Sensory Memory, No. 1
Sensory Memory, No. 1, 2020
Sensory Memories is a series that I started motivated by a piece from the series Planeta Sandra, Vagabundus Vernich. About that piece I wrote a text that goes like this: The first encounter with a Vernich immediately reminded me of my paternal grandmother's vitrine, smelling of cedar lined with paper stamped with small flowers. Verniches are capable of storing the subtle memories of three generations. They are like encyclopedias of delicate and brief memories. In the making of this collage, I used small clippings of stamped papers that I collected from various magazines, some of those clippings traveled with me to New Jersey, I have had them for years, since I lived in Miami. All that meticulous collection of tiny papers with tiny little flowers, that search for something that referred to an old feeling, with an air of another time, and then that memory that brought me the result of Vagabundus Vernich, awakened in me the desire to make a series about memory: a place, a smell, the shape of things, a lost present, a specific moment. This is how the Sensory Memories series was born, a series whose quest consists of translating the sensations of a memory into shapes, colors and textures. An introspective, intimate search for little pieces of paper in which a story lives, an instant of the past.
– Sandra Cordero
Vagabundus Vernich (Detail)
The notion of home, that concrete place to return to, the memory of the walls that contained and protected us, the smells that woke us up in the mornings, the specific sounds that accompanied us, the daily voices, the way light came through the window in the room of our early childhood are part of our own personal nostalgia. Art can be a veil between who we are now, who we were and who we want to become.
The title is given by Stanislavski's acting method where the actor works with a personal memory, it is a method that seeks that the actor relives a specific experience in the most authentic way possible through the memory of the sensations that surrounded that event. This piece is the first exercise I did for that series. It is a series of which I have made several studies and which is in the process of maturing.
– Sandra Cordero
Sensory Memory, No.1
There are moments that contain everything, or almost everything, those moments in which the present seems to last longer, or we would like it to, those moments of a certain density in which we make a little peace with who we are. There are also works of art that contain everything, or almost everything, that are in their finite forms, brief histories of the very languages that contain them. Thus, in Sensory Memory, No.1, the first work of her series, Sandra Cordero, perhaps unconsciously, has consolidated in the form of a collage, among other things, a brief history of the decorative arts. As the French art critic Jacques Thullier rightly says, the decorative is found in the sum of "luxury and sensuality". To speak of decorative arts is then to speak of an amalgam between beauty and function in the daily life of multiple societies throughout history.
If one stops in front of Sensory Memory, No. 1, and really observes the "soul to the materials", the way they are treated by the artist, the composition and the depth of field, the viewer will find themselves in front of a piece of exquisite complexity. In it there is the Prehistoric drive to make our surroundings beautiful, there is the tekné of the Ancient Greeks and also, from the Middle Ages, there is the idea of ars, that set of skills considered exclusive to the artist. We see the anthropocentrism of the Renaissance, in this profoundly biographical work, where the Industrial Revolution meets the Arts and Crafts movement, and the mass-produced serves as the medium for the handcrafted art object. An ode to the sensual emotions of the Aesthetic Movement of the 19th century, infused with the precise, clean lines of Modernism, Sensory Memory, No. 1 marks a return to the original meaning of manufacturing, to make with the hand, a return to the workshop, to the workbench, and, a moment of reflection about the personal objects in our daily lives.
A Paleolithic Venus, a tessera from an Etruscan bath, a Roman fresco, a Babylonian plate, the capital of a medieval column, Incan earrings, a rococo tapestry from a low-ceilinged room, the fan of a geisha, a teapot in an English afternoon, the wallpaper of a large-windowed room in Virginia, the hand-me-down in the closet we never get rid of, the sensual curve of a Gaudi lamp, the emotion in front of good design, everything seems to have a certain space, a certain remembrance in Sensory Memory, No. 1 which is, in the end, a collage, but more than that, it acts as a visual tome of the history of the decorative arts.
We would like to have stable places to return to, intact places that survive with indefinite charm. Who wouldn't like, after all, to be able to return and feel one’s self at home. One can return to Sensory Memory, No. 1, to find a familiar space inhabited by the allusions of collective beauty.