True Rouge, 1997
Palmares, Pernambuco, 1952; lives in Rio de Janeiro
True Rouge, 1997
Since the mid-1970s Tunga has created works of drawing, sculpture, installation, film, video and performance that teem with imagination. His drive to use multimedia is linked to an understanding of art as a multidisciplinary field in which philosophy, natural sciences and literature go hand in hand with the visual arts; it is about understanding the physical actions of a work of art as part of thinking about it, avoiding a dissociation between theory and practice in one and the same phenomenon. It is often important for the artist to go beyond the limits between science and fantasy, reality and fiction, leading to the creation of a personal mythology. In several of his works the artist hires performers to carry out something like performance rituals, inaugurating the work. He uses the Portuguese word instauração (setting-up) to name his works, rather than performance or installation, because the word best defines something that comes into being with the act. True Rouge belongs to this group of works. Naked actors interact with the hanging objects: recipients containing a viscous red liquid that they pour on themselves and the flasks, in a reference to life cycles. The work springs from the poem by Simon Lane that gives it its title, describing the occupation of space by red, using puns between French and English. The objects suspended from the ceiling, linked by interdependent structures, allude to a grand puppet theater: a sculpture of manipulation using gravity without, however, touching the ground.