View of the OBSCURA LUZ exhibition at Galeria Luisa Strina.
View of the exhibition "Obscura Luz", at Galeria Luisa Strina. Photo: Edouard Fraipont

A collective exhibition can re-signify works, unpublished or already known. dark light, which occupies the entire Luisa Strina Gallery focuses on works from the collection, now bundled in a concept mediated by light, literal or symbolic. By exploring the technical reserve, the curator Kiki Mazzucchelli founds a relational space for the works, without breaking with the aesthetic categories. The theme that guides the collective is inspired by the work dark light (1982) of Cildo Meireles, a white box mounted on the wall, with an eaves over which the shadow of a lamp is projected. The conceptual paradox can be read as stridence, inversion of perception by showing a source of light that is at the same time shadow.

the collective suggests a path that can uncover literal or intrinsic luminosities and their various implications. Without worrying about language analogies, Mazzucchelli simultaneously inserts works that have different visual and discursive repertoires, giving the public the task of discovering affinities. At the entrance, the visitor is greeted by a set of small-format pieces that emphasize color-light and the exploration of textures. Here, the work of Enorê stands out, developed between the digital and the material. The young artist who lives in London is interested in the process of transcoding between physical objects and digital space, works with 3D scanning/modeling, textile objects, programming, ceramics.

In the gallery's large room, Fernanda Gomes' painting signals the polarity of light and dark that reflects in some works. As Vilém Flusser says, “the meaning of images is magical” and Fernanda’s work reaffirms the maxim. Light and shadow, a binomial that produces metaphors and interpretations about wave, diffraction, vibrating form of energy, operates in a concrete and oppositional way in sculpture. de Anna Maria Maiolino. As she explains: “The titles of these works refer to the existence of the opposite, the absent positive that has been separated from the negative. They form a single body at a given moment in the process of making the molded sculpture. Thus, the procedure of these works embodies nostalgia for the matrix. The mould, usually forgotten and discarded, gains a new value through the emphasis given to its generative properties, to empty space”. This operation of light and shadow provokes surprises, both visual and playful, with gaps alternated by the material itself. There is in this proposal a strong light fed by the foundation of contemporary constructivism.

Playing with possibilities, movements and opposing her vibrant and restless personality, Laura Lima's work moves towards a sensoriality of a zen atmosphere. In this installation, luminous games, planes and gravitations resulting from his notion of art as a procedure are contemplated. The white, fragile fabric, of unique transparency, originally carried a focus of lights with dry ice and, for technical reasons, as Mazzucchelli explains, it is now not activated, but still maintains its fluidity.

rummage a technical reserve is to activate works that were in temporary rest. I invoke Harald Szeemann to remind us that there is no isolated art, locked in itself, art is to be shared. Alexandre da Cunha's work asks for the participation of the observer. The board Sound I (2016) is covered with translucent fabric under which shapes of two large shells emerge, on which the visitor can approach the ear and listen to sounds. Two perspectives intersect in this concept: the experimental dimension of life and the dramatization of what is hidden. 

Inspired by Walter Benjamin's writings on notions of confrontation, order and chaos in contemporary society, Cinthia Marcelle and filmmaker Tiago Mata Machado produce films motivated by the environment. In Black Hole the spectator follows the movement of a portion of white powder on a black surface, caused by the blowing of two individuals absent from the painting. The performance provokes sounds that contrast with abstract images reminiscent of constellations. Also sensorial, the work of Tonico Lemos is part of the series night landscape (2012). The panel made of fabric worked with geometric figures displays the repetition of triangular motifs that suggest the silhouette of sailing boats. The artist achieves this effect through the technique of unraveling the fabric, causing an open weave that is then reworked. With a frame, he creates tones with different intensities that resemble charcoal drawing or woodcut textures. The artist makes reference to Alfredo Volpi's modernist painting and to a work by Mira Schendel from 1964.

A Photography enhances everything it records. The series laudanum (1998) by Australian Tracey Moffatt is a piece that operates at various levels of art. His images feed on some references such as the film Nosferatu (1922), by Murnau. From a social and experimental point of view, it alludes to the consumption of laudanum, a plant used for the production of opium and cocaine, classified as an opiate. Tracey touches the history of photography through the use of photogravure. The series has special lighting and was photographed on a Georgian-era farmhouse. The negatives were digitally remastered before hand printing. laudanum has the particularity of being produced on the Mapplethorpe printer.

Artworks deal with temporalities that promote different flows between them. Contemporary artists propagate and build programs that socialize art codes. The wind instrument-objects of Camila Sposati recover, at the same time, ancient sound mechanisms and organs of the human body related to speech and hearing. Made in white clay, black, and under the title phonosophia, the series started in 2015 is closely linked to his research for transformation procedures. Camila brings together artists and ordinary citizens in a project/performance, impregnated with affective memories around clay and social insertion in art.

Considered a wandering character, photographer Ingeborg de Beausacq was born in Germany, lived in Paris before settling in Rio de Janeiro in 1939. As almost all migrants needed to work, so she decided to study photography. At first, she made portraits of children and women from Brazilian high society. Gradually, she comes to understand the land she chose to live in, she meets artists and, in the years 1945-1946, she falls in love and maintains a turbulent relationship with the artist. Flavio de Carvalho. Two years later she goes to the United States where she becomes a fashion photographer. The images present in dark light are part of her more authorial production, which made her notable.

From the group that closes the show draws attention golden townhouse, Baravelli's work exhibited with 14 more paintings at the 17th São Paulo Biennial, in 1983. Walter Zanini, curator of that edition, highlights: “A salient aspect of the resumption of the figure in Brazilian painting is developed in the work of Luiz Paulo Baravelli. There are two main areas of concern in the imagery to which the artist applies himself with great determination. The first concerns the construction of differentiated surfaces (in Duratex sheets) that are both support and silhouette of what is represented. The second concerns the narrative language that characterizes it.”

Studies on identity, consecration, belonging, concern territories. Lina Bo Bardi used to say that when space is entirely familiar, it becomes place. The extensive set gathered in dark light, with its crossings, collectivities and strangeness, constitutes the place of legitimacy of this production.

View of the OBSCURA LUZ exhibition at Galeria Luisa Strina.
View of the exhibition “Obscura Luz”, at Galeria Luisa Strina. Photo: Edouard Fraipont

dark light
Luisa Strina Gallery: Rua Padre João Manuel, 755 – São Paulo, SP
On view until September 3, 2022
Visitation from Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 19 pm; Saturdays, from 10 am to 17 pm

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