© Graciela Iturbide, 2022
The series Naturata is comprised of photographs Graciela Iturbide made prior to the opening of the botanical gardens in Oaxaca. The botanical gardens house exotic plants that Iturbide portrays during the different species’ process of acclimatization to their new habitat. The photographs of Naturata offer a vision of the garden that is contrary to western tradition. This is not a pleasant place that is conducive to daydreaming among the murmurs of water and dancing shadows. The garden portrayed by Iturbide is hard and dry, there are sharp edges, thorns and ditches that separate and dissect the land; far from being a closed space it is presented as indefinite, unfinished. There is no sweet harmony of plants, but instead the garden seems to be inhabited by deafened pain. The images are rich in textures and in tensions, like the ropes that are tied to the plant in this photograph, holding it up, and which seem to reference Frida Kahlo’s corset, photographed by Iturbide years later.
The title of the series comes from the Latin expression natura naturata, coined in the Middle Ages, and used later on by Spinoza, which refers to the ensemble of nature that has already been created. The restraint and the formal rigor of the images that comprise this series seem to signal the violence that is always implicit in any attempt at seizing nature, of apprehending it in order to admire and understand it better. But, above all else, the composition signals the sort of violence that is analogous to the process of creation and its attempt at capturing reality.