Installation view of Naturalizar al hombre, humanizar a la naturaleza, or Energía vegetal [Man Naturalization, Nature Humanization, or Vegetal Energy], 2016
Víctor Grippo’s installations are composed of everyday objects like food, tables and work tools removed from their usual functions and arranged in such a way as to generate systems that follow a logic of their own. The artist created such systems based on the alchemical idea of analogy, which projects hidden meanings in the physical properties of elements and materials. In Analogía I [Analogy I] (1970/1977), the table and the dirt suggest the idea of cycle: the energy contained in the potatoes on the table returns to the earth and is renewed to once again be transformed into energy and food. In Naturalizar al hombre, humanizar a la naturaleza, or Energia vital [Man Naturalization, Nature Humanization, or Vegetal Energy] (1977), instead of wires and electrodes, we see a table covered in potatoes and lab vials containing colored liquids that represent matter’s distinct properties and stages of physical transformation. In these works, the confirmation of the existence of energy in potatoes – released in the decaying process – allows us to imagine human conscience as energy collectively produced and transformed over time. Therefore, by analogical interpretation, our consciousness about the world is expanded and, with it, our understanding of how we are able to modify it.