Spanish artist Amaya Bombín presents her exhibition “Linking Roots” in Houston, where in situ installations and drawings created at Madrid’s Museo del Prado are woven into an augmented-reality smartphone app.
The exhibition opens Saturday, Dec. 3, at Houston’s Instituto de Cultura Hispánica and will be on display until January 14.
With “Linking Roots,” says Bombín, “I feel I am connecting roots at an international level… At the end, all our roots are the same, and it’s beautiful to unite concepts and people from all over the world into a single root that unites us globally.”
In numerous installations around the world, Bombín has shown her interest in working with the ideas of identity and connectivity.
In her earliest installations, she used rocks as symbols of permanence, ancestry and identity, and connected them using the red threads that characterize her pieces.
Then, in more ambitious public projects such as her Netherlands project “Delft op Zicht” (Delft in Sight), the rocks were replaced by buildings and bridges that she connected by “piercing” them with enormous numbers of red threads.
“I have been seaming my roots through rocks and buildings and bridges with my read threads, says Bombín. “They are red because it’s a color that is present in national symbols of many countries, and I associate it with the color of everybody’s soil.”
She customizes her exhibits to their locales. In the Houston installation, she says, “red threads fall from the ceiling (of the Hispanic Institute) and ‘explode’ over the flags and the pulpit where people give speeches.”
In the room are several Old Masters drawings that Bombín copied with the permission of the Museo del Prado. Using a specially created app, people can look at the pieces through their phone’s cameras and see on the screen another universe of artworks created by international artists who Bombín invited to participate.
What connects all of them, Bombín says, are “the concepts of identity, permanence, ancestries, and roots.”
“Linking Roots” was selected for an art grant from the Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation. It will also be presented at the Contemporary Art Museum of Villa Croce, in Genoa, Italy.