Susana Cámara Leret

Looms (unborn)
12.2017 — 05.2018 

Site-specific installation at W139 — w/ help of Butterfly Pavilion (Artis ZOO) and Prof. Astrid Groot (UvA) — Project Supported by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst (AFK) Development Grant



The work responds to ongoing investigations with necromones and the smells of metabolic waste, secreted for example when butterflies exit the chrysalis. It reacts to the simulation of tropical environments within butterfly houses, programmed for public entertainment and sustained by the mass-farming and trading of insects.

Linnaeus named the adult butterfly imago, considering it to be the ‘true representation’ of the organism, as opposed to the larva, meaning ghost in latin. Looms (unborn) traces such transformation and the emergence of imagos as images: from the formlessness to the formed. It follows an interest in the notion of transmutation, as in the alchemical maxim ‘solve et coagula’ or dissolve and coagulate, where something must be broken down before it can be built up. Larvae assume their own disintegration inside the chrysalis, becoming a formless ooze and making way for new growth whilst crossing international borders. They are a form of ‘biological mess’, so odd that we don’t have a place or sense for them.

Like anatomical forms, woven threads are held in place temporarily; each part has an inner feel for one another. Woven smells into the gallery space, respond to these fragmented structures. They are reminiscent of an interplay of space, as leftovers of what was once imagined and reconfigured outside of its limits.

2010 — 2019