Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation


Mauricio Freyre

Ghostly Seed, a project by Mauricio Freyre A single-channel installation with sound, 16mm transferred to digital video, with an approximate duration of 15 minutes

On the second floor of the basement of the Botanical Garden of Madrid, in a space that occupies approximately 15m2, one of the repositories of the collection of the historical archive is to be found. This space contains samples of plant species that it has not been possible to classify or study and which date by and large from the colonial period to the Civil War. This accumulation of plant species gathered together here as rejects, all of which, for all manner of reasons, have not been catalogued, given that neither their origin nor their nature has been studied, constitute a blind spot within the official archive. The starting point for the research is the connection between a number of these excluded fragments, constructing a series of relationships and associations between them, posing interactions between the material and spectral capacity of the archive. ‘Ghostly Seed’ dissolves present, past and future in an imagined time where the plants act as witnesses of inhibited and fragmented memories, where different regimes of polymorphous power also extend outwards and feed off one another: colonialism, European modernity, anthropocentrism and Western (techno)science. Plant tissue such as bark, seeds, leaves, branches and flowers suspended in time are the medium to activate dialogues between different timelines. The project develops strategies that blur the territory between documentary cinema and fiction, thereby exploring the political and subversive dimension of the plant world in relation to a Western epistemology, focusing on the absences and blind spots of an inhibited memory that plants reveal.

Mauricio Freyre (Lima, 1976) researcher, audiovisual artist and filmmaker. His projects revolve around structures and systems of ideas on the margins of that which has been constructed and projected, focusing on blind spots, dark zones, accidents, distortions and excluded forms of consciousness. He is currently working on an audiovisual project called ‘General States’ (Estados Generales), an investigation between Spain and Peru whose starting point is the return journey to Peru of a colonial seed that was believed to be extinct. His “Architecture between Species” (Arquitectura entre Especies) project will be premiered in May in the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale as part of the Taiwan Pavilion. His films and installations have been included in different programmes and exhibitions such as the Valdivia International Film Festival, Strangloscope, Les Rencontres Internationales Paris / Berlin, l'Alternativa, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, TENT Rotterdam, Netherlands Film Festival and the Telefonica Foundation Lima.