Doing and undoing are inherent practices to human beings; these are actions that are manifested in the way we relate to our habitat. However, beyond destructing or eliminating, undoing can be seen as a complementary process to doing, as a form of appropriation to that which already exists.In her most recent project Pender (To Hang), María Fernanda Plata creates a series of drawings and interventions that shape different urban landscapes and modify certain elements of the gallery space. The drawings made with cuts on layers of wallpaper, refer to constructions in Bogotá that are about to be demolished or are currently abandoned. In contrast, the interventions suggest a way of re-drawing specific elements of the exhibition space by way of cuts on plywood, while signaling the space itself as a vulnerable architectural construction, as is the case with any other constructed living space.
Although Plata’s work questions the relationship that human beings establish with built and inhabited spaces which are later remodeled, destructed and rebuilt, it does not seek to solely reflect on architecture; instead it calls into question architecture’s vulnerability while questioning what happens when a space stops being familiar and habitable. “My motivation doesn’t come from feeling nostalgic about the changing urban landscape, rather, it responds to a deep desire to search the present from within the territory I inhabit,” affirms the artist.
In her essay “Undoing Architecture”, the scholar Jane Rendell states that similar to doing architecture, dimensions such as “Undoing Architecture” and “Overdoing Architecture” also exist. In Pender the artist references these types of actions which bring together practices of appropriation, adaptation and reflection on the spaces we inhabit.
María Fernanda Plata (Bogotá, 1978) studied Fine Arts at Universidad de los Andes and at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. Her most recent solo shows include: Project Rooms (curated by María Inés Rodríguez), ArtBO, Bogotá, Colombia, 2012; Solo projects (curated by Adriano Pedrosa), Zona MACO Sur, Mexico City, Mexico, 2011; A ras, Casas Riegner Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia, 2010; and Dibujo sobre medida, Casas Riegner Gallery, Bogotá, Colombia, 2007.