In a swamp time does not flow. But that doesn’t mean that it is not. Quite the contrary, in a swamp history thickens and life develops in foul forms, conforming an ecosystem that grows and expands even when it doesn’t move forward. We could even consider ourselves stagnant pools of some sort: our bodies are essentially water trapped inside a membrane, subjecting every puff of air and every piece of food to its consumption and putrefaction. Like the swamp, we also grow, decay and develop, but our self doesn’t seem to be moving elsewhere because of this. Whatever it is that we are, we are not flowing towards any particular sea.

In the current state of cultural production this idea of a stagnant time would seemingly permeate the artworld too. The idea of art evolving or advancing appears to be a fiction of modernity instead of a true depiction of its nature, which rather confuses origin and purpose all the time. The Swamp of Forever is an exhibition cycle curated by Carlos Fernández-Pello that attempts to unfold this trope of time into four different aspects: love, coincidence, standard and origin, all of which share the same troublesome relationship with linearity.

In this first chapter, Love, we will be presenting a new body of work by Alfredo Rodríguez (Madrid, 1976), featuring a single piece by Juliana Cerqueira Leite (Her Mother, 1981).

Alfredo Rodríguez (Madrid, 1976) works around the photographic image subjecting it to experimental processes of variable complexity in his studio and laboratory. His practice almost always starts from images referring to the body and ends up being transformed into an equivocal presence, moving away from the singularity of the physiognomy and approaching an idea of expanded flesh. The time of chemistry, photosensitive materials, light, his partner’s body and the material imprint of the photographic go through all the phases of his process, giving rise to a desire to erase or to a fading of the time of the image. In this way, his research pursues a maddened conservation of the ephemeral, by (or ‘while’) trying to provide the whole set of events and materials with a stable permanence, as if it were a crystallization. Rodríguez is represented by Espacio Valverde in Madrid and has recently exhibited at the Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo (CA2M) in Madrid, Montecristo Project Cerdeña, Matadero Madrid, Sala Arte Joven, and the Istituto Europeo di Design, among others.

Juliana Cerqueira Leite (Her Mother, 1981) is an sculptor based in New York and São Paulo. She is represented in London, England by T.J. Boulting, in São Paulo, Brazil by Casa Triângulo, and in Venice, Italy by Alma Zevi. Her sculpture Climb, 2012 is currently on exhibit at Mitre Square in Central London as part City of London’s Sculpture in the City initiative. Cerqueira Leite was awarded the 2016 Furla Art Prize for her contribution to the 5th Moscow Young Art Biennale. She has exhibited her work internationally in solo and group shows in venues including Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo, the Saatchi Gallery in London, The Antarctic Pavilion in Venice, The Sculpture Center in New York, Marres House for Contemporary Culture in Maastricht, Galeria Casa Triângulo in São Paulo, Alma Zevi in Venice ,Galleria Lorcan O’Neill in Rome, TJ Boulting in London, DUVE in Berlin, Arsenal Contemporary and Regina Rex Gallery in New York.

With many thanks to Espacio Valverde, Madrid and Alma Zevi, Venice.