A set of rugs hanging from the ceiling move, rotating at different rhythms, creating a sense of dynamism, when gallery shows tend to have an almost sepulchral energy, especially due to the small audience that attends them.
Em That Vestige Like This… Faerie, which ran until October 27 at Casa Triângulo, the assumed vivid astro focus (avaf) had his own party, even when there was no audience. In a dark phase of the country, with a climate of war on social networks, the experience of color movement was like an oasis.
The project is an offshoot of the exhibition abstracto viajero andino fetichizados, held in 2017 at the Mario Testino Museum (MATE), in Lima, Peru, when avaf produced a series of four tapestries inspired by the Wari culture, which emerged in the Andean region. around 680 AD, created together with Elvia Paucar Orihuela, an artisan from San Pedro de Cajas.
In São Paulo, there were six rugs, also made with Orihuela, in patterns similar to the 17 paintings exhibited in the same room, a number calculated to cover all the walls, creating an immersive environment. To arrive at these patterns, Eli Sudbrack, who created the avaf in 2001, zoomed in on old works, as if observing them with a magnifying glass in search of their genetic components. Thus, an immersion in the work of the collective is created, which is transformed into reality and fiction, since even starting from existing images, it reaches formats totally different from the original.
This somewhat kaleidoscopic procedure, however, is repeated with the program avalanches volcanoes asteroids floods, which is based on a video archive by Sudbrack, where 66 small excerpts selected from records from the last 15 years are shown. There's a little bit of everything there, artist-related of course. From snippets of performances, such as the one performed in 2008, at the cathartic closing of the Bienal do Vazio (28th Bienal de São Paulo), to private scenes, of affectionate exchanges with friends. It is as if it were possible, for about two hours, to enter not only the memories of avaf, but also the intimate circle that helps to build his work.
Finally, the show also comprises a fourth work, actually an installation that brings together paintings by assistants, former students and friends of Sudbrack (Camila Rocha, Gilson Rodrigues, Thiago Barbalho, Ricardo Alvez and Nadja Abt) in a structure created by he.
There, the notion of collective gains strength, since there is no identification of authorship in the set. Since its beginnings, in 2001, avaf has been a stranger in the world of visual arts, as it avoided identifying or singling out its members in a scene where the mythical idea of the author still counts a lot, to the delight of collectors. Occasionally avaf becomes a duo with Parisian artist Christophe Hamaide-Pierson, who also develops avaf projects independently. And avaf also turns into a collective, depending on the different projects they are involved in.
The name avaf itself is an acronym that changes depending on where and when a work is produced, such as the recent America Votes Against Fascism. Obviously, it is a political attitude to believe in the need for collective effort, which presupposes elements that are so lacking in these times, such as respect, freedom, courage and generosity.
A work composed by so many hands, like this installation in Triângulo, is only possible when there is a genuine commitment to new practices, which start from libertarian attitudes. For avaf, this commitment is maintained in a festive atmosphere, perhaps that's why color is so important in its trajectory and is always vibrating so intensely.
New attitudes _and the mystery of defining who and what is avaf deserves to be seen as part of this strategy _ need to be built with a powerful creative force and this is precisely what is observed in the rugs, paintings, videos and installation. There is an interdependence between all these works, it is worth remembering, which also deserves to be seen as part of a political strategy, in seeking new images in small details of old works, in considering apparently unimportant stories as essential, in bringing together people and works of unexpected way.
In addition to the exhibition at Casa Triângulo, avaf can still be seen at reTRANSpective #2, another political irony in avoiding the usual term retrospective to approach new identity constructions with the prefix trans. Held at Viva Projects until December 21 (Rua Cristiano Viana 201, São Paulo), the show brings together a set of 27 ephemeral works, many of them utilitarian products, made in several partnerships, including brands such as Amapô or comme des garçons.
Festas are usually a space of freedom, where it is necessary to be free from pre-established conditions and in search of a liberating joy. The vertigo in AVAF's works and attitudes is nothing more than a desire for new utopias, of the party as a unifying Dionysian element, where these utopias are not always expected: either in the gallery or in a commercial brand.