ONÇAS ESPREITAM DO BREU MATAGAL
(JAGUARS LURK IN THE PITCH-BLACK UNDERGROWTH)
CAV - Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra
December 18 - February 20 2022
Affirming a clear determination of will, Bernardo Simões Correia creates, with this exhibition at the CAV's Project Room, what we could call another chapter in the narrative that he has been developing around images, their qualities and conditioning and around the field of visuality as a tool for relating to the world (or to the various possible worlds).
In a universe of strict lighting control - which asks the viewer to allow himself to linger until his visual acuity adapts to the available conditions - images are presented, or rather, possibilities of image fixation.
Following a tradition of thought that recognizes the spectral dimension of the image - understanding its filiation and how much its creation absolutely depends on the whole lineage of others that preceded it - a set of images are summoned to this universe that are part of that phantasmatic lexicon developed, for some time now, by Bernardo Simões Correia.
Resulting from a manifest interest in the mechanisms of reproduction - from analog to digital media, from two-dimensionality to three-dimensionality - the artist rehearses in reality, with great freedom and sophistication, possibilities of supports for the fixation of these phantoms. The use of traditional practices of sculpture production - from ceramics to casting in bronze, brass or other metallic alloys -, as well as the introduction of oral language in the form of sound recording, seem to us to be another way of imprisoning the images or trying to fix their impermanent condition.
When we arrive at the room we are invited to be accompanied by a pair of headphones that will allow us access to a 'secret'. It is a sound recording of the whispered reading of a text by Francisca Carvalho (written at the artist's invitation, and resulting from a relationship established with a vast set of his images and included in the book SPIRARE, presented as part of his solo exhibition on side B of Balcony Gallery, in Lisbon).
This whisper, with which we are accompanied, constitutes, we would say, the first imagetic layer of the exhibition. To this we immediately add several others, resulting from the encounter with the seven sculptures that populate the space of the room and with the double black and white projection that occurs in one of the corners of the space - the only presence of light that, intermittently, allows us to visualize and glimpse the details of the sculptures.
Light and shadow, appearance and disappearance, ephemerality and permanence, density and volatility, tangibility and intangibility are characteristics that we recognize and that we realize are, in a way, keys to approach this territory of ghosts that seem to cross time and space. Resulting from a combination of multiple references - from art history to sociology, from classical mythology to Judeo-Christian culture, from literature to music, from popular culture to children's tales - these images assume a disarming condition by being (or appearing to be) simultaneously tragic and comic, modest and ceremonial.
Placing himself in a position of eccentricity (outside the center) in relation to the field of truth about images and greatly distrusting its reliability, the artist seems to seek, through his creations, to fix the moment of wonder, the magical moment of creation or imagined vision, the one that escapes and will always escape deciphering and translation and that will always continue to interest us and disturb our imagination.
Sculptures - Brass, various dimensions
Video and sound
Title - Onças Espreitam do Breu Matagal, 2021
Two-channel HD video projected on perpendicular walls with images from the book SPIRARE
video 1- 28'02"
video 2- 31'27"
Sound - reading of the text written by Francisca Carvalho for the book SPIRARE, 5'