USA / Duration 7m 48s / 2014
Variations on Thoreau uses Henry David Thoreau’s 1854 publication Walden, or Life in the Woods as a point of departure to connect three separate narratives. Archival and present-day material related to Walden Pond is presented alongside footage of a poet with cerebral palsy and a prosthesis maker living with his wife in the northeastern United States. All three sequences present circumstances of isolated introspection that parallel Thoreau’s two-year period in the woods—illustrating the “making of oneself” through writing, dwelling in a home one has built, or creating a surrogate body via external devices.
The central purpose behind work by Ana María Gómez López is to strain the limits of personal self-hood—to place what is circumscribed as ‘human’ against what is commonly externalized as ‘nature’. Through video, sound, and photography, Ana María aims to present the body as a shifting edge condition. More than works, she creates visual and sensory associations between the biological and the biographical—moments and evidence that attest to the boundaries of our individual embodiment and shared impermanence with our natural surroundings.
Ana María Gómez López obtained an MFA in Painting and Printmaking at the Yale University School of Art, and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been presented at the Institute for Contemporary Art and MBN Studios in Philadelphia, and will be included this fall in upcoming exhibitions at the deCordova Sculpture Garden and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts and American University’s Katzen Center in Washington, DC. She is currently based in Berlin, Germany.