It is limiting to attribute separate training to the duo Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain when it comes to their artistic production. It is truer to say that both are linguists, graphic designers, typographers and semiologists. And, of course, artists. After all, for over 20 years together, since they first migrated from Rio Grande do Sul to São Paulo, everything learned was shared. This is so true that it is even admirable, the fact that one completes the other precisely when a word escapes the reasoning, although words hardly escape this duo that dominates it. “A large part of our production is the creation of typography, writing systems, we are very interested in codes, in alphabets from different parts of the world”, says Angela. The exhibition at Espaço Cultural Porto Seguro, in São Paulo, which runs until April 21, gives the dimension of this in the duo's work.
Now married with two children, Rafael and Angela live in Paris and are part of a select group of artists, closely watched by collectors and institutions around the world. Art became their definitive dedication when, in 2002, they received a scholarship at the Palais de Tokyo. They already worked with graphic design, developing projects and visual identities.
Angela and Rafael comment that the idea to organize the show comes from a garden concept, but the Japanese, not the Parisians: “The ones from France are very organized for us”, she jokes and continues: “Although we are even well organized in these works, but I think the garden experience corresponds more to the Japanese, a little wilder”. All works have some connection with light. After all, it is the light that indicates the passage of time, which permeates all works at some point. And it is the light that keeps a garden alive and strong.
The first works that the public finds upon entering the exhibition do not yet give the exact tone of what will be found upstairs and in the basement, in addition to the works on the outside of the building. Although everyone has a dialogue with each other and starts from codes, they do not invade each other and do not dictate an obviousness. waterfall of silence (2018) was produced especially for the diagonal wall at the entrance to the site. Based on a photo of a waterfall that the duo visited in Kyoto, it is worked vertically on top of the pixel lines of the image, triggering the colors all over the wall, explains Angela: “It is a still image that is shown little by little ”. Rafael says that the sound that accompanies the work is the original of the Japanese waterfall.
Another work that represents an affective place for the artists and that is shown for the first time is From Light to Paradise (2018), which traces the route between the neighborhoods of São Paulo, respecting the layout of the streets and the relief of the path. In the same environment, it is reproduced on a wall Ulysses (2017), work in which a human figure defined by words walks, in reference to the homonymous book by James Joyce. In the narrative, the main character walks through the city of Dublin for 18 hours, redefining her relationship with space (the city) and time. The text that builds the body on the wall is Joyce's book, each step is a page turned.
This sensation of the modification of space and time can be felt by those who visit the exhibition, who are constantly reflecting on this temporality. And that's the duo's intention, and it can be said that they successfully complete this desire.
Also unpublished, the work Sao Paulo clouds (2018) hides a text by Oswald de Andrade, graphically transformed into cloud shapes when blurred, moving across the huge screen on the mezzanine wall. Literature is very present in the lives of Angela and Rafael, being the material for a lot of research as well: “Our library is a very important part of our life”, recognizes Detanico. And language, whether by codes, pixels, words or images, permeates the entire exhibition. Everything is also linked to the origin of the couple, who started working together in the area of graphic design, especially with technology, in the late 90s.
On the mezzanine, the artists explain their desire to work using the architecture of space in the construction of the landscape: on one side, the clouds, opposite the waterfall. On the floor, the installation salt wave (2010), being a figure formed by the word “wave”, written in a code created by the duo: “A large part of our creation concerns the development of new typographies. We are very interested in alphabets, the different forms of writing around the world.” The geometry of the letters in this alphabet creates different modulations for the wave.
On another wall, the public is faced with the 28 moons (2014), a video installation where the figure is formed by the text (as in Ulysses). In this case, the figure of a moon is constructed by Galileo Galilei's text the first time he observed the satellite, each of the twenty-eight minutes for which the video extends forms a state of the moon every 28 days of its variation during a period of time. cycle. Another moon experience awaits the audience underground: moon seas (2018) is a video installation that reflects on canvases composed of garden stones the name of the seas present in the satellite, such as Mar da Tranquilidade and Mar das Ilhas. The light falls on letter positions, like a drop, also in a code, forming the words and opening across the screens.
In order to reflect on contemporary problems that involve a geopolitical spectrum, Detanico Lain found it pertinent that the work white noise (2006), which premiered during the Venice Biennale, to be included in the show. Closing the route of 14 works, several satellite images of an area of the Amazon Forest are placed in layers, gradually gaining intrusions of a white, being continuously erased, referring to the problems of deforestation and climate issues: “If in 2006 this was important, now this is urgent”, the two say almost in unison.
The Porto Seguro Cultural Space will carry out a series of activities related to the show during the exhibition period, which runs from January 19 to April 7. One of these activities, still undated, consists of the presentation of a performance by SP Companhia de Dança, in a reserved space in the installation of white square, a work that unfolds from three poems by the Japanese writer Kitasono Katue. The work was created in a residence made by the couple in Japan, in which they proposed to study the poet's texts.