Detail of Tailings, by Marcelo Moscheta
Detail of the installation "Rejeito", by Marcelo Moscheta, assembled from dry leaves made of ceramic. Photo: Filipe Berndt

Cwalking through Marcos Amaro Art Factory it is possible to see the exhibition rooms, outdoor sculptures, diverse vegetation and many dry leaves lying on the ground. The latter may go unnoticed by some, but it was from them that Marcelo Moscheta decided to develop an artistic project. “The idea was to work with these dry leaves, which were being swept here from space, this nature that invades the factory – which was once a ruin and is undergoing transformation”, says the artist. artist.

It was from the dry vegetation that Moscheta decided to reflect on other discards. The idea came shortly after the Brumadinho tragedy in 2018, when mud from dams devastated the Minas Gerais region. This happened shortly after the Mariana disaster in 2015. The mud that swept away vegetation, animals, homes and human lives had a name: tailings. 

For the dictionary, “reject” can be a simple residue, or what is left over from any substance submitted to a procedure and that cannot be used again. There are industrial, nuclear and mining waste. This last one refers to the disasters with the dams, which carried with them the erasure of histories and lives. It is also he who names the project and the solo exhibition by Marcelo Moscheta, reject, at the Marcos Amaro Art Factory.  

From discard to memory

“I was very impressed by those images [of Brumadinho], and there was a lot of talk about this tailings story. I thought about making a parallel between the history of the Factory and what was being the theme of the country at the time”. The project was awarded by the FAMA Museum and Field Award of the 15th SP-Art and the artist spent months in residence at the Museum.  

“I really like working on this man-space-nature relationship, how things happen within this tripod. So, I imagined that this idea of ​​'reject', of something that was already blatantly discarded, could be inverted into a poetic approach here to the Factory”, explains the artist. Thus, he decided to invert the meaning of “reject”. If in the tragedies of Brumadinho and Mariana it was this mud that erased stories, in the artistic project it was this mud that did the archeology of FAMA. “It is an idea of ​​transformation and time. The idea of ​​a dry leaf condensed into ceramic – in the mud itself –, which is a clay that does not cover up history, but becomes archeology.”

Installation "Rejeito", by Marcelo Moscheta
Installation “Rejeito”, by Marcelo Moscheta. Photo: Filipe Berndt

From dry leaves of different plants, collected at the Factory, Marcelo Moscheta created plaster molds and transformed them into silicone matrices. With the help of a team made up of young artists, he filled in the matrices with paper clay – a mixture of clay with cellulose fiber – and pressed them, forming ceramic pieces. They were then molded, dried and fired. The end result mimics dry leaves. In the end, about 4500 pieces were stacked in a room, giving rise to the installation reject

As Moscheta explains, “it is a work built from minimal fragments and that takes on body, volume and presence when presented as accumulation and agglomeration”. In a world in the midst of a pandemic that forces us to social isolation, this brings a new meaning to the work. “I want to talk about the strength of being together, of gathering and being present, even when, individually, we seem insignificant, even when we are the reject of a world, of a country that has other values ​​and meanings to live it”, he concludes.

This union was also present in the process of the work and the exhibition in which it is inserted. The artist did not build reject by myself. “Each one of us ends up modeling the sheet in a way, so each sheet has the face of a person and this gives a very large plurality, even though it is the same matrix”, says Eliel Fabro, graduated in Cinema and member of the team. who helped Moscheta. To which film student Giulia Baptistella adds: “We realized that when we shape the sheet, each one puts a little bit of himself. From opening the dough, but especially when molding it”. 

In interview with arte!brasileiros, the young artists also shared the importance of being involved in a project like this: “It was very interesting, because we find art and its ways of being within each artist, right? There is a historical, sentimental and poetic charge that the artist brings with him”, says Carlos Mendes. For the history student, it is through the multiplicity of artists involved that the “work transposes the diversity of feelings, of characteristics, and ends up resulting in a little bit of us within Marcelo's work”.

Here now

However, this is a sphere that does not allow us to overlook the environmental issue involved in the project and in the exhibition. reject. In an interview with arte!brasileiros in March 2020, Marcelo Moscheta shared his belief that this work would be very special for the moment we were living in, “because it deals with some points that have always been important to me, such as the ruin, the tension between man and the environment and now (even more than before) this issue of degradation and excessive exploitation of our natural resources”.

The exhibition was postponed, due to the global health crisis generated by the new coronavirus, but this did not take away the relevance of the artistic proposal, since the subject has not become dated. "I think that reject is temporally inserted in an arc that goes from Mariana and Brumadinho to the increase in fires in the Amazon and Pantanal this year, through the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it is not limited to them, since it is universal in its sense of dealing with manifestations of preservation of the memory of humanity that were born in prehistory and will continue to be maintained”, explains Moscheta. 

The artist believes that this is the beginning of a new movement within his artistic productions. “This story of a slightly more critical stance towards these environmental issues has increasingly inhabited my work”. Thus, the reflection echoes through the rest of his solo show, occupying the room with other productions. reject is on display at Fábrica de Arte Marcos Amaro, in Itu, with free admission and the possibility of booking in advance online.

Watch the video and understand more about the process of creating “Tails”


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