The allowed fruit. Magnólia Costa

The woman saw the fruit in the tree was good to eat, and attractive to the eyes,

and desirable because it would bring her knowledge; and she picked a fruit,

and she ate it; and she gave it to her husband, who also ate it. Then their eyes opened up, and they knew they were naked.

 

Genesis 3, 6-7

 

It all began with a woman. When she picked up the forbidden fruit and tasted it, she planted evil on earth but, at the same time, she sowed a great good: art, the possibility of materializing internal visions, experiencing a time out of time. With her transgressive act, woman created the feminine, a mysterious place opposites reconcile, mainly the sacred and the profane, the spiritual and the material.

 

Teresa Berlinck`s work discusses all those things. A carefully pruned tree, loaded with fruit-flowers, evokes art`s generating act, in which a mental image is summed up into a tangible object. That, however, doesn`t happen just metaphorically, because the two-dimensional object on the screen Teresa Berlinck captures images that consolidate, invading the observer`s space and amazing him or her with its almost magic three-dimensionality. The power of the symbols articulated in the images proposed by the artist is, thus, intensified by the objects` materiality and literality. There is no paradox, but femininity…

 

Volumetric or flat, the images conceived by Teresa Berlinck refer to ambiguities that emphasize the dimension of the feminine in her work, through a mystic bias. The experience of faith, both individual and collective, is translated in simple and anonymous forms, such as the views in Brazilian votive offerings of the 18th and 19th centuries. Those same forms, precisely for their symbolic density, also appear as a deviation for the demoniac, registering fears, perversions and several ineffable contents of the feminine psyche.

 

The impression of familiarity one has before Teresa Berlinck`s imaginative universe refers to a disconcerting experience of time, induced not only by forms, but mainly by the way they are executed. Making use of the medieval technique of egg tempera, very prevalent in devotional panels, the artist produces atemporal images whose religious – feminine – character is reinforced by the artisanal aspect. The fruit of that work is a deep uproar in the notions of time and place, the end of limits between fantasy and history, as it happens in the feminine imagery. And before that fruit there is only one thing to do: to pick it and eat it.