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  • Janeiro, 13. 2014

    Moura, Rodrigo

    Curador e diretor de Artes e Programas Culturais do Inhotim


    art

    Leitura: 6 min

    Letter to Amilcar de Castro

    Amilcar,

    I finally got to visit your exhibit at Praça da Liberdade.  As Affonso Ávila must have told you, that place has become a procession of cultural centers, a corridor or something of the kind.  In the cultural center that belongs to a bank, they have now put together an exhibit with your work.  I have to confess that it took me a while to find all the rooms, but when I found my way in the galleries, I once again heard your voice on the back of my mind, that sound of thunder that showed me the way almost two decades ago.  Maybe you wouldn’t be as disturbed by the colorful walls as I was – after all, you’ve always said those colors of yours were not actual colors in the pictorial sense, but rather graphic chromatic information.  You might have been able to explain to me why the exhibit doesn´t have any historical works, as if you didn’t need them even 10 years after your passing.  And why the works displayed represent a few of your collections, all in Minas, and why not a single museum was asked to make one of your sculptures available – I can think at least of Pampulha, that place to which to have donated such beautiful and important pieces of your work, even though the Museum of Modern Art in Rio, MAM, has also gotten an equal share of your work.   You might have been able to answer me in a slightly serious, yet ironic, way, that if it hadn’t been for this partiality, it would have been for another one.  You might have said that everything in the world is relative. I will never forget the time we met in Vitória, where I went especially to see your exhibit, a stunning exhibit, and you asked me, “did you come here only for this?”.  Did you mean that? I’ll never know.

    Walking around those rooms today has brought me once again closer to you. What else can one ask of an exhibit?  I’m aware that just before we lost you, you had had some of the most prolific years of your work, the most genius years, yet, I doubt it would have been any different in the previous decades.  Based on this exhibit, one could hardly tell.  But, what the heck, you hated the idea of change.  I recall the many times I called you to comment on one of your exhibits, or a new artwork, and the fear with which you always tried to dissuade me from the idea that something could have changed.  Wood? It is the same as Cor-ten.  Glass? You already did it in the 1950s? You did it in New York. Color? Didn’t I already know it? In this exhibit, almost everything was from the late 90s. I once again saw the most beautiful woods (nearly 100) and expressive cut-by-cut and folded sets, especially in those in small scale, which is what their space allows them to do.  In one of the rooms, the larger sculptures do so much for our bodies, and I had almost forgotten, so much I saw their photographs.  Your work as an engraver (which you used to say was just another way of drawing) was treated with rare earnestness. It was a pleasure to see that.  But, then, maybe everything is life is nothing but just another way of drawing.  Or, for me, of writing.  And I still want to see you being scrutinized, dated, synthetizing Max Ball before everyone else, back in 1953, essential, vital, central in the recipe for neoconcretism, as big as those who considered you a peer of their own magnitude.  This time will come and I’ll keep on waiting, until maybe one day I do it myself.  It seems to me that the difference between scale and size is one of your most important lessons – how monumental those small sculptures are, full of imagination, and what a sense of duration they bear, which is so liberating when it comes to seductively phony dogmas of nearly unintelligible  art.

    As I went down the stairs in the old building, Belo Horizonte, dressed up as São Paulo, wasn’t immune to you, and the metalworks, stuccos and stained glass windows celebrated your presence and took pride in your company.  Outside, in the exit, the world was not immune to you.  And every straight angle, every time glass met with concrete, each modernist deviation, Minas Caixa and Ipsemg buildings, Rua Goiás, Carol stationary, existed in the same everlasting way your work exists.  After you, we will never be indifferent to form.

    During one of our last conversations, you told me you were happy with your last exhibit at Pinacoteca.  Writing to the paper, I quoted you, “I don’t think it is bad, it is a pleasure for me to do it.  I like the way they arranged things”.  As I mentioned back then, “it looks simple”.  It still isn´t.

    Grateful affection from just another one of your students,

    Rodrigo

    Belo Horizonte, December 14, 2013.

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    Janeiro, 03. 2014

    Volz, Jochen

    Curador do Inhotim e das Serpentine Galleries


    artJochen Volzopeningstill life

    Leitura: 2 min

    Natureza-Morta X Still Life

    Natureza-Morta X Still Life

    It is intriguing that the Still life in all Northern European languages is so evidently linked to life, even if motionless, whereas in all Latin languages the same artistic practice is described as dead nature. Despite the fact that naturally an equation can be made between inert life and death, the same category of depiction is described from so opposite angles of view.  It is through nuances, subtle contradictions and poetic irritation that the Still life holds such a central role in art history. Image of everyday objects like fruits and vegetables, pots, glasses, tools and other household objects have always been more than sheer exercises of observation, but instead developed into an autonomous art form from the 16th century onwards and simultaneously into a philosophical statement, describing the finitude of being and the equality of existence of things, organic or inorganic. In contemporary art, by arranging and re-arranging objects, by contrasting order and disorder, emptiness and fullness, presence and absence, artists encourage us to question the mental and physical space in which we live and the values attributed to our knowledge about things. The works presented in the exhibition entitled “Still life” at Galeria Fonte question the measures with which we describe the world we live in and the objects we define as art. Time standing still, as suggested in Jorge Macchi’s work, opens chances for the discovery of new systems of meaning and unexpected procedures.

    * Jochen Volz is a curator at Inhotim

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    Dezembro, 27. 2013

    Rebouças, Júlia

    Curadora do Inhotim


    artBabette Mangolteopening

    Leitura: 3 min

    The look as a form of action

    The look as a form of action

    When I entered the room where Babette Mangolte’s work is being displayed at Galeria Mata, the image of a male face in a TV set caught my attention. Richard Serra, shot over a blue background – one of the few color elements in the room – seems to be staring at the viewer. His features are serious, still, he observes that which looks at him, the lens. The nearby black & white TV set displays the image of Yvone Rainer, who is more carefree, with a headband and playing around with some tape in her lips. But her portrait also stares at the camera. Both pieces of equipment, placed in the center of the room, converge towards me in a beautiful metonymy about the artist’s work and research processes, which is shown in a monographic way in that space. When she looks at others, Babette Mangolte shows us her own subjective matter.

    Babette is French and lives in the US. She experienced and registered in film, video and photography the important dance, theater and art scene that flourished especially in New York City in the 70s. The reflection of the experimentations made at that time ultimately impacted the paths taken by art. The generous and diversified archive created by the artist does more than simply document a historical period, it rather proposes an inflection and criticism that makes up the memory of that time. 

    Babette Mangolte - Touching III with collage III, 2013Babette registered in film, video and photography the dance, theater and art scene, especially in New York City in the 70s Photo: Rossana Magri

    During a conversation that took place when the exhibit was being assembled, the artist talked about the first showings of the film Water Motor (1978), in which choreographer Trisha Brown appears dancing for seven minutes. No costumes, no scenario, no music, just the body in motion, representing the decelerated pace of slow motion. In Babette’s own words, that image was so abstract and removed from any narrative support that it seemed to be impossible for it to be appreciated in the 70s. Genres like the video clip had to become more popular in the following decades before these manifestations were more deeply comprehended. The look was so daring that it was equivalent to the extremeness of the dance itself.

    * Júlia Rebouças has been a curator at Inhotim since 2007.

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    Dezembro, 20. 2013

    Inhotim press room


    artBabette Mangolteopening

    Leitura: 2 min

    Numbers in words

    2013 marks the largest exchange of artistic collection in Inhotim, which currently totals 170 works on display. In other numbers, there were 86 new works by 18 artists from 9 different nationalities. For the first time, temporary galleries Mata, Praça, Lago and Fonte had their spaces renovated in the same year. Another innovation was the inauguration of thematic exhibitions such as “amor lugar comum“, by Luiz Zerbini, “Mineiriana“, by Juan Araujo and “Babette Mangolte”, by the artist herself. Still Life was another topic that received great prominence, more precisely, an entire gallery. In all, 14 names, as Rivane Neuenschwander, Sarah Branch and Tacita Dean, exhibit over 40 works at Galeria Fonte.

    No one better than Inhotim curators to translate these numbers into words. Watch the video!

     

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    Dezembro, 13. 2013

    Inhotim press room


    artlab inhotim

    Leitura: 3 min

    Lab for art

    Lab for art

    The environment is light. Through the round window, the late afternoon light and the urban atmosphere invade the room. The noise of horns makes the visitors’ whispers almost disappear. They carefully evaluate the photos hanging on the walls. In the center, supports show parts of the exhibition. In common they have one of the oldest knowledge aids emerged in the Middle Ages: the book.

    Entitled Sublevações do Livro: Objeto – Espaço – Matéria, the show held in early December brings productions from participants of Laboratório Inhotim, an educational project of the Institute, developed with students from Brumadinho/MG. Throughout 2013, kids investigated different aspects of this ancient technical innovation, which now awaits the moment to become obsolete – or not.

    Among the 17 experiments, there are two by  Rafaela Hermenegilda. “When I started my work, my first thought was to find a subject or key object. Among many, I chose the tree, since it is a very important plant for the world and produces two essential things in my life: oxygen and the sheets that make up books “, says the girl, from the top of her 14 years of age. To build one of her proposals, Rafaela used the book literally as fertile ground. “The piece plays with role shifting, as the tree became the receiver of writing, and the book had to accommodate the tree”. A poetic metaphor of how knowledge and reading can make beautiful ideas blossom.

    Laboratório Inhotim - Obra em exposiçãoWhen planting the species in the book, Rafaela gave new meaning to literature and nature Photo: Rossana Magri
     

    In her series of photographs, the tree is the mainstay for storytelling. “People write in trees, recording special moments, hurting them with words that summarize important memories. I started to photograph all these writings I could find. Developed the idea that they are book-objects”. On her participation in the project, she summarizes: “It was very rewarding to learn a bit about art and, perhaps, even discover a profession”.

     

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