Laura Malpique 🇵🇹
What is the influence of purely man-made landscapes?
In which every step you take lands on a paving stone, strip of asphalt or cultivated piece of greenery?
Laura Malpique (Portugal 1993) makes art about how people are domesticated by their environment. To investigate this, she creates landscapes of ceramics, stone and concrete.
For example, in her ‘tower series’ she previously built the work Mountain (2021), a mountain made of various stones and ceramic objects that emerges as a natural rock formation in the landscape. This work feels like a natural accumulation of sediment, but at the same time is completely artificial. Malpique finds this dividing line between nature and culture interesting. She points out that almost everywhere in the world, people have been modifying the soil they live on for centuries. In our heads, however, we still make a clear distinction between ‘artificial landscape’ and ‘natural landscape’, while this is usually based on little reality. The distinction between real and not real determines how we value and experience a landscape. Laura sees how ‘natural soil’ is sold as ‘freedom’.
A refuge that we want to vacation on, walk through or make our screensaver. On the other hand, there is the world of concrete, brick and asphalt that tightens our paths and further divides our soil. With her work she invites the public to relate to something that appears natural as it is artificial, in order to question the tension between them.