Strange cut, abject print: itinerary

The elo­quent shell of the heart. The black pain­ted plywo­od boards could ser­ve as a matrix to gene­ra­te ima­ges on paper, but this was not their pur­po­se. Deni­ed their poten­ti­al as a matrix, they are ste­ri­le as prints but fer­ti­le in terms of the ide­as and asso­ci­a­ti­ons they unle­ash. The set that opens the exhi­bi­ti­on allu­des to frag­ments of sto­ri­es, trun­ca­ted nar­ra­ti­ves, modu­les of time, shards of memo­ri­es. Anony­mous figu­res and dis­pla­ced objects pass by – some moths, a roo­fed hou­se, a wrec­ked boat. Dark­ness / Dark­ness / Blac­kest dark­ness over sad men, sings Jards Maca­lé on one of the tracks of the album Bes­ta Fera*, rele­a­sed ear­li­er this year. The bare­fo­ot wan­de­rer roams for a long time without get­ting anywhe­re. Stran­ge or fami­li­ar, the figu­res take refu­ge in the dry dark. Dawn never breaks.

Northwest. Might it dawn? The rich­ness of the colors fill the eyes: gre­en, blue, red, gre­e­nish yel­low, pink. The faca­des of the lar­ge hou­ses in Valon­go, San­tos’ old town, their ruins. The iron gate is still stan­ding, but it no lon­ger holds anything, only cas­tor bean plants and vora­ci­ous vines. The sta­tue of a Buddha seen in a museum, a figu­re of some kind, a memory without a defi­ned form, a dre­am almost remem­be­red. Loo­king at the fami­li­ar as if we had never seen it. The engra­ved plywo­od pla­te is the mouth of ima­ges of the most vari­ed ori­gins, brought clo­se to the har­bor workshop, a mee­ting pla­ce of the car­di­nal points.

Mars. If things get much wor­se around here, can we esca­pe to Mars? On the edge of the win­dow led­ge / On the edge of cha­os, on the edge of the world / On the edge of a bot­tom­less pit. In the title, the Roman god of war, or the blo­od-colo­red pla­net, the red star in the sky. In the ima­ge, tan­gled tra­jec­to­ri­es, an anony­mous bust, a defo­li­a­ted tree in the deli­rium of lines, death and ger­mi­na­ti­on. Bluish grays, pale gre­ens and whi­tes cross the black plain of the paper, like dri­ed up rivers awai­ting the next rain. A black sun emits rays in a straight line. What world are we in? Sun towards sle­ep / Sha­dows over the oce­an / Citi­es cove­red in thick mist / Never to be rava­ged / By sunshi­ne.

Seven Gre­ek Dogs. The story of young Acta­e­on comes from anci­ent Gre­ek mytho­logy. He was roa­ming the moun­tains of his father’s king­dom, hun­ting deer with fri­ends. Meanwhi­le, in the val­ley, Dia­na, the hun­ting god­dess, was bathing in a cave, sur­roun­ded by nymphs. Acta­e­on is sepa­ra­ted from his fri­ends, wan­de­ring aim­les­sly. Fate leads him to the cave and he unwit­tin­gly sur­pri­ses the naked god­dess. As punish­ment for the offen­se to her modesty, Dia­na trans­forms Acta­e­on into a deer. He runs des­pe­ra­tely through the woods. The hounds spot the deer and cha­se him. Seven Gre­ek hounds: Nape, The­ron, Lae­laps, Melam­pus, Pampha­gus, Dor­ceus and Tigris. They kill their own mas­ter trans­for­med into an ani­mal, whi­le Acta­e­on’s fri­ends call his name, sear­ching the woods for him to show him the con­que­red prey. Only then is Dia­na’s wrath appe­a­sed. The Seven Gre­ek Dogs seri­es is born from the com­bi­na­ti­on of seven wood­cut prints, supe­rim­po­sed. Each print is a uni­que com­bi­na­ti­on of all the matrices.

The ass of the world. An unpu­blished work, recen­tly con­clu­ded and shown for the first time in this exhi­bi­ti­on. It bears the same title as a song by Cae­ta­no Velo­so, recor­ded in the early nine­ti­es, but whi­ch could be of the pre­sent day. The goat wrap­ped in red strolls at ease, indif­fe­rent to the blue melan­choly of the figu­re wet­ting its feet. Tor­so, hand or glo­ve, color spa­ces and tears in the paper. It could be just the plywo­od pla­te on the wall, inked, like The Elo­quent Shell, a stran­ge cut. But the artist cho­o­ses another path, see­king a print that wishes to go beyond itself, loa­ding the paper with ink, an etched pain­ting (abject print?). A com­bi­na­ti­on of paper and wood. The layers of colors, the layers of figu­res, spre­ad through spa­ce and sub­mer­ge into it.

Pan­ta­nei­ras. The four prints in the seri­es, recen­tly prin­ted from lost matri­ces, are results from an artis­tic resi­dency held in July 2018 on the banks of the Para­guai River, in the Pan­ta­nal regi­on of South Mato Gros­so. The mix­tu­re of memory, obser­va­ti­on and inven­ti­on runs through and uni­tes each of the color­ful prints. An affec­ti­o­na­te expe­ri­en­ce that brings des­crip­ti­on and abs­trac­ti­on together. The artist trans­ports tra­ces of the pla­ce to wood and then to paper – ani­mals, plants, lands­ca­pes, colors. Not a swamp, but the Pan­ta­nal, the cra­dle of much life. Life that is made by sin­king and sur­fa­cing again. We have rea­ched the limit of the dee­pest water / I rai­se my gaze skyward.

* All ver­ses in ita­lics quo­ted throughout the text are from Bes­ta Fera.

Priscila Sacchettin is a post-doctoral researcher at the Museum of Contemporary Art, University of São Paulo (MAC-USP). D. in Art History from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) with an internship at Université Sorbonne/Paris Diderot. She holds a BA and an MA in Philosophy from the University of São Paulo (USP).