Morita Vargas – Mandrágora CS+Zine (AG 003)
Contains: cassette, publication and encapsulated beauty. Comes with download code.
Edition of 50 handmade and numbered copies.
Magazine: 46 pages, (14 cm x 18 cm)
Strongly believing that ignorance often means not the mere absence of knowledge but is mostly an outcome, as well as an important sign, of cultural and political struggles, we hope to be opening another dialogue with our AG 003. This time we welcome Argentinian music producer and performer Morita Vargas, who shares her musical and relational world with her album Mandragora, where magic is not opposite of engagement and participation, but rather outlines and reinforces it. Morita also answers a few questions, here published in both her native castellano and in our current lingua franca.
For this issue, our texts approach, from a rather non-Western perspective, various questions and narratives surrounding the idea of nature. Where personal memory meets trans-historical resistance and the gesture towards the other is never closed in itself, but hints at the possibility of astonishment and renewal.
Azucena Hernandez and Irene Gonzalez discuss cultural exchanges and knowledge transmission regarding the Mandrake plant in medieval Europe. More than that, the two Spanish professors, give a thorough report on ancient uses of the Mandrake and how it determined much of the modern posture towards it. Continuing with the imaginary series of letters between womxn working with sound and music as an effort to map out female artistry across, and beyond, the bytes and pixels of our posts and likes, now it’s Argentinian music composer Cecilia Castro who takes on the challenge to reflect on her own practice. Cecilia takes the reader to a candid peregrination through art, noise and the desert, approaching fata morganae as reflects of our own selves. J. Pattio delivers another rant at his European friends, who often hurt by being so uncritically critical, so partial in many of their fights, so impersonal and exclusive in their politics. The personal is once again interwoven with collective resistance and representational politics in the touching piece by Manuela Lesada-Lombana, sharing her memories by discussing bioprospecting in Colombia and confronting it with possible alternative temporalities. Flor Carvutto pauses our frenetic times for a moment in order to talk about cyclicity, vulnerability, the psychological toll of capitalism as well as the need to accept both pain and pleasure as constitutive of the universe’s, and ours, cyclical nature.
Finally, in order to entice your engagement, we are offering an encapsulated beauty. Protected by an intricate arrangement of polymers, we kneel down before Nature and hope this flower will be forever protected by the plastic armor, its apocalyptic beauty… a reminder of both, new aesthetic protocols and the old aspiration to eternity. Let them both, flower and plastic support each other in their communion with all things human. An involucrum bringing together two concurring worlds, swallowing everything it touches. As Silvina Ocampo once wrote, “Prisionera, perdida, siempre esclava de tu felicidad”. Thank you.