Cabinet # 12: Colectivo Mangle, Natural Latticework

Categories: Cabinet Past

06/18 – 07/30 – 2015



The work of the Colectivo Mangle (Diego Fernando Álvarez and María Paula Álvarez) is based on wood. Both artists have an education as carpenters and the good knowledge and practise of this trade has allowed them to take this work to its limits. Though the modification of tools and the explotation of other possibilities of working with wood, they have menaged to create unexpected forms, which they present like a flexible and malleable element, which is simular to meterials like plastic, metal or textiles.



Natural Latticework is part of a series of pieces that recapture the designs of the lattices of Bogotá. These are marked by the work of the iron ornamentation in windows and doors of the buildings. These lattices are constructed with patterns that they took from the nature (as flowers and leafs), that seems like organic forms. They decorate and embellish it. Also, they reduce the sense of insecury of this device, which is implemented for protecting the terrain.


The first latticework, created by Mangle, repeated the designs of fencings that were inspired during trips through the city. Later, the design of the pieces was made with the superposition of two patterns from the same lattice.


In Natural Latticework, the Colectivo Mangle initiates the creation of proper patterns. But also, it is inspired by the drawings of the German naturalist Ernst Haeckel, specially by his plates of orchids. Recovering a fragment of one of the plates, Mangle geometrices the form of an orchid that they later turn into a pattern for creating the framework of the lattice.


The latticework that we can see at the Cabinet, as a big part of the works of Mangle, was constructed with meplex or chapilla, which was made by unrolling or splitting a tree, which means to cut it into 0.5 millimeters very thin plates. So, the piece in the Cabinet was made from an unrolled trunk that has a length of 12 meters. This generates a contrast between the natural image of a tree and the artificial of the lattice. It gave up its functionality, for turning into a object of comtemplation behind the glass of the Cabinet.