The exhibition A Day’s Cadence makes audible the silence that follows in the wake of a catastrophe, a solemnity that points as much towards modes of resilience and adaptation as it does to the crushing devastation of loss. This theme takes shape through María Berrío’s narration of a small fishing village that has undergone a tragedy. In these works, Berrío explores how the formation of historical memory occurs amidst processes of grieving in a village that maps the site of her own imagination.
Berrío began this series, originally conceived as large-scale paintings depicting the barren homes and landscapes that situate the women and children left behind after the catastrophe, on the eve of the new decade. As the coronavirus pandemic emerged and threw 2020 into tumult, the lines demarcating her imaginary village from the reality in which she lived seemed to smudge and blur before her eyes. Though external circumstances may have shifted, however, her drive to create art – to respond to the world, to push back against the prevailing fear and anxiety – endures. Unable to keep up her studio practice and continue the large scale works that had heretofore comprised the series, Berrío began a number of smaller pieces at home, focusing on portraits of the village’s children. The scale and detail of the portraits reflects the conditions of their production during an extended period of global quarantine.