viaje al infinito sueño solitario

Notas de cocina para una exposición

(‍Cooking notes for an exhibition)

‍Nadia Hernández


Con la punta de los dedos... (with the tips of your fingers...) is an instruction from “costillas de cochino ycachapa,” a recipe written by my mother. She writes:

Aplanar con la punta de los dedos humedecidos hasta que quede como una panqueca. Cocinar hasta que acaramele.
Flatten with the moistened tips of your fingers until like a pancake. Cook until caramelised.

A cachapa is a traditional Venezuelan and Colombian dish made from fresh/tender corn dough/batter...notas popular as the arepa or hallaca but I prefer it...

When I think of the cachapa my mouth starts to water, recalling the sound the batter makes when it hitsthe pan and charred marks start to appear around its bubbling craters. Almost fearful of trying theserecipes I stick to what I know: The arepa! And rather treat these ingredients and procedures with another form of reverence.

In the methodology of a recipe there is poetry that speaks to the relationships held by those caught between the exchange. Giving someone a recipe is a sacred act, you are teaching a person how to makes omething which will nourish them. Nourishment is sustenance that is delicious and loving.

When I told my mom about the title for the exhibition she said:

“Porque con la punta de los dedos se hacen cosas delicadas.”
“Because with the tips of our fingers we make delicate things.”


Soon after I moved, the Perro Mucuchíes appeared in my room. I wasn’t expecting this Andean canineto find me, but I had been thinking about him constantly, almost obsessively. Providing guidance anddevotion I decided to follow this perro de los páramos (dog of the highlands) directly back to its namesake, directly back to where you can’t see the horizon and sight collides with the mountains...


You are allowed and most welcomed to go back in time if you wish to pick up something you’ve lost or ifthe time lapsed allows you the opportunity to travel backwards with a revised perspective.

Beware though: Do not get stuck! Return...


On the hunt for poetry, whatever that is as material...
I decided that my mom’s recipes were very beautiful
a list of ingredients
that called for X amount of this or me stuck on the “of”“of” exactly what are we made of? “of butter at room temperature” – that is what we are made of...
butter at room temperature takes on the form of whatever it touches
it shifts its shape to meet and join that which receives it...
butter at room temperature is so soft, it melts...
melting rapidly through the walls of a vessel or frying pan, onto hands, spoons, whatever dish it’s joining...


If you rub the leaves of the frailejón (espeletia) you’ll avoid getting dizzy in high altitudes


De lo que somos...
de mostaza
de mayonesa
de mango maduro en cubos pequeñosde sal y pimenta negra al gusto

de repollo morado picado
de mezclas y remezclas
de palabras que aún no existen
de nada auténtico y experiencias cotidianasde pan duro
de oro puro
de puro pan...
de perros bravos
y bravos pueblos

Of what we are...
of mustard
of mayonnaise
of ripe mango in small cubes
of salt and black pepper to taste of chopped purple cabbage

of mixes and remixes
of words that are yet to exist
of nothing authentic and everyday experiences of stale bread
of pure gold
of just bread
of brave dogs
and brave people


The headline read: A fireball passes uncomfortably close to the earth...


When we return
the pumpkins, cacao and heliconias
will be the size of the banana trees
will now surpass the walls
y tocarán los picos (and touch the peaks)
¡no importa! (it doesn’t matter!)
viviremos entre esos dioses (we will live among those gods)los mismos que nos enseñaron (the same ones who taught us)no temerle a la neblina (not to fear the fog)


A manera (way) of soothing the internal world


Remember to memorise Florentino y El Diablo the iconic poem by Venezuelan writer Alberto Arvelo Torrealba, so that when people ask you about your painting Tweety and The Devil you can give them some context...

About the artist:

Nadia Hernández is a Sydney-based artist originally from Mérida, Venezuela. Her practice is informed by the political climate of her home country and her diasporic experience as a Venezuelan woman. Through textiles, paper constructions, paintings, music, installations, sculptures, and murals she negotiates complex narratives – intersecting the personal with the political. Positioning herself both within and outside of the Venezuelan diaspora, Hernández makes art as a means to connect with a country once hers, now seized and overcome by tyranny. Hernández builds upon the stories, vignettes and hidden histories of her country to cast a gaze over a Venezuela that is at risk of being forgotten.

Nadia Hernández holds a BFA from Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, and a CertificateIV in design from Shillington College, Sydney. Recent exhibitions include: Miffy and Friends, QUT ArtMuseum, Brisbane (touring); NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship, Artspace, Sydney; Entre Todo, Todxs(Among Everything, Everyone), Verge Gallery, Sydney; The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; There is Fiction in the Spaces Between: John Fries Award 2019 Finalist Exhibition,UNSW Galleries, Sydney; and Este Es Mi Ejército (This Is My Army), Firstdraft, Sydney.

Hernández was the winner of the 2019 Churchie National Emerging Art Prize and a recipient of the Bundanon Trust Artist-in-Residence program. She has been a finalist in the Create NSW Visual ArtsEmerging Fellowship (2020), the Fisher Ghost Art Award (2017), and was commissioned to develop an immersive educational program and exhibition as Shepparton Art Museum’s EduLAB artist. Recent public art commissions include an artwork projection on William Jolly Bridge for Fiesta Latina, commissioned by Brisbane City Council (2019); a large-scale mural for Brisbane Canvas commissioned by Brisbane

City Council (2019); and Wonder, commissioned by the City of Sydney for their official New Year’s Eve celebrations (2017).

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