Fata Morgana is the latest work by Teresita Fernández (Miami, 1968); it opened June 1st and can be seen through early 2016 at Madison Square Park in New York City. The work is a monumental installation comprised of golden circular objects, covering the park’s central oval. The circular objects have irregular edges and their surfaces are perforated by abstract shapes, which allow both for the passage of light and for viewers to contemplate space through those shapes cut from the disks.
In its installative monumentality, Fata Morgana also displays a vocation for the landscape, the poetic élan of land art, as it establishes a special metabolism with the park’s habitat. This metabolism includes the trees, air, and soil contained in its spaces, and also the passers-by traversing the park’s sinuous paths. Walking inside the “roofed” perimeter, viewers will find themselves involved in a series of interconnected motions. For instance, the motion of the trees and other natural elements, like light, reflected by shapes cut into the disk’s inner surface, connected to the motion that the viewer experiences as he or she moves around. This multiplicity of motions gives the work a kinetic character and affects our perception of reality in its spatial and temporal dimensions.
The original meaning of the Italian phrase Fata Morgana describes the illusory appearances of objects and things reflected in the horizon. The phenomenon occurs on the surface of the Earth due to the sudden clash of air currents at different temperatures. The effect of this clash of cold and hot air masses is to generate a kind of refraction lens, which in turn produces an inverted image in the horizon. We perceive this image as blurred around the edges, unsteady and impossible to grasp, undulating as though it were underwater. In Fata Morgana, Teresita Fernández finds inspiration in the effects of this phenomenon in order to reflect on the relativity of our perception of the world. Mirages, illusions, appearances: these seem to define our perception. The world of relativity defines our perceptions. And everything seems to indicate that there is no going back.