Ana Lucia Garcia Hoefken

Why advocate for the vitality of matter?


Trayectorias en transformación (2024) // // Transforming Trajectories

Glass containers displaying the various stages through which clay transitions after being collected from an inactive quarry in La Bisbal d’Empordà, Girona, and hand-processed, revealing the informational load inherent in this method of processing.

140 x 50cm
Ecos Sumergidos (2024) // Submerged Echoes

Multimedia recording of dry clay falling into the water deposited in the quarry and forming air bubbles as it submerge
Materia actuante (2024) // Acting Matter    

This installation employs raw clay alongside a motion sensor-activated water irrigation system. Over time, the piece undergoes a gradual erosion process in response to encountered movement, fostering an evolutionary interaction between the material and the passage of time.

130 x 110
Territorios modelados (2024)  // Modeled landscapes

Fragments of antique Catalan geography books collected from the Catalonia region were painted with pigments made from clay sourced from the La Bisbal quarry, giving new prominence to the experience of the material body itself.

5 x (20 x 42 cm)
Vestigios de arcilla (2024) // Clay vestiges

Installation showcasing the drying stage in handmade clay processing, displaying the clay body used and its imprints pressed onto fabric.

190 x 130 x 70 c
Carrying clay back home (2024) // Submerged Echoes

Audio recording of clay collection from the quarry, highlighting the evolution of the soundscape throughout the process, including the physical effort required to transport it. The microphone was placed inside the bucket along with the material, capturing the sound from the perspective of the clay. Subsequently, the sound was minimally processed to imbue it with the perceived characteristics of the materia

“To analyze our personal experiences, it is fundamental to consider the experience of our own bodies. It is essential to recognize that corporeality manifests not only in our bodily structure, as a physical object that coexists with others, but also in our subjective experience. This latter aspect defines us as unique individuals, each with a personal history, situated within, and shaped by our own culture. As a central part of the social, political, historical, and geographical experience during Ana Lucia’s migratory process, there is a continuous identity search for stories and meaning. Coming from other environments, bodies gradually lose their sense of belonging as they move away from their homeland.

In one of the inactive quarries in La Bisbal d’Empordà (Girona) in Catalonia, there are landscapes of clayey soil and arid reliefs formed by debris and vegetation that were once inhabited by the songs of species, movements of strong winds, and rains from various skies. Ana Lucia turns to the rediscovery of the sensory (and the body) as she finds it very paradoxical to engage in clay work without delving into this aspect, without feeling curiosity to identify and recognize the origin of this material.

Clay is a raw, real, direct, tangible, and unprocessed material that surrounds us. It is the result and proof of the Earth’s vitality. This information is captured by the geographies of touch, which arise from the tactile receptivity of the body, specifically the skin. Touch is, above all, the most intimate sense, limited by the body’s reach, and is the most reciprocal of the senses, as touching always implies being touched (Montagu 1971). Both in terms of physical and symbolic manipulation, the internal and external forces applied to spaces like this quarry, which has undergone an industrial extraction process, materialize in an invisible binomial that intertwines the organic and the synthetic, resulting in a landscape of a post-human ecosystem.

In her reflective observation, which moves from the most intimate to the external and vice versa, Ana Lucia questions her relationship with these transformed spaces. The quarries are suppliers of an extensive variety of materials that the artist uses, and which in turn become a surface that reflects the intimate processes of a migrant facing changes in her daily life. In ‘Why advocate for the vitality of matter?’, this interaction between the artist, the material, and her environment becomes a dialogue filled with testimony, likeness, stories, and connection with the material.

This exhibition is an installation inspired by the deepest codifications found in this quarry. It combines processes, sounds, imprints, manipulations, and a video to create a dreamlike landscape that actually represents spaces corrupted by the history of new economies. Ana Lucia invites us to recognize the material as a body to create new dialogues. Through the senses, she operates through a sensory dimension for a social, political, and geographical understanding of the material and its extraction.

The exhibition generates a sensory journey aimed at revealing the fragility of the material and the informational load that accumulates over time. In this way, the artist seeks to highlight the properties and qualities of clay to create new dialogues between units of matter, understand its relationship with the environment, and dismantle cultural representations imposed by traditional extractive processes in spaces corrupted by new economies. What passes through your hands and senses when processing clay from the moment you identify it in the landscape? What does it mean to be in tune with your landscape? The vitality of clay transcends with many possibilities and trajectories.

This exhibition thus stands as a testimony to how the spaces and materials we interact with shape our identity and worldview. In a world fragmented by ecological desensitization, the artist seeks to politicize the impact of matter on our lives, inviting us to reevaluate our relationship with the environment and to appreciate the depth of our bond with the earth, highlighting the importance of tactile perception and physical experience in our understanding of the world.”

- Mariafernanda Marquez Durand