The Untitled Collection | Arvorar ◄ Back


THE FLAPPING OF BUTTERFLY WINGS IN TOKYO CAN MAKE IT RAIN IN CENTRAL PARK IN NEW YORK. AND THE PROBLEM IS THAT THE SEQUENCE OF HAPPENINGS NEVER REPEATS ITSELF: THE NEXT TIME THE BUTTERFLY FLAPS ITS WINGS, MANY OTHER FACTORS WHICHALSO INFLUENCE TIME WILL HAVE CHANGED. Stephen Hawking, The Universe in a nutshell The present exhibit is made up of two bodies of work executed between 2002 and 2004: the Untitled Collection and "Arvor-ar." The two bodies of work interact and establish a dialogue with each other. The exhibit is the result of a tense movement between an open structure and a closed structure. They are paintings which synthesize within themselves, as possible, the passage of time, reflecting simultaneously the fragility of our perception. The Untltled Collection has a narrative structure and. requires a sequential reading. It presents various moments of a whole whose limits are merely suggested by the title. It'is a collection: each element is a unique object, precious unto itself, at the same time that it is valued by all. Its conception implies a movement of multiplication, of unfolding, of temporal multiplicity. Formally .it is an open set. "Arvorar" is a synchronic object. It is a multiple piece where all the elements concur to objectify the reading. Its conception implies an implosive movement. Formally, it is a piece that is contained within its limits. It has a structure that converges. It is one moment in time. Both bodies of work result from a reflection upon painting. They try out new possibilities for painting, within the universe of my work, at the same time that they formalize a dimension that has always been associated to my work - an artisan dimension. Both highlight painting as artefact. These works are exhaustive with respect to two levels of execution, more precisely: i) the preparation of the surfaces which receive the film of paint; ii) the imposition of visual virtuosity when perceiving the chromatic and tonal variations - minimal differences in colour and' tonality are perceived and reproduced, as eternal mutations in the interaction between colour-light take shape simultaneously. Recourse to a do-i.t-yourse.Zr' strategy turns out to be frequent through the registering of brands, references and quantities of the paints utilized - a strategy which has been divulged before, as happened with the exhibit My Houses in Flight, presented in 2002. The Untitled Collection is an expansive, eminently fluid and emotive body of work, with a strong physical presence; it is made up of twelve paintings, measuring 80 x 80 x 4.5 cm each, using water-based and synthetic enamel on an aluminium sheet fastened onto a wooden structure. The twelve paintings correspond to twelve fragments of a series of photographs/pictures which correspond to twelve moments of' a pre-selected set of photographs of a person making head movements of rotation, elevation and inclination, downward and inward. The fragments of the photographs were enlarged through a digital process and reproduced by being painted, on aluminium, using water-based enamel. The painting surface creates a background, a grid, like a skin, for interventions of a gestural nature, with synthetic enamel, associated to the idea of touch. Each fragment of the picture, body, through touch, corresponds to a certain temperature which is expressed through the colour of the blotches of synthetic enamel superimposed on it; also corresponding to each fragment is a certain sensitivity to touch, which is expressed through the formal evolution of the blotches superimposed on that particular fragment. In a succinct mode, the Untitled Collection is the visual description of the sensation provoked by the touch of a hand on a body nearby, very nearby, within breathing space - a sensation in which little more than the temperature of the touched body remains visible. Each painting within this collection is identified by a number. All totalled,, there are twelve numbers, twelve fragments of a'picture which cannot be verbalized, an invisible picture turned visible. "Arvorar" - to plant trees; to rise up, vertically or perpendicular to, the ground, like a tree; to lift up high, well within sight; to rise up against; (...) ; to hoist a mast, a topmast, an oar... "Arvorar" is a more contained body of work. It asserts itself in silence and candour. It is a single piece made up of ten elements: seven paintings measuring 80 x 45 cm on the surface, varying in depth between 9 and 18 cm, executed in primer for wood and oil-based enamel on wood, a transparent plastic tube, a quadrangular prism in Plexiglas measuring 220 x 40 x 40 cm and a tree. The frameworks of the seven paintings were prepared using resinous latex, ferrous dough, oil-based asphalt and primer for wood in order to create a uniform, smooth surface to receive the paint. Different references and brands of white, oil-based enamel were used for, the painting. The process of execution is fore-grounded and revealed, within the piece, through three distinct phases: the wood used to make the framework; the coat of primer onto which the paint is applied; and finally, the last phase, the application of the enamel paint. "Arvorar" is characterized by'an essentially contemplative nature. The observation of the moment requires some time. There are variations in the colour and tonality of the paints which are difficult to perceive. Those variations, which result from the variations in brands and references of the paints applied, present themselves through the varying degrees of lustre and temperature of the colours of the blotches of synthetic enamel. "Arvorar" has a playful dimension, associated to looking games, which becomes more visible through the placement of the film of enamel paint on the seven frameworks. That placement is determined by the rhythm created by the different distances of the surfaces from the wall - that rhythm follows a mathematical logic of the progression of primary numbers and attempts to reinforce the formal effects of the variations in temperature of the colour on the level of the perception of the forms. As a whole, "Arvorar" is a metaphorical piece; the figure stands out from its murky background and grows upward, making the two dimensions of the metaphor contained in the piece explicit. Between the Unfitted Collection and "Arvorar" there circulates a bundle of energy which determines the passage of one piece to the other. The circuit of that energy structures itself in the painting - certainly, the butterfly will flap its wings next time; uncertainty resides but within the imminence and subsequent nature of its flight. Nothing is always the same; "Arvorar" is different every day and/ just as the Untltled. Collection, it is the anticipation, permitted at this time, of future painting projects.

PDL, 2004-01-29

Maria José Cavaco


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