Posts Tagged ‘Brazilian art’
The site of Spanish collective Boa Mistura‘s (that’s Portuguese for “good mixture”) latest project: the narrow back alleys of Brasilandia, a favela to the north of Sao Paolo.
These self-proclaimed ‘graffiti rockers’ frame their public works in the language of interventionist and participatory aesthetics: visual transfiguration as agent of social change. Or, as they put it, “ The intervention focuses on “vecos” and “vielas”: winding streets that are the true articulators of the internal life of the community. Sharing with the inhabitants the transformation of their environment.” Luz nas Vielas (“Light in the Side Streets”) engaged the residents of Brasilandia in painting over selected areas of their neighbourhood in screaming, neon-bright hues, and inscribing trompe-l’oeil graffiti on the walls – larger-than-life articulations of concepts like “doçura” (“sweetness” or “honey”), “amor” (“love”), “firmeza” (“steadfastness”) and “beleza” (“beauty”).
I love this.
Here’s the problem, though: the specific viewing position that anamorphic visuals like these demand of its audience. Shift even slightly from that spot, and the unitary illusion is shattered. Not unlike what Martin Jay as referred to as “the perspectivalist scopic regime that was so often identified with vision itself after the Quattrocento.” (See his essay, “Photo-unrealism”, in Vision and Textuality.) What he was referring to, of course, is the one-point perspective perfected by Renaissance painters, which – as some art historians maintain – was later imbricated with claims of so-called evidentiary realism by photographic technology. The sort of anamorphism employed by works like Boa Mistura’s simply re-imports the representation of the perceptual world, with its illusionistic rules and aesthetics, back into experiential reality itself. It’s certainly eye-catching, but for a project that’s explicitly demotic and democratic in nature, the imposition of linear, one-point perspective seems well, self-contradictory – as if the messiness of reality, and the optical perception of such, can be reduced to the conceit of a faux mimesis.
Luz nas Vielas was sponsored in part by our very own Singapore Airlines.
More pictures below; enjoy.
Last night’s rash of gallery openings (see previous post for full list) saw a personal five-exhibition run.
And a few terribly embarrassing fanboy moments – complete with flushed face, heart palpitations, and a mortifying malfunction of public etiquette. Meeting Belgian artist Wim Delvoye is at the top of that list.
Friends and numerous acquaintances will testify to my wince-inducing geek-out last night.
Art-wise, pick of the night: Yasumasa Morimura: Requiem for the XX Century – Self-Portraits in Motion at Ikkan Art Gallery.
Miss of the night: Monumental Southeast Asia, Valentine Willie Fine Art.
With Josef Ng.
Hyung Koo Kang admiring Isaac Julien’s work.
RICHARD KOH FINE ART & ARNDT PRESENTS (at Richard Koh Fine Art)
YASUMASA MORIMURA: REQUIEM FOR THE XX CENTURY – SELF-PORTRAITS IN MOTION (at Ikkan Art Gallery)
IN HOUSE ADOPTION, MITHU SEN (at Galerie Steph)