In caminando inesperadamente at Gallery 400, Gisela Insuaste creates a dense environment of sculptural structures and wall drawings, which she constructs and draws while wearing stilts of various heights. Visitors wind their way through the gallery viewing through, around, and over precarious four-legged wooden structures that often reached as high as the ceiling. With this project, Insuaste examines how shifts in perspective and scale challenges her control over her working process and results in objects that can transform our perception of a space.
Insuaste takes inspiration from experiences and places that hinge on a relationship between man-made architectural forms and natural geological forms. She works to create an experience “of being suspended, reaching upward, looking down, looking up, craning my neck in search of something, seeing things from a different perspective, helpless yet powerful in so many ways.” About her structures, Insuaste writes:
“…these forms may resemble shelters or lookouts (miradores)…. They are many-legged structures, elongated stilts held together by tension ‘drawn’ tightly by wire wrapped around wooden rods. Each structure is a fragment of the landscape we see and feel: one that is constantly shifting, interactive, and dynamic.”
In her essay Space/Travel, art historian and independent curator Annie Morse wrote of Insuaste’s exhibition:
"Caminando inesperadamente" may be loosely translated as “walking unexpectedly,” but its roots lie in "esperanza," or "hope." When speaking with Insuaste, one is bombarded with ideas and interrogations. It is this questioning that provides hope: as long as there are answers still to be found, then the fragile structures on which we depend for understanding will provide support as the imagination makes its ascent.
Gisela Insuaste has exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center (2005), Bucket Rider Gallery (2005), the Hyde Park Art Center (2004), and Polvo Art Studio (2004), among others. She is a recipient of several art and research grants, including the recent 2004 Richard H. Driehaus Emerging Individual Artist Award, an Illinois Arts Council Visual Art Award, and the Vermont Studio Center Full Fellowship Award. Insuaste received an MFA in 2003 from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
caminando inesperadamente was commissioned as one of the projects in the 2005 At the Edge: Innovative Art in Chicago series.