Lucía Madriz

CRI (1973). Lives and works in Karlsruhe (Germania).

Installation with seeds, 2014
Variable dimensions
Produced for the biennial

For Lucia Madriz, art is a tool for understanding the world. Although she generally produces video, painting, and drawing, her work goes even further as she explores the poetic, political, and emotional aspects of the issues at hand, identifying more with these than any given medium. Some of her most recognizable works are her seed installations, harvested from various legumes and Poaceae, staple foods in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Costa Rica, transgenic cereals—including corn, rice, and wheat—have been on grocery shelves since the nineties.

DNA is manipulated in transgenic products so that corporations can claim rights on seeds via patents. In general, the seeds have been modified to tolerate up to 25 percent more agrochemicals, to include pesticides, to not produce seeds, or to contain genetic information derived from animals, such as strawberries with fish DNA. Both the seeds and the fertilizers must be bought every year from the same company, making these products part of a model of economic dependence that harms rural populations, divorcing them from the processes that have cradled agriculture since its dawn in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates.

These works represent Madriz’s concern about the way environmental issues affect us and express how we, as human beings, are relating to nature. For the artist it is important to show how our abstractions about the world begin with our habits and attitudes.