Brito Cimino Gallery Ten Years
To commemorate its 10th anniversary, Galeria Brito Cimino has invested in a revamping of its facilities and the renewal of the visual language of its brand and Internet site. The former 400 m2 area has been enlarged to 900 m2, to provide for more space for exhibitions, collections and management, besides becoming the only Brazilian gallery with a room especially designed for the showing of videos.
“As we work with contemporary art, the question of innovation is a permanent aim, and by means of these thoroughgoing changes we can give concrete expression to this concern of ours,” explains Fabio Cimino who along with Luciana Brito founded and directs the gallery.
To add to this dynamism, the new space designed by architect José Armênio de Brito Cruz will be re-inaugurated with exhibitions of the three most recent additions to Brito Cimino’s roster of artists: Delson Uchôa, from the state of Alagoas, Serbian artist Marina Abramovic, and Mario Cravo Neto, from the state of Bahia.
Delson Uchôa presents a recent gathering of paintings on canvas in monumental scale, exploring the possibilities of an inhabited painting, in the terms of curator Cristina Tejo. In accordance with the praxis of his creative process, these artworks were germinated, modified and reworked for years, as though they were continuously feeding on themselves. Working unflaggingly on the potentials of color and, therefore, light, the artist creates an environment of vibration, which the viewer experiences with his/her body. Many of the artworks have layers of canvas that can be raised by the visitor; however, the quality of the inhabited painting is not due to the simple possibility of going inside it; on the contrary, the environment outside it already oscillates, filled, encountering in the malleability of the layers the intensification of the interplay of light that designs the space.
Although he relates various everyday fragments in a persistent process of overlayings, imbued with a reflection characteristic of assemblage, Delson Uchôa counterpoises this shattered, contemporary time with a serenity that seems to be drawn from the old traditions of tapestry, which are well developed in the region of Maceió, where he was born and resides. Like the threads of a fabric, the different qualities of each material used are woven together into a wholeness of thick color.
“By means of his artworks, the regionalist culture is softened and gradually leaves off from being a ‘closed’ territory, without this implying a rejection of the inhabited everyday life in favor of an affiliation with codes created in other spheres. His paintings are hybrid constructions, which convey and approach diverse cultural formations, always inconclusively,” writes critic Moacir dos Anjos.
This is the first solo show of this Alagoas artist in a São Paulo gallery, and it is taking place simultaneously with the 30th edition of the Panorama de Arte Brasileira, at MAM, in which his work is featured. Besides this, his work was featured at a solo show held at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in 2003, and at the Bienal de São Paulo in 1998, curated by Paulo Herkenhoff. Outside São Paulo, his work was featured at an important solo show at MAMAM Recife, curated by Moacir dos Anjos (2005).
Marina Abramovic (Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1946), one of the world’s pioneers in performance art, and winner of the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale (1997), inaugurates the projection room with her video The Onion. The camera shows a close-up of her face; she is wearing makeup, including lipstick, and is looking upward – this look being accentuated by the low diagonal angle of the camera – and in her hand, fingernails painted bright red, the artist holds a large unpeeled onion, which she bites and begins to slowly chew. The voiceover in the background, at the same slow pace, repeats her wearily spoken statement: “I’m tired of changing airplanes so often. Waiting in the waiting rooms, bus stations, train stations, airports. I’m tired of waiting for endless passport controls. Fast shopping in shopping malls... I’m tired of being ashamed of my nose being too big, of my ass being too large, ashamed about this war in Yugoslavia. I want to go away, somewhere so far that I am unreachable by telephone or fax. I want to get old, really old, so that nothing matters anymore...”
At first the video has the tone of a hilarious, nonsensical scene, where the complaints seem petty and ridiculous, even when she switches to more significant subjects – and, actually, even more so at these moments. However, gradually, the fact that it is not merely theatrical, and actually a piece of performance art in which the artist is really eating a raw onion, gives rise to a sensation of tiredness that is increasingly tense. The artist reaches an apparent physical limit, in an act of self-destruction that accompanies the destruction of her initial image in the film; her eyes tear up, the lipstick melts, and she actually begins to hiccup; it is possible to hear the sound of her chewing the onion, which she eats completely, peel and all. This artwork is part of an extensive body of research in which Abramovic investigates, among other things, the inseparable quality between body and mind.
Marina Abramovic has participated in two editions of the Bienal de São Paulo, the 16th (1981) and the 18th (1985), and last year she held her first solo show in Brazil, Épico Erótico dos Bálcãs[Balkan Erotic Epic], at SESC Pinheiros. Her artwork is present in the world’s most important public collections, including: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Holland; the Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven, Holland; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland; and Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Last but not least, the video installation La Mer by Mario Cravo Neto will premiere in the new room on the gallery’s upper floor. In an unfolding of the exhibition somewhere over the rainbow, held at MAM in Salvador at the Mostra Pan-Africana de Arte Contemporânea [Pan-African Show of Contemporary Art] (2005), the artist projects videos of large images of Bahian seas, which circle around the viewer. Here, the “sculptural” qualities – which he has previously explored in his photographs – expressed, for example, in the texture of the waters, are complemented by a further poetic complexity arising from the choice of video installation as the language, incorporating the body of the visitor and his/her movement as a constituent element of the artwork.
“This installation invites us to plunge into this virtual sea and to ponder the meanings that transit through its surface; in this new challenge, it is as though the artist is moving toward the vastness yet to be explored, toward a new way of seeing the world, based on accumulated knowledge. In the phase that marks a transition, the closed spaces now open. The lighting is natural and invites the gaze to the outside,” writes Solange Farkas, curator of the exhibition in Salvador.
The dimension of this accumulated knowledge evinces a fertile clashing of Mario Cravo Neto with the city of Salvador and the countless contradictions that structure it. In an aspiration for the whole that reiterates the myth, the fetish, in its ancestral quality of spirituality, the artist shows himself aware of the many fractures that pervade the desire for integration with nature and its divinities; he preserves the subtlety of suggesting a mystery without the need to actually reveal it.
Recognized within Brazil and internationally, Mario Cravo Neto has held solo shows in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, United States and other countries. He has participated in five editions of the Bienal de São Paulo, and his artworks are present in countless national and international collections, including: MoMA (NY), Fundação Cartier (Paris), Brooklyn Museum (NY), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston) and Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam).
06.11.2007 to 12.01.2008
tuesday - friday, from 10 AM to 7 PM
saturday, from 11 AM to 5 PM