Previous to completing her master’s degree at the Royal College of Art, artist Viviana Troya studied fine art in her native country of Colombia. Having graduated last year, Viviana is now exhibiting as part of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries at Peckham’s South London Gallery, showing her latest work Hatchery until 24 February this year.
Her work explores the influence of technology on contemporary life. More specifically, the way human relations are embedded in everyday smart objects. In Hatchery, the artist plays with optical illusions. At a glance, the installation appears to consist of an industrial-sized rack of eggs. Layer upon layer of egg cartons are stacked up, creating the satisfying impression of delicate, eggshell-coloured blobs on several angled shelves.
However, on closer inspection, the artwork is made up of numerous ceramic heads in the form of the Virgin Mary. Hatchery represents the basic needs of our society such as “food, reproduction, religion and humour,” Viviana tells It’s Nice That, “I see different layers in the work that speak about the forces that ‘glue’ society together. From what is supposed to be natural, to our cultural creations and how humans have transformed both of these things over time.”
On one hand, the installation “addresses the theme of femininity through the figure of Mary” while the concept of incubation is hinted through the large metal rack that houses the sea of figurines. Another element of the work revolves around themes of mass production and consumption. The artist says, “I find it fascinating and also dissonant, that such production and reproduction processes are actually put together by human emotion.” From our inherently animalistic need to reproduce, to the often harmful methods of food production, Viviana comments on the throwaway mentality of consumption versus the arbitrary way we cherish certain items.
“I seek to create experiences that give people the sensation of the real world, a piece they can connect with and respond,” says the artist. “I am invisible in my work. I try to make people see themselves in the work” which is possible through Viviana’s use of highly relatable ubiquitous objects like eggs. Fundamentally, her work stems from a consideration of “how we understand each other", examining “who and where we are in time,” and this is seen in the multifaceted layers of Hatchery that present the audience with a string of different lines of inquiry depending on their subjective experiences.
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