series put together in De ente et essentia, her characters – including some self-portraits – are not hyper realistic, or simply realistic for that matter. “Sometimes, my silhouettes have six fingers just because one crept in. In other cases, they don’t have legs but, hey, why not? I’m sure there are people out there with a greater or a smaller number of limbs. What I’m trying to conjure up here is another kind of imperfect beauty.” Fidalgo appreciates that “imperfection nurtures learning processes, curiosity, imagination and creativity”.
In these last projects, tulle emerges as a novelty. “I usually use textile patches, but with tulle, I wanted to create layers upon layers, and overlap them all, like onions, like people.”Her chiaroscuros aren’t realistic, her color palette is more toned down than in anterior works.
“The fight for imperfection, for people who are not subject to any kind of control around what is perfect, for the ones that oppose the real life, those, should be our pledge, regardless of the few moments of suffering and pain that that would entail”, says Fidalgo.
For this venture she went through San Augustine to Rutger Bregmann, but also Husserl, Bacon or even, Nietzsche and ended up asking herself questions like: Could the constant progress of Artificial Intelligence lead up to the creation of machines able to think in the same way human beings do? Will computers be skilled enough to emulate human output when around tasks involving general reasoning?
In Fidalgo ́s opinion, technology moves forward extremely quickly. Bitcoins, NFT… What’s next? The geneticist John Burdon Sanderson Haldane claimed, already back in 1923, that we had the capacity to control our own genetics. And other questions come to mind: Will we wire our own psyche to a computer? In that case, what is it that singularizes us human beings? And where, then, are we headed to as a species?”