Edifício Copan, loja 54
Avenida Ipiranga, 200
01046-925 São Paulo Brasil
t +55 11 3255 8703
Denis Rodriguez e Leonardo Remor
05 Apr, 18h30
STATE OF THE ART
A Brazilian baker from Belém, a city situated in Para’s Amazonian estuary, names his bakery Bread With Art. What do small-business owners seek with the word “art” on their shop signs? Is it merely the classical commodity fetishism of the goods sold? Is it to justify raising prices to cover high storefront rental costs and overhead? Is it because art is gourmet?
“Value is never based on the inherent property of objects, but on the subject’s judgment of them,” explains Georg Simmel in The Philosophy of Money from 1907. The art system understands this capitalist logic: the value of an object surpasses its economic and exchange value. A symbolic value is attributed to the art object and its creator and equally so to its consumers: the art collector and institutions.
Do the photographs above illustrate some aspect of Brazil? Do they indicate a clue about which is the art’s value outside its own system? Do they reflect only the literality, the trivialization and the neglect of art’s place and the artist’s role in Brazil?
Initiated in 2014 in Bahia, STATE OF THE ART (Brazilian Portuguese title: EM NOME DA ARTE) is an endless collection of photographs made in numerous Brazilian cities and states. The essay presented here is an excerpt from currently over a hundred images. For this first presentation, seven new images will be uploaded every week for four weeks as an unfolding online essay.
Denis Rodriguez and Leonardo Remor
*Through artist conversations, collaborations and presentation of works over time, curator and artist Leonardo Remor proposes a shared long-term intermittent residency at Pivô Pesquisa (São Paulo) as part of Não Sou Daqui, Nem Sou De Lá (tr. Neither From Here Nor There), initiated by the artist-run Galería Península in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and funded by FUNARTE. Never alone during the residency, Remor physically and virtually dialogues with invited artists to reflects on the places, potentials and institutionalization of art practices. The photo collection STATE OF THE ART introduces artistic collaborator, interlocutor and co-curator of Galeria Península Denis Rodriguez as the first guest of Remor’s residency.
25 May, 7h43
post-word: pre-history: anti-reason
starting a day’s work at Pivô Research
To arrive at eleven a.m. To press the buzzer, to announce myself, push the now unlocked metal door, close the door, go up the stairs. To be up at the studio at four past eleven. To drop my backpack on the floor, to look around the objects, coloring pens and drawings, to get a mug and go to the coffee area to make coffee.
To wait for the water to boil walking around in circles, lightly kicking the floor, the air, the walls. Maybe listening to music. Maybe not. To whistle. To get the brew the coffee. To take the mug full of coffee to the balcony, to sit on the bench placed against the wall, to cross my legs, to have a sip. To look at what is real. To perceive things with biased eyes, full of inescapable conceptions, but slightly lighter than later on, when many hours of lucidity will have left a trail of tiredness of memories and meanings. To perceive, for the time being, that reality is the formation of layers and events and left over objects. To perceive that reality has no true substance, it’s all layers. Buildings cut out by other buildings, a tree that pushes through two pieces of concrete, staircases, people going down staircases, people going somewhere, pigeons, shops, streets, sidewalks, dogs, clouds. Not to know what will come up in the drawing. To think that working on a drawing consists of picking from the inexistent some shadow of its fluidity and bring it up to existence. Possibly as a modified memory, maybe like a spirit that incorporates and conveys a cryptographic message. To think that drawing is a zone in which any interpretation, unreason, belief and madness can be exercised. To think that in the drawing the imposition of layers of forms and colors brought from the inexistent to the existent can, with a bit of luck, transform itself into impact or, even better, in awe, and the awe, in turn, may serve as a whisper about these forms which didn’t exist but are here now, and if they now exist it’s because they have already existed somewhere. To understand that the drawing is the tale of a trip between worlds. To accept that the gesture of the hand with the coloring pens on the paper is an exercise in which the non-material geometry communicates with our need to see it. To think of the drawing as proof of the materiality of the immaterial. Apparition. Geogliphs. Hieroglyphs. To realize that this images are more powerful than words. To understand, therefore, that although working in a drawing is similar to writing, in that the hand produces something which reveals and amplifies us, the drawing has the advantage of not using words, which are always thirsty for meaning, exhausted from clichés, from ironies, from inescapable ignorances, always eager to make a point and to convince. To think that the drawing extrapolates order. No words would be able to achieve that, as they are inevitably outworn in the moment of being received by the contemporary reader. To accept and celebrate that the drawing has no subject, verb or predicate, and that its frontiers are more subversive and point to the future, when no word will be necessary. And despite that to know that the drawing is a development from written language, whose support we are now about to abandon as obsolete. And this development takes place insofar as words reach their limit and becomes useless. They are a ladder we have climbed and now can be thrown away. To realize that there’s a transformation taking place in language and in the human need to say. That now it’s as if our historical development were a backwards reflexion of itself, a spiral at best, and that soon we’ll abandon the trust in words and their explaining and their relevance, and will again let ourselves be guides by scrawls on the walls, which are today’s caves, by shadows captured by cameras, shapes in space, photographs that erase themselves in seconds, videos that evaporate in twenty-four hours, drawings that get moldy, paints that fade, screens that crumble in terrorist attacks, installations that vanish in an earthquake. To stop. To give thinking a brake. To return to the eye which sees the world from that balcony, to notice that the coffee mug went empty while one was looking at the world from that balcony. To leave the balcony, to walk back into the studio. To know that the web which reaches into the future and brings the traces and colors to the drawing is called not exactly spirit, not exactly dream, not exactly talent, not exactly god, not exactly research, but, before anything else, imagination, a gift without authorship.
*Translation – Chico Guedes
15 Mar, 17h20
The Balla(n)d of uniqueness
On 2016 as part of a Pivo Pesquisa immersion program in association with Fundación Cisneros I was invited to come to Sao Paulo for two weeks. The program did not have a specific agenda, I was invited to experience São Paulo and stay at the Copan Building, a modernist colossus designed by Oscar Niemeyer on the 60´s, where Pivô is located.
For a few days I could not help wander around the halls of Copan, in search of some form of spatial orientation on this complex megalopolis. My first instinct was to turn to hundreds of Instagram pictures georeferenced as Edificio Copan. The images repeated in large numbers, over and over again, as if repetition was the active principle that created difference on this gigantic loop.
I felt it would be silly to expect these images to reveal the social constitution of this place, but what I did know was that the way in which information was produced was particular compared to similar experiences of analysis I had had in Venezuela. Deleuze mentions on Difference and Repetition, that repetition is mediation and synthesis, in this case the repetition accounted for a synthesis of representation processes, mediation and consumption. I, then, became interested in studying representation as a result of repetition.
I suppose Copan could be, to a new visitor, something absolute and temporary, a place able to duplicate and unfold; immersed in the constant multiplication of its own elements. Nonetheless repetition here was not generality, nor likeness but the confluence between the ideal and the real. At Copan life mimics representation, awaiting to be represented.
At this point I decided to archive all the images I had found on Instagram, at first they seem to fall within three general categories: the rooftop – the facade – the lifestyle; but then again each one of this had particularities which felt under new general categories: the s shape, the Italia building from the rooftop, the half-naked girl on a bed overlooking the city, general constantly became singular by repetition and singular constantly became general again.
Photography as form of representation aspires to conquer difference, to capture the immeasurable, to convey the infinite, but this factor of repetition acted in Copan as is a free agent that diversifies and multiplies it all, while creating patterns and groups that repeat to change and create new singularities.
I decided then to revisit the places most frequently photographed and photographed them again, I then placed, on top of the image I had taken, the image I took as reference from Instagram, each image represents one the categories I found.
As I organized and grouped all the images patterns emerged, it could be because of color similarities or content or angle. This patterns have been displayed as a series of white dots on the images. However, these patterns never remained static, they always mutated and transformed with time, there arose the need to express the idea of time in some way.
For this purpose the patterns were copied on a music sheet to form an auto-playing ballad, the repetition becomes rhythm over time, and similarities are heard as simultaneous groups of notes.
Renata de Bonis
22 Feb, 13h36
The downtown São Paulo constant pulsation took me to select those images, thinking in the repetition, the rhythm and the time as elementary principles to natural and human experience, existing since the heartbeats and the breathing, until the planets and stars orbital system which defines our calendar and everyday cycles. The photographs were taken in a study field trip to the countryside during my residency at Pivô Research in 2016 second semester.
The images portrait rocky formations with geological relevance, composed by repeated succession of layers and rhythmic sedimentations. Within the rock layers are found invertebrate animal fossils, their marks and remains of their bodies movement and displacement, which date from 280 millions of years, when the region went through a long glaciation period in its lakes and rivers.
The life in a metropolis such São Paulo makes the understanding of such temporal dimension extremely difficult, however it’s possible to draw parallels between the sedimentary rocks formation and the infinite buildings erected in the center of the city, the dull accumulation of materials such as cement, concrete, plaster, paint, tar, metallic structures that form apartments, rooms, flats, overlays of floors, of lives of different routines, one atop the other, and so we walk cyclically until everything becomes a peculiar urban formation, hardened and rigid, with frozen footsteps in fossilized traces.
Renata De Bonis
23 Jan, 18h15
In between September 19th and December 21st I participated in Pivô Research program, where I had the opportunity to execute projects in the public space of São Paulo.
My initial project didn’t have any particular form or plan. My participation assumed maximum openness to the situation as well as to the redefinition of my artistic language. The main idea oscillated around the notion of being new in a place, bringing the position of a “Visitor” into broader interpretation. Soon after my arrival I understood that bringing my narration to such enormous scale city with so many visible problems would require a change in my strategy.
Most of my time I’ve spent on the streets, observing the reality and architecture of São Paulo instead spending it in the studio. My intention was to bring works that could interact with the city. Over the period of residency, I did two projects in the public space.
First of them entitled “Possibility of dialogue” was based on the forms observed on the streets and referred to the lack of the real communication in between the groups of interest. Second one entitled “Point of reference” was linked directly to the scale of the city and the possibility of being lost in the turmoil – physical and political. Both projects were created as parts of the city – to erode and eventually disappear in the landscape of São Paulo.
Apart from the interventions, I had great opportunity to be involved in a dialogue with the artist Marcelo Cidade and a collaboration with the artist Clara Ianni.
Materials that I gathered during my walks in the city are included in my photography project entitled “Our cities were built to be destroyed.
Pivô itself prepared great conditions for my work and helped with connections in the local art world. The possibility to live and work in São Paulo, even for a short period of two months was a great for me. For many years I’ve been interested in contemporary art from Brazil; being able to contribute in its artistic landscape was of great importance for my artistic growth.
The residency of Wojtek Kostrewa was supported by IAM – Culture.pl
Marco Maria Zanin
13 Dec, 12h03
The works done during the artistic residency at Pivô arise from the studies of texts by Georges Didi-Huberman and Ay Warbung, which identify in the remains, in the rubble, the characteristics of the ‘symptom’: the sign of something that survives in depth, a pulsation that reveals the existence of other submerged temporalities under the dominant one. The goal is to make access possible through ‘dialectical images’, capable of revealing the anachronistic force of the element considered as belonging to the past, and re-signifying it. Once again, the attempt to create a possible path is generated by a short circuit between the powerful transformations of the city of São Paulo and the eyes of an Italian born and raised in a culture that, while preserving its past it’s not entirely able to make it relive in the present.
19 Oct, 19h32
The visual essay shows schemes for new drawings composed from reference images – newspaper clippings, movie stills, graphs, historical paintings etc., that are rearranged and combined with soft materials, such as plastic bags and fabrics. From varied sources these images depict mysterious/curious characters and scenes, here reimagined as narratives that tranpose material and cultural production into the visual display of (quantitative) information.
19 Aug, 20h03
In this Visual Essay artist Gaia Fugazza presents some details of the works she made at Pivo, together with the photos that inspired them: stolen images from her children nursery CCTV system. An ironic sentence opens the sequence, asking what we lose when we take away the apparent possibility of secrecy.