Angel Engines

A text for Carolina Fusilier's solo show at Natalia Hug.
September-October, 2018. Cologne, Germany.

What if our privatized nature, our dear machines, our complex urban systems, not only were not inert but had interior lives, a whole cosmogony? Would Carolina Fusiliers’ landscapes be their paradise? Their hell? Do they dream of us like we dream of owning them? If the longrunning ambition of science has been to disenchant the world and to organize everything that is knowable into objective and rational categories, then Fusilier’s Angel Engines is resolved on doing the opposite. It is not that this group of works are anti-science or irrational but they are open and willing to speculate.

The artworks re-enchant the world, they overlap a poetic, non-linear narrative on our reality to reveal an agency that could very well be there. The angel engines are in a world adjacent to ours and relayed by a sassy, primal, fluid deity, an ally and knower of the inner-lives of our belongings, a first cousin of electricity, a lost child of the sea. In Dreams of a Pipe Deity, a soundpiece streaming out of a chrome-tipped seashell, this divinity describes their own embodiment and omnipresence, their travels within our cotidianity and their wish to transform the banality of turning on the faucet into an encounter with mysticism. They are a curious presence, a voice that scolds us for our indifference and prods us into reassessing our place in the world. But that also sings songs and offers themselves up in a tap-water sculpture for visitors to ingest in a sort of communion rite, a reconciliation.

Fusilier’s paintings depict no place, an undefinable moment in history, they could be either prehuman or post-human. They are portholes into the endless existence all around us, reconfiguring the gallery as a ship flying over the uncanny. A utopia of retired metal objects where ridden of mankind they get to do what they want: grow in spirals, melt into liquid, flow in and out of pools. Fusilier speculates on the realities and futures available to us, but also on those accessible to our artifacts or what we generically call our resources: our waters, metals, oils. She follows Ursula K Le Guin’s advice: “One way to stop seeing trees, or rivers, or hills, only as ‘natural resources’ is to class them as fellow beings—kinfolk.”1 And she de-objectifies, connects, spreads thick empathy all over a weird landscape.

– Gaby Cepeda.