Inheritances. Ana Luisa Lima, 2007
Ana Luisa Lima
For sure, the smallest retaking of attention convinces me
that this other one who invades me is all made of my substance:
their colors, their pain, their world, precisely while theirs, how could I
conceive them except the colors I see, the pains I had, the world
I live in? At least, my private world stopped being
just mine; it is, now, an instrument manipulated by the other,
a dimension of a generalized life that grafted onto mine.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, in The Visible and the Invisible.
I think of a curatorship as the possibility of putting in a same place several meanings of a given “word” – “private worlds” that intersect at some point, through form or theme (semantic relationships). It is an articulate way to make someone see several landscapes a same window. The group Bola de Fogo [Fire Ball] São Paulo, with curatorship by Teresa Berlinck and Rosângela Dorazio, begins the Projeto Amplificadores com Herança [Amplifiers with Inheritance], and this is what I could see through such window; or, what I could read through the several meanings of that word brought by the curators:
Nino and Rita Cais
With gentle and melodious voices, their drawings dialogue. Mother and son talk with a same language, with pitches of different voices. While Nino brings a clean line, a simplified drawing – which seems to me a contemporary trend –, Rita presents us a drawing somewhat graver regarding the line. She makes her expression clearer at each line. However, it is in Nino that one can see a larger symbolic load. Gravity in him appears in the content, while in Rita it is in the formal composition.
One can almost hear between them a chat impregnated of maternal suggestions and typical exclamations of the son`s condition. As any mother, Rita`s dream is that he remains handsome, light, and full of freedom. Be as birds that fly far, but that can always return to safeguard under the leafy tree – the maternal house which the children unequivocally (even when they have built another) call home.
Nino, as any restless son, speaks of his attempts of flights starting elements inherited home. But the mother`s dream is never like the son`s reality. Sometimes, with so much stuff bundled to the body, the chances of flight sound as a fraud. One climbs on cans, gets dressed in fragile wings, cut out paper birds, but the body is too real for…
The drawings of Nino and Rita Cais: two generations – the poetic inheritance.
Letters and portraits always sound intimate, however, it doesn`t allow us to say that this is an intrinsically intimist work. It happens that the work`s thought flow doesn`t go to the work`s interior (and Silvio Tavares`), but to the outside. It is a work that subtly criticizes the art system/market.
The letters the mother, Dona Maria Brígida (Silvio`s pseudonym), on behalf of the artist son, couldn`t be more sincere. Inquiries on what would be contemporary art, since it is no longer a “pretty painting or sculpture”, and on the mechanics of an artist`s legitimacy are made, with such humility and sweetness, and they end up being more bruising than most aggressive speeches the so-called “art marginals”.
The work is not very inviting a contemplative point of view. The images in themselves don`t incite us to some kind of dazzling, be it for the plastic result, or for the novelty in the process: poster, the childhood photo`s attempt of repetition, the image overlapping, became a cliché since the digital camera and the Photoshop tool allowed anyone to do the same “investigations” that Dona Brígida intended.
What is art? Dona Maria Brígida`s pictures, are they not? That is one more big interrogation that Silvio Tavares proposes us. How to notice art, if there is that fine line between art and life? Some people insist that art appears in the moment the artist says the magic words: – It is art, because I said so. But one must think that the Duchampian reflections are inheritance, and not formula.
I wonder, also, if it is not the work that enacts the artist. If we start the presupposition, even such a current concept, that an artist needs a trajectory to be legitimated, we question the possibility of the masterpiece, or unique work, existence (why not?).
It is not rare to see works that have their intelligence dislocated to the artist`s trajectory and, when something worse happens, to the well engendered words of a curator and/or art critic. It is not at random that so much weight is given to a critic`s words. Thus, not only he/she acquires “powers” to legitimate the artist, but, consequently, the work`s existence. Works of art no longer exist by themselves?
I worry that that kind of speech deprives us of the possibility to come across intelligent, and quite significant, works by artists without trajectories. What a large chasm it would be for Brazilian cinematography if Mário Peixoto`s illegitimacy were proclaimed. Well, he was the director of just one work. If “Limite” didn`t exist for itself, I doubt that today it would still be filling the screen and the glances of many in Cannes.
Requiem is a visual poetry. What Cecília Meireles is able of telling us with words, Teresa speaks to us of family loss and memory with images. They are letters that need to be noticed before being read. Poetry runs in small vases, arteries and veins until it becomes something that one can say in words.
The ten letters are almost as instances of her memory: an abstract part; another one figurative, almost vanishing; and still another, that jumps clear, with free, identifiable elements. Here is the delicate construction of a beautiful metaphor. It is her grandmother`s presence there, intertwined.
The legacy of an existence that was incorporated.
Rosângela Djou Dorazio
I have always believed that a large part of our melancholy happened because memories made us sure of something immovable. But no. Our memory is not a literal reconstruction of past events, but something fluid that is modified, even present information.
Thus, the place of the past seems sometimes pacific, sometimes haunted, exactly because remembering may also mean to revive a fact, or experience, that has never happened.
Memories of Childhood or Family Legends transport us to that world scarcely understood of our imagination. It speaks of how we are composed of real and unreal things, that is, factual and ideal. Our memory is like those subtracted images created by Rosângela Dorazio. Memories are cuttings, gaps that can be filled with suggested words, however, they acquire inside us their real value – “I didn`t see nor I was there. (…) And it`s true he said it was like this”.
The fact is that our family inheritance (while imaginary) doesn`t come just the memory of landscapes and objects in our biography, but also histories we heard in which verisimilitude matters little, nonetheless, they also serve as a reference to us – they are part of our symbolic stock.
The inheritance of art history is presupposed in each and every work. For more unprecedented a work of art may be, intrinsically, it is a point that gets closer, or farther, what has been done. It is an inescapable reality. That is why the power of the word proposed by the curatorship appears in that work in a diluted way. Because Mônica Schoenacker`s work only gets closer to the other ones through the genealogy of art history.
In spite of that, being combinatorial analysis an inheritance pop art, means by itself it is legitimate while contemporary art. It is not the case of repeating techniques, but rather of using them on new supports, capable of aggregating values – form that becomes content.
The image of the juxtaposed beds printed in the blinds subverts the voyeur`s idea –which presupposes the possibility of seeing the intimacy of a couple through the window when the blinds are open, and not as they appear in this work: shut.
Mônica appropriates the techniques of serigraphy and uses them with mastery.
goods, rights or obligations
transmitted by succession or by
Drawing on documents, perhaps the work that is most justified for making part of this curatorship. The word “inheritance” immediately relapses on the work`s composing element: documents inherited the artist`s father.
Among the presented works, that one seemed to me the least poetic. I get to understand that there is a symbology coming the inherited documents, but I cannot absorb how that gathering of documents installs a work of art in Heidegger`s terms.
The artist`s action on those documents is not individualized (it doesn`t identify her), and it doesn`t create something absolutely new – as it happens in José Rufino`s restorative action on those same supports.
The work of art is, effectively, a thing, a manufactured thing,
but it still says something different what the mere thing is.
The work openly allows to know another thing, it reveals us
another thing; it is an allegory. To the manufactured thing is joined,
in the work of art, something another. (…) The work is a symbol.
Martin Heidegger, in The Origin of the Work of Art.
I believe that the installation, while a work of drawing on document, becomes really effective only in the performance File Publication. In that instant, the modified documents acquire life being dead, or better saying, silenced. The dialogue formed in the performatic act at once creates an allegory.
However, drawn and disposed on the wall of an institution, Adalgisa`s inherited documents don`t go beyond literalism. They don`t take us to a new world. Our journey begins and ends there – without the right to daydreaming – on the hard wall.
This has been, perhaps, one of the most difficult texts to write until now. In first place, because, as well as contemporary art, criticism exists in a limbo of not knowing its place, its form, a why, or what for.
Secondly, I allowed myself to be a hostage of the anguish generated by the tragedy of having given, initially, too much importance to my own words. I don`t want to believe that criticism legitimates the artist or the work, but rather other more complex mechanisms.
In my thinking: criticism is not the truth of the works, but a speech that allows, together with them, the chance of building subjectivities starting pointed reflections. My fear is that, in the middle of that contemporaneity schizophrenia, art and entertainment are mistaken – and, once mistaken, art loses its reason to be.
One of the instances of art is when it establishes a dialogue. It builds the possibility of someone considering him/herself capable of a (re)invention, starting him/herself. An authentic dialogue drives me to thoughts that I didn`t believe I had, that I was not capable, and sometimes I feel followed in a path that I have drawn myself, and that my speech, relaunched by another person, is opening to me (Merleau-Ponty).
Art is inheritance for being a cultural good – it is a production of knowledge, senses, symbols. For that reason, a critical text, even the most inclusive and analytic, doesn`t do without the work. Here it is fit to say that I could only write the text because, after concentrating on the works – in that up and down ( me to myself) -, they became part of my subjectivity. Of a curatorship which has richly known to articulate definitions of a same word, I made myself heiress.
Young Criticism Project – Murillo La Greca Museum, 2007.
Ana Luisa Lima is a graduate student in professorship of Fine Arts at UFPE,
and the publisher of magazine Tatuí.