The work of Liza Ambrossio (Mexico, 1992) is the response of a daughter to a mother that lasts more than ten years and begins the last time they saw each other. A story of love and hate; of passion and madness. A form of catharsis in which the artist purges her pain and her demons in search of ending an inherited order, and without taboos or concessions immerses us in a restless and rich universe. This has been reflected in two projects: The wrath of devotion Y Blood orange, awarded with the Voices Off Awards 2018 of Los Encuentros de Arles and the annual New Talent Fnac prize, respectively, that can be seen today in Madrid.
"Good luck. And believe me I really hope you are very strong and bold to not have mercy to destroy your body and crush your soul the next time we meet again, "his mother snapped at the artist when she left home at age 16 . He then wanted to find a connection with his origins and with his mother without having to see her again, and he convinced a maid from the family home to take the family photographs and sell them to her. These would serve as support for a disturbing chain of images, which apparently do not relate to each other, but which feed on each other, giving shape to a photobook and an exhibition, The wrath of devotion, which is exhibited in the Camera Obscura gallery. "It's a mental and real journey," says the photographer. "At 18, I started traveling like a crazy woman. My country was too heavy for me. "A journey during which the artist has refined her eye, changing her look".
As if a shamanic ritual will be treated, Ambrossio digs in his entrails awakening primal instincts. It is the process "of a woman who faces the destruction of a world that does not allow her to grow and create, and to begin to reconstruct, with the fragments, a different order and his," writes Laura González-Flores in an accompanying text to the book. His artistic language is related to the cinematographic and the pictorial and contains a strong symbolic load. It has to do with the emotional and the irrational, with what we can not explain, and therefore implies several readings. With great narrative skills he transits from the psychological to the photographic, from the photographic to the plastic, from the plastic to the documentary, from the documentary to the performance. "My work has a strong relationship with spirituality. This is not a religious concept, but a concept that unites us all, "says the photographer. "When I look for her, I become a witch. My family liked witchcraft. Mexican witchcraft comes from a great mixture of cultures, which generates a different way of understanding spirituality. " This miscegenation is very present in his work and in this way he approaches the history of his country.
He likes to imagine stories. Thus, while explaining the book, stops at an image belonging to the family archive in which a dead man lies with his hands tied: "In the imaginary Mexican when your husband died you tied him with a black ribbon and then he did not come back for you, so you could spend your money or find another man, "he comments with the artist sarcastically. "The image seems wonderful to me, because it gives the impression that all the women have killed him for some reason. Everyone, including the girls, looks guilty, there is no innocence on their faces. Man is bowed to this ritual of witchcraft. They all fall down. The woman appears as a femme fatal, guilty, murderous, and it does not matter. Continue, fly, emerge from hell. " The women always survive in their work, of this luck portrays an Ofelia that floats lived, while "men are always in danger". "There is a strong relationship with feminism and the bad mother syndrome in my work," says the author. "Although my feminism does not express itself as the European."
The work is based on dualities: youth and old age; life and death: sin and good; Love and hate; guilt and repentance. "My statements are immoral," says the artist. "I interpret myself as a sociopath – I suspect that this is my mother's illness. Immorality is important to me. Art is a terrain of freedom and as such implies doing everything ". Consider that our good side is imposed by culture, family, social structure, a country or a surname, but it is the most perverse and darker side of our personality that makes us what we are, "is the most authentic what we have ".
The exhibition shows a small selection of the images that make up the book, printed in different sizes. A reference to our psychology, to how we assimilate things; sometimes abstractly, others as complete ideas, in small doses or forcefully. Play with the different heights, some images are framed others not. An image of an eye with a double iris is placed above them: "It is the human experience of the eye of God, sick and blind," explains Ambrossio. "For me, justice is symbolic, it does not exist." The exhibition ends with an image that shows the photographs in flames in which the author decides to kill her past.
"I bought my first camera with my money, it was the first time I bought something for myself," recalls the author, who worked as an event photographer during her years as a student of information and design sciences. "The camera is a burden and it is a virtue. The first because it weighs you when you load it and the second because it allows you to open up to territories that seem unreachable. " In 2017 he won the Discoveries scholarship of the PHotoEspaña festival and La Fábrica and Luz del Norte in Monterrey, Mexico. That same year he traveled to Iceland and Dallas where he began to elaborate Blood oranges, project that is currently exhibited in the Fnac room and that can be visited later in Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, A Coruña and Bilbao. "It is an exercise in rupture at the same time as it is an evolution of my previous work. It connects with the idea of the spiritual and the magical but from places more unknown to me from northern Europe. " A work where the author goes back to delve into their roots and their ghosts in a geography defined by both love and violence. "There is a savagery in my universe […] My relationship with violence responds to an internal need, because it allows me to draw a contemporary portrait of chaos with images in which strange characters emerge who can assume a supernatural personality. "
"With the hatred you build", affirms the photographer. That's why Alberto García-Alix wrote about her: "It's love and hate, it's beauty and it's terrible, it's of this world and of the others … It's scary, it terrifies us and it also attracts us because it has demons from outside and that makes her a spectacular artist. "
The wrath of devotion. Dark Chamber Gallery. Madrid Until November 17.
Blood orange. Fnac Callao. Madrid. Until October 31.