The Muses

   Photos : © Irene Cruz;   Text: Carlos Delgado Mayordomo

  • The photographs of Irene Cruz string together stories that sway between document and fiction. Body, nature and light jointly forge a poetic work that seeks to seduce and destabilize the viewer in equal measure. The fragile equilibrium between the deliberate and unexpected serves as the essential framework of a visual work that, far from offering finished stories, suggests scenes that unleash speculation, mystery and doubt. However, this isn´t a strategy to hide the essential meaning of the image, but rather a search for semantic added value that offers to work with the reverse of that which is evident.

    The largest part of Irene Cruz´s work is structured through a series that unify contents, although they also establish complicit allusions between them. Her last work, gathered under the title “the muses”, maintains the link between nature and the female body that can be seen in other of her projects. This is probably one of the most outstanding works of Irene Cruz, capable of uniting an exquisite aesthetical modulation of the image with a coherent performative development: the artist looks for women who are or have been close to her affective circle, she invites them to complete nudity and, located in nature, weaves over their body a light mantle of flowers chosen by the model herself. With this restraint in expressive resources and a high narrative potential, the artist manages to turn story-making into pure enjoyment, while the eloquence of the pose and serene gestures seem to become metaphors for the desire to live according to personal norms. In this way, in contrast to the traditional idea of muses and the male view that has traditionally defined them, the women Irene Cruz shows us, insist on being themselves the builders of their own fantasies.

    A nomadic creator, living in a constant international bustle with Madrid and Berlin as the main places of residence and work, in her images Irene Cruz moves away from the density of the metropolis and returns to a nature in which human beings are not external observing agents, but a reality rooted in their own inhabited space. In this series, the body is also transformed into a fertile territory where the conflicts of subjectivity are expressed and that is furthermore positioned as a sphere of anti-hegemonic resistance. The muses of Irene Cruz don´t show their faces to the camera but, more than a hiding strategy, it is a deliberate poetic fugue that locates the symbolic location of identity in the Arcadian union of body and nature.