Márcia Xavier: Querida: Casa Triângulo, São Paulo, Brazil
San Gimignano, Toscana, Italy, July 8, 2014
It is from San Gimignano that I am writing, in epistolary form, the text that will accompany your exhibition: Darling. In this bedroom embedded in the center of this medieval city of circular streets and elongated towers that pierce the sky at the heart of Tuscany, the region considered as the birthplace of the Renaissance, one is struck by the contradictions and continuities of time and space, between past, present and future, ruins of thick walls. From here I can listen to the tolling church bell that recalls the plague that decimated the populace in the 13th century, making San Gimignano stand still in time; but the contradictions continue into our time, and today, on the perfectly paved streets I find the hypertourism of the 21st century, like an image reproduced on a sheet of acetate film. Here the past is a lightbox.
It is thus, darling, that here in Tuscany, divided between the medieval solidness, we find the Renaissance of humanists like Brunelleschi, Alberti, Petrarca, Boccaccio and Ficino, drenched in the traditions of the region’s near medieval past and, at the same time, the remote classical past evinced by the vestiges, parts, gaps, and ruins. San Gimignano – Firenze – the discovery of the people in History. The discovery that we Brazilians, from the standpoint of how we see history, are perhaps much more Renaissancist in spirit than medieval (as some traditions from Brazil’s Northeast think), or 18th-century Enlightenmental. By our very nature we are copyists of traditions and, simultaneously, idle revolutionaries.
Darling, thinking about and experiencing these things, trying to locate myself in the flow of time, I ponder about Darling. This circular exhibition that is nearly baroque but with classical inspiration, is perhaps mannerist in many ways. Inspired by this “end” of photography, by the imperfect time of photographer Luigi Ghirri, it is the decomposition of time, of history itself, that is before us. The allegory between architecture and the body, the site of an imaginary sea that accidentally sprouts from the image of a large Roman column, the sensuality of the hands broken off from former sculptures/cultures flow into the “origin of the world” re-created like a postcard of our dear Ghirri.
There are so many broken references of the past that there is a risk of drowning in a place of non-time. Drowning, perhaps, in the tides of History, against the flow of time. The sea in Darling is crystallized like salt, its solid form. In the exhibition, the images do not drown in this sea, but remain erect and burst the unstable salt.
For me, the exhibition Darling is a reflection on antilinear but nonetheless repetitive and circular time. Despite its widely different forms of expression, photography is the touchstone that appears in the most classic form – hung on the wall – as well as reincarnated by a wide range of materials, reemerging as sculpture or installation. Even so, from a monovisual point of view, photography is the most fitting expression of that Renaissance lost in the quicksands of the Middle Ages. History wanted it so! Darling! One imagines time and its transformations like the soft thin crystal of the sheet of water that operates like a mirror to reflect the old city, which used to be modern, and becomes cherished once again in its eternal reencounter with modernity.
Please, darling, print this letter in italic, a font also known as Renaissancist, invented by the humanist Poggio. He thought he was following classical models; his paradigm, however, arose in pre-Gothic fonts of the Middle Ages.
Tradução: John Mark Norman