Regina Silveira, video installation Sumidouro, 2018 PHOTO: Patricia Rousseaux

Vthis from above, the flat, fairy-like landscape that gives shine to the center of Mube – Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, is translated by illuminated lines with equal intensity that geometrically draw a labyrinth where the spectator is seduced to experience the sensation of space in time and vice versa. back The password of this place is the state of immersion, enhanced by the glasses with virtual projection, which allows the visitor to ramble, with himself, for a moment. This experience makes up the exhibition Exit, a poetic/political encounter between art and architecture, involving 41 works by Regina Silveira, including installations, videos, prints and objects, produced between 1970 and 2018, curated by Cauê Alves.

The labyrinth can reframe elements that make up reality such as migration. “The space is uncomfortable, I want the public to walk through it to be stimulated to think”. The mythical shape of the labyrinth resonates with the visitor and stirs their perceptive and cognitive habits, in a playful and unsettling experience. Regina proposes an interactive game, in augmented reality, in which the public, while walking through the labyrinth, with projection glasses, sees walls appear and disappear on the surface. With entrances and exits on all four sides, and alternate route design, Exit takes the visitor to a temporal perception. In the current socio-political moment in which several countries are building walls, refugees are physically and psychologically barred, this work can be metaphorical of this situation of barbarism that we are experiencing.

  The idea of ​​the labyrinth has been a recurring theme in Regina's work since the 70s, when she was still living in Puerto Rico, and appears in periods and with works from different eras. “Labyrinths are ancestral, mental, intercultural, immemorial, and many cultures have their own. In this exhibition, they are fake because they all have exits.” Previously, the artist created a labyrinth of compartments, when she used, for the first time, an appropriate image. “Actually, it's an image that fills in all the compartmentalizations I've made”. Regina took the labyrinths to the sky, to the cities, to the executives, to talk about the notion of power.

“This exhibition came about when I thought of creating a discourse that would bring together the parts of this recurrence of motives. Metaphors of migratory issues, of interior walls, of how barriers close when the projection glasses are put on, of how the labyrinth that had an exit is now replaced by these walls that close the space”. The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges used this image, surrounded by mysteries, to write the labyrinth. Borges saw the world as an immense labyrinth, from which it is impossible to escape because its paths are disorienting and illusory.

Illuminated geometric planes compose Exit, A Labyrinth with entrances and exits to another universe. PHOTO: Patricia Rousseaux

The exaggeratedly flat landscape is fictional. “I didn't want to model the place on the glasses, otherwise I would be stuck in that place. So there is an image that goes up and down. In this virtual reality, you're in total immersion and you don't see what's around you.” Anyway, virtual reality can fool your body and mind, making you think you are somewhere else, after all it is a universe of interfaces and crossings with other languages. "This work is smart because it's modular, built with 196 equal slabs of fabric-covered wood that can be divided, sectioned, transported and adapted to other spaces."  The work no longer belongs to Regina, but to the collection of Itaú Cultural, which will manage and care for her future.

Despite the attractions of the labyrinth, it draws attention sinkhole, an unprecedented video that dialogues with the architectural structure of the museum. This work is one of the most current themes of the show, within the concept of art/architecture. It imposes that there is only image to think beyond the principle of visibility, of the opposition between the visible and the  invisible. Regina once again part of the geometry, now in continuous movement, almost erased, mimicked in the gray of the concrete, in opposition to the static and illuminated labyrinth. It is a continuous rhythm cut in which the geometry constitutes a special space, with staging that unfolds beyond visibility. In it, the artist distorts the beams and bars of the ceiling and extends the walls of Mube.

Regina had the idea to do this work when she went to the place for the first time to study the space, thinking about the exhibition. “I looked at the grid and knew exactly what I was going to do: put architecture to devour itself”. The grid is spread throughout the museum designed by Paulo Mendes de Almeida, whom Regina calls a modular architect. “I commissioned Rodrigo Barbosa to design the grid, to photograph it from a certain point of view, the middle of the ramp”. Everything was built to match, in scale and in point of view, with what you see from the ceiling in that place. “When looking up, the viewer has the sensation of limitless virtual depth, an animation in Loops of space devouring itself and that's why I call it Sinkhole”. The artist wanted the edges of the projection to be rounded like a mask, like a phantasmagoria projected onto the gray concrete and she succeeded. Regina is right, this work is subtle, a site specific. Too bad it's ephemeral and you have to get out of there.

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