curated by Hugo Canoilas
30 Marzo - 19 April, 2019
Via Giacinto Carena, 20
10144, Turin, Italy
From every theory of clouds, the most exciting I came across was that of the relation between the atomic bomb and the Internet.
The atomic bomb has triggered the development of a non-centred communication system that appeared to us in the shape of the Internet. The cloud of the bomb explosion is historically attached to the way our lives are taken by the inhuman speed of subjectivation, created by the marriage of different velocities between the machines and us.
Triggered by clouds drawn on the walls in this space, I feel tempted to use the idea of cloud to name the nature of this exhibition. One can also see the works here presented as a cloud itself. I see it as a cloud in the way that allows me to project my dreams, lying down here in bed as if I was lying on the grass.
I see the cloud as being dark and heavy because I'm possessed by thoughts attached to the Anthropocene, the suicidal tendencies of capitalism, the genocide of life that humans carry due to their privilege and stupidity.
When one looks at this dark cloud and tries to analyze it, one sees that it is composed of a multitude of possibilities. It is somehow holding a disaster, a production made without a centre (dis astro).
From down here, life gets destroyed of any full meaning. There is no horizon, no future, and later is now - as Bernard Aspe posed in his eponymous text, like in Cormack McCarthys’s romance "The road".
These considerations propose certain cyberpunk aesthetics, which are implicit by me. I face the danger of aesthetic seduction by post-apocalyptic considerations as opposed to creating awareness within me.
Within the darkness of the cloud, one has a positive work to rescue oneself from the imprisonment of the present - that of Presentism: the impossibility of living the present in full, with the future colonized by many forces that act as a mortgage.
Art has the capacity to create a here and now. Present is given by art through the feeling of the arrival of the future, or the passage of the future, by the present. Art is a given future, because one needs to offer oneself to something that in potency will become art in us. Art happens within this delivery of ourselves to that art to become.
This exhibition is composed by works of Pedro Cabrita Paiva, Primeira Desordem, Nuno Ferreira and Aires de Gameiro.
Cabrita Paiva’s clouds are made with a homemade gadget. This apparently superfluous machine produces endless variations on a drawing that is dreamy, happy and light-hearted. Its repetition on the walls of the space produces a sort of wallpaper that reminds me of the proto-psychedelic qualities of patterns, the 60's and more precisely “Nuage à surface variable, 1971” by René Bertholo (1935-2005, PT), where metallic clouds are moving by a motor. There is, in fact, a precise relation between the motor-motioned metal shaped clouds and the implied movement to these clouds drawing. And that is not implied just by the motor itself on both works, but by the production of dreams with clumsy, cheap or simple, available-to-all devices. Art is a mental trap that produces the ingenuity that enhances us to see something beyond language and its entrapment, to relate new things or create a new sensation that could be produced by these drawings, by their position and repetition, or even just by the way it removes you from the quotidian by giving you another time, thus slowing you down.
These thoughts are reinforced by a breeze that crosses the exhibition space and affects all the elements in this show. The breeze is not actual wind but a video by Primeira Desordem, where a book produces wind by flipping its pages against the face of oneself. Its silliness can also be seen as dramatic, through the replacement of the natural over the artificial or the simple use of a book to our satisfaction, while not being aware of its content. This reminds me of firewalls and physical walls we are imposing on ourselves and against others. The wind is consonant with the clouds in the way it connects all works.
They also share the same easiness. Both devices could be easily made by anyone. Looking at them places us as people who immediately understand something in technical terms. What matters is not the techné but the state of mind it operates in us. The implied sensation or experience is both shared by the author and the public. At the same time, this aimed community between art and viewer (where the sensible is shared) creates the possible entry of all and, simultaneously, their own exclusion through their individual experience.
Somehow the trap of this work is the way it shows the easiness to live differently in this world, with its things. The work overpasses our impositions, being it material or immaterial, a state of mind or an idea, showing us that the real matter of art is its interrelation between things. Pushed by this we go towards the work of Nuno Ferreira. His painting creates a powerful statement by its position. We stay in between something because it is not a shelter due to its height, neither is it flat on the floor. Its height obliges to be vertical and to look at it with an animal perspective. This perspective is important to everything I’ve stated in my negative perspective about our human condition, since new forms of empathy are needed, placing us in a more horizontal relation between ourselves and other living species and elements in the planet. By demanding a less human or even inhuman gaze (that of looking down as opposed to looking forward) this work is set against (enlarging the possibilities of) abstraction, painting and culture itself. I love this possibility of being pushed down and it feels as it offers something back to the History of Painting. Something initiated by Pollock, the mediumpainter that never touched the canvases, in relation to Indigenous Peoples of North America’s sand drawings. Also, Pollock, and later Barnett Newman`s works and ideas, were made under the influence of the Atomic Bomb and the Holocaust. The works and texts raise, at least, the desire to fight the imposition of the rational over our lives, to gain new forms of sensation that are close to children in a pre-language state, being language a form of instrumentalization of the world. All this is implicit in this work that is also an attempt to enlarge the possibilities of painting. Also with painting in mind, Aires de Gameiro's work explodes the subtle palette of all the other works in the exhibition: black, graphite and the real colours of the video documentation of an action are foreigners to the flashy colors of both of Gameiro's works in the show. Colour is a pure sensation. And sensation is formed by previous experiences. When one reads Deleuze's "Bacon: Logics of sensation", one sees that sensation is a diagrammatic experience that is for the artist an attempt for the new, formed by all the works that are in his head. A new sensation is placed at the same time that all these things (artistic, social and political events) are erased, because they become a cliché. The new sensation is by these means a new form in this world or a new present. Within the hard edge forms and the fluidity of forms, that delves these works to the space between rational and interior, Gameiro’s engages with other works, while apparently clashing with its well-defined aesthetics.
This happens with the implicit movement of the Plexiglas structure and its reference to Cabrita Paiva’s work in the title, which opens a last and quintessential quality of this cloud that is anti-capitalist. There’s a community that defies individuality by the way these works serve the exhibition above all, with no hierarchies, and its complex heterogeneity that offers resistance to its transformation into commodities – as commercial, but mostly as information.
My projection over these works is dark and affected by a cloud that is wider and bigger than this exhibition. This exhibited cloud offers a potential future by the way the artists open new possibilities to revolve the present.
Text by Hugo Canoilas