The iconic underworld figure in Greek mythology, Charon, appears in the Renaissance painting by Joachim Patinir, portraying the ferryman in a small boat, amidst the river surrounded by two islands. Charon’s role is to ferry the dead across the Styx River, which separates Hell from Heaven. This jarring depiction, presenting the destiny of the person being transported as unclear, conjures anxiety and discomfort. Will Charon turn left or right? Taking this image and story as a point of departure, Casilda Sanchez further investigates the notion of choice in her recent body of work. “In life we will always still find ourselves in such moments, when we need to choose a path, knowing that whatever we decide will shape our lives. And possibly the lives of others. Living means adapting, embracing change and ultimately making decisions. And choice is possibly the most powerful tool we have to shape reality,” Sanchez states. Every turn is meaningful, but nonetheless there are certain moments in life when we find ourselves in a crossroad, tuning our ears to the sound of the foghorn that will guide us. It is that moment which is most definitive, as it will ultimately determine our destiny. When we find ourselves is such a complex situation, time seems to stop, until we move again, in one specific direction. Then, life resumes, and we start walking through a newly shaped reality.
Casilda Sanchez’s solo show at Cluster Gallery is an immersive experience of multiple video projections and sound, suggestive of underwater environment, asking viewers to choose a path and challenge their senses to guide them through the space. After a while, viewers might find themselves in the midst of a story that never-ends and always changes. Casilda Sánchez lives and works in Brooklyn. She received an MFA in Video, Film and New Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and doctorate studies in Contemporary Art from Complutense in Madrid. Her work has shown at the Videonale at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, Germany, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Aspect Ratio Gallery in Chicago, La Panera Art Center in Spain, or University of Mary Washington among others.