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Mercedes Castro Corbat



“The Vanity of Life” is an attempt to account for the time that passed in my intention to address the theme of “Vanitas”.

The trigger was the anonymous painting “The Vanity of Life” from the 18th century that is in the National Museum of Fine Arts in the city of Buenos Aires. The iconography in this genre of paintings alludes to the set of objects that symbolize the brevity, the transitory and ephemeral nature of the pleasures of life, the passage of time and the certainty of death and its purpose lies in reminding the observer of their destiny. These paintings were also a justification for many artists to be able to show off their craft, representing beautiful objects where they could display their technical skill.

A peach, the hourglass, the candle, mirrors, the flowers, the gauchesco poem by Estanislao del Campo “El Fausto Criollo” arranged on a table, on a tablecloth/paper that invited us to write and draw the associations between these elements. they became evident. The photographic record shows the action that I proposed in the workshop given by Gemma Drapper, as an alternative to my inability to present a targeted project that talks about time.

Vanitas took me to the idea of ​​death. The objects, the photographs, the horizontality of the level give an account of my path and the time that passed in this attempt.

In the box, Lucifer
Había puesto un espejo…
-¿ Sabe que el Diablo, canejo,
La conoce a la mujer?

Allí esta ufana la flor,
Linda, fresca y olorosa:
A ella va la mariposa,
A ella vuela el picaflor

¡Lástima causa esa flor,
Al verla tan consentida!
Cree que es tan larga su vida
Como fragante su olor.

FAUSTO, Impresiones del gaucho Anastasio EL Pollo.

Gaucho poem by Estanislao Del Campo.

Technique: Installation
Dimensions: 250 x 200 x 40 cm, approximate dimensions

Scenery paper, photographs, postcards, book, mirrors, level.
Four jewelry objects, a brooch and three pendants: reconstituted glass, 925 silver, mirror, paper, resin, cardboard, encaustic, plaster, cement, rosaries.

Fasteners: Encaustic, resin, copper, silver.
Boxes: charcoal drawing, mirror.