Mama, la araña de Bilbao junto al Museo Guggenheim

Mama, la araña de Bilbao junto al Museo Guggenheim
Mamá (Maman en francés) es el nombre que recibe una gran escultura con forma de araña de la artista francesa-americana Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010). Está realizada en bronce, acero inoxidable y mármol. Pesa 22 toneladas, y mide 10 metros de altura y 10 de diámetro. La autora, reconocida internacionalmente por su capacidad para reflexionar plásticamente sobre temas profundos y dolorosos de la naturaleza humana, llamó a la escultura "Maman" en homenaje a su madre, capaz de tejer la tela de los afectos y también quedar atrapada en ellos.
Es una de las esculturas de arte contemporáneo que forman parte de la colección permanente del Museo Guggenheim de Bilbao. Las arañas, que Bourgeois presenta como un homenaje a su madre, que era tejedora, ponen de manifiesto la duplicidad de la naturaleza de la maternidad: la madre es protectora y depredadora al mismo tiempo. La araña utiliza la seda tanto para fabricar el capullo como para cazar a su presa, así que la maternidad encarna fortaleza y fragilidad. 

Estas ambigüedades se ven intensamente reflejadas en esta Mamá gigantesca, que se sostiene ominosamente sobre unas patas que semejan arcos góticos y que funcionan al mismo tiempo como jaula y como guarida protectora de una bolsa llena de huevos que se encuentran peligrosamente adheridos a su abdomen. La araña provoca pavor y miedo pero su gran altura, sorprendentemente equilibrada sobre unas ligeras patas, transmite una vulnerabilidad casi conmovedora.
Mama, la araña de Bilbao junto al Museo Guggenheim
Pocas personas saben que la impresionante araña, en la parte trasera del museo Guggenheim Bilbao, cuenta una historia real, la de la artista franco-estadounidense, Louise Bourgeois. En realidad es un homenaje a su madre, que como todas las arañas era tejedora. La escultora mantuvo una afectuosa pero complicada relación con sus padres. El padre, contradictorio, engreído, cruel y autoritario, al caer su mujer enferma, introdujo a su amante en el hogar como institutriz de Bourgeois y sus hermanos. 

Sobre aquellos lamentables hechos, la artista hablaba así «De niña, me daba mucho miedo cuando en la mesa del comedor mi padre no dejaba de alardear y se jactaba una y otra vez de sus logros. Cuanto más grande quería volver su figura, más insignificantes nos sentíamos sus hijos. Mi fantasía era que le agarrábamos entre todos mis hermanos, le poníamos sobre la mesa, le troceábamos y le devorábamos,…».
Para Louise, que adoraba a su madre, fue un episodio traumático que influyó en su obra. Su madre aunque era cariñosa, también era posesiva y controladora con su hija, esto se percibe en su escultura “Mamá”. La maternidad es el tema central de la obra y pone de manifiesto la duplicidad y ambigüedad: la madre es protectora y depredadora al mismo tiempo, teje la seda tanto para fabricar el capullo como para defenderse de los depredadores. La maternidad puede ser frágil y fuerte al mismo tiempo, sentimientos complicados que presenta la madre hacia sus hijos y los hijos hacia la madre y la protección que les terminará debilitando para defenderse en la vida. 
Mama, la araña de Bilbao junto al Museo Guggenheim
Las patas arqueadas de la araña simulan una jaula, y también la guarida protectora de una bolsa con huevos, que se encuentran adheridos a su vientre de una manera un tanto peligrosa. La araña provoca en el espectador miedo y pavor, pero debido a la altura de sus patas y lo frágiles que parecen proyecta una conmovedora ternura. Cuando preguntaban a Louise el significado de su obra está respondía: “Es una Oda a mi madre, era ella mi mejor amiga”. La Mamá envuelta en sedosas conjeturas, hila, teje, cuida, protege secretos… y nos inquieta.

La madre de Louise Bourgeois nunca pudo ver su obra, ella empezó a estudiar arte después de que esta falleciera. “Mis obras son una reconstrucción del pasado. En ellas el pasado se ha vuelto tangible; pero al mismo tiempo están creadas con el fin de olvidar el pasado, para derrotarlo, para revivirlo en la memoria y posibilitar su olvido”.

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