DISFUNCTION . DANIELA LABRA

These paintings's chromatic palette can, because of their coldness, be quite deceitful. The situations, portrayed in sober tones, seem to depict apparently banal and uncomplicated subjects, and confuse the interpretation of the viewer. Pilled-up chairs, the reverse of a banner, a cup-cum-puddle, an upturned trolley. Escaping from convoluted poetics, these and other compositions are disturbing due to their economy of elements, which, paradoxically, does not collaborate towards a discursive clarity, for it raises an enigma that take as its starting point a presumed thematic obviousness.

 

One of the big questions for the contemporary art piece is the possibility of it not being confined to itself, assimilating references from the world into its own objectual nature, making its surroundings part of the piece, giving it meaning. Thus, a painting's represented image, for instance, is the starting point for a reflection that lies beyond the icon. For sure, this intellectual procedure has been around ever since the Renaissance, however, what we observe today is the chance for the art piece to exist even without materiality or visuality, being able to erect itself through the understanding of its context, whether expressed or not, in the authorial discourse.

 

Despite not following in the direction of elaborating an entirely immaterial piece, Berliner's paintings are charged with conceptual data and surprise with their reflection of the human mirrored in the artifacts and absurd surroundings portrayed, which, aseptic in their majority, prove the existence of the human animal in the world. In the text hidden beneath the surface of these images, the artist, despite being less acidic, does not criticize mores or make any moral or value judgement, nor does he weave any manner of interpretations of Pop culture or of the contemporary world that creates it.

 

Nevertheless, the grand motto of Berliner's pictorial work is painting itself, with its making, procedures and the visual and narrative possibilities to be reached in this most traditional of media - keeping himself constantly open to new stylistic endeavors. In this movement, his muted, slightly gloomy palette, goes back to foggy sunsets and creates a thunderous silence. The objects represented in this opaque color scheme prove themselves to be, in their turn, honest in composition, but are, in fact, dysfunctional in relation to their context: nothing works in its proper place.

 

It is noteworthy that the depicted situations suggest a static temporality which, rather curiously, resides in the human and not in the object. For the time of man, despite being dynamic, remains the eternal prisoner of the present instant, thus watertight, in the manner in which the inanimate objects of these paintings show themselves to be. Such a feature raises the absurd thematics of the scenes, and the volume of the thunderous silence which embraces them, even higher.

 

In relation to Berliner's process, this new series marks another step in his pictorial work, previously marked by an angry process of making and the juxtaposition of various elements and techniques. Another important component was the materiality of the oil paint, applied in thick layers. In the present moment, however, the homogeneous surface is more highly valued, while the ample areas of color give form and volume to the object, making the outlining that turned the canvas into a sketchbook dispensable. This new way of applying paint is, nevertheless, concerned not only with the composition's imagetic and thematic reference points, but also with the conscious desire of exploring new challenges in the troublesome task of going back to painting in order to be able to reach the world.