THAT WHICH PAUSES AND THAT WHICH PASSES . MOACIR DOS ANJOS

To the point that the sense of sight manages to discern something, the walls of the room – painted in a color like worn paper – are all covered by thin horizontal and parallel lines. The resemblance to the staffs of a musical score is immediate, though they are oversized and lacking any notes. Denoting only silence and pause, their conspicuous presence nevertheless paradoxically evokes the fact that they are places where the inevitable flow of time is marked, by way of music. There is something, however, that perturbs this approximation between the realms of sight and sound fostered by Sandra Cinto. Instead of being regular, as would be expected of these supports for musical notation, the spaces between the lines on the walls gradually diminish as the top and bottom lines approach one another to the point where they look nearly like a single, thicker line. And by creating this visual cadence of approximation and distancing of the lines composing the musical scores, the artist suggests stripping the music of its capacity to mark the moments that pass. As a result, the drawing – a mute expression – demands the impossible suspension of time which, ultimately, is always flowing.

 

In this same large room, Sandra Cinto also includes other indices of the music that is absent from the drawn musical scores. Various instruments – a violoncello, a contrabass, violins and flutes – are fastened to or leaning against the wall, or else resting on the floor, always destitute of their function of emitting the sounds that are proper to them. Some are even combined with each other or with other objects to form something new, as though they were linked together in groups that annulled their individual attributes. Others, for having been somehow modified or because they lack parts, have also been stripped of the possibility of being played. Instruments made of wood are painted the same hue as the walls, as though they were echoing, beyond that planar surface, the silence that emanates from them. On the curving surfaces of these musical instruments, the artist has made drawings which are, however, totally different from the regular lines that cover the room’s walls: images of invented landscapes of mountains or seas, all made with thin, curving lines. Once again, music is evoked here only to be paused, as though the brief intervals of silence between the sounds that make it possible were fixed and lengthened for an uncertain duration.

 

In the smaller room, where the visitors climb steps, the musical score drawn on the walls nearly becomes a mere baseboard, a footnote, as though even the already silent reference to music made in the other room could not reach this space. In the center of the setting that beckons the visitor to whisper in hushed tones and to step softly, Sandra Cinto has placed a strange display case inside of another which is inside yet a third, the inmost one holding nothing more than a notebook of musical scores and a seashell, a natural construction able to reproduce the murmur of the sea’s movement. Enclosed so completely behind glass, the book does not serve to note down music; and neither can the seashell be picked up and placed to one’s ear to listen to the memory of the ocean. Once again, a pause is created in the invented space of the room, for the visitor to listen to the silence that is almost always missing from everyday life.

 

There is, finally, a further piece in which the artist twists and remakes the meanings that are implied in the previous works. There outside, beyond the controlled environment of the exhibition rooms, there is a table made to bring people together for a calm conversation about anything at all. A table that recalls – in its construction and in the lines that cover its surface – the objects and the musical scores found within the gallery, but which with use gathers inevitable smudges and marks as signs of the passage of those who have sat there. As if this table by Sandra Cinto could finally reconcile the desire to pause life and the recognition that everything in it makes noise. As though the table were music.