Created for “Nature and Landscape”, the 2011 Société Générale (Casablanca) group show, Nature Controlled is a hybrid reflection of the confrontation between humankind and the natural world. Here vegetable matter is translated into sabra, the same viscose thread that Amina Agueznay crochets by hand into jewellery pieces. The artist reveals her predilection for playing with scale, from micro to macro, as she transforms the medium itself from intimate to architectural, and from artisanal to machine-made.
Agueznay’s experimentation with the medium began with works meant to be worn on the body, from her Jewels series, and continues in this large-scale installation. Entering the exhibition space, the work evolves as a double construct built around two existing columns; a sort of artificial, controlled landscape. Long ropes of sabra in various greens become hanging gardens, jardines colgantes, suspended from separate metal frames. The supporting columns disappear behind this curtain of “vegetation”, like the walls of the old city’s abandoned villas, inevitably reclaimed by nature’s abundance. The intervention of the artist is like a gardener, cutting back to create space, encouraging growth to intervene in new ways.
At installation scale, sabra remains a fluid medium. Each filament is a line, and the lines gather to form surface planes and eventually volumes within a carefully planned structure. But sabra is unpredictable, and like climbing, tentacular vines the lines seek to connect and intertwine. There is duality here, synthetic fibre in natural green, freedom of movement within strict frameworks, architectural form in non-rigid matter. What is happening?
A sleight of hand, perhaps, that disappears the spatial columns, using form to create void. They are still there, the eye perceives the form behind the green strands, but they have become negative space, erased by the inexorable power of nature. The viewer understands that these gardens are artificial, synthetic, architectural, and yet they speak of a lost world that erupts into the gallery space, returning in force to reclaim territory. Can nature ever really be controlled?