See outside myself
Interview with Suzana Queiroga by Glória Ferreira
GLÓRIA FERREIRA: After the In Between exhibition, held at the Cavalariças do Parque Lage (Coach-House of Parque Lage) which our previous conversation discusses (see statement from March 2004, p.196-201), your work tended toward an expansion, an expanded painting, we could say, with an increasingly larger scale and the use of new mediums. The idea of expansion becomes something fundamental to the work, as if the relationship with the space, which at the time was very present and intense in your reflection, searched for another environment: the urban fabric of the public space…
SUZANA QUEIROGA: In fact, in In Between there was a very intense dialogue with the space. It was almost site specific; it came very closely to this limit. It was not because it is a work that could be reorganized in other spaces, without losing meaning, at least in my mind there would be no problem. But it emerged with a very strong relationship to that overly impregnated environment, the Coach-House. In this way, there was a strong relationship with the environment, which influenced the actual work a bit. The experience of the painting?
It had some consequences resulting from that: one in relation to the actual painting — which I am making here in the studio; and another, in relation to what you are referring to — an expanded painting. I think I agree with you. At that moment, the very intense relationship with the architecture is no less important, obviously, but comes to be shared with a broader space, and even with the actual urban space with different ideas for these participations. There was some continuity with previous works, particularly two of them: the whites and the
inflatables. The white room of the Coach-House, Dobra (Fold), 2004 (p.91-99), was a work related to the topology of the wall, which had continuity and development in the exhibition Topos, held at Funarte in 2007, I Prêmio Nacional Projéteis de Arte Contemporânea (1st Brazilian Contemporary Art Award) (p.28-41). It is the third work I have done in this direction. Then in the inflatables, the immersion experience is very pictorial, as is the relationship to architecture of the body with the constructive architecture of the penetrable. The actual
coloring that occurs by the light filter — the plastic filter the bathes color over the person inside the object — it is a question of painting that is strong not only for those who see it from outside, but also for those who see from within.
GF: Particularly in the penetrable inflatables, in your exhibition at Galeria 90 (Velatura, 2005, p.1-10), soon after In Between, you introduce, perhaps for the first time, the question of the participation of the spectator. Although, of course, at the Coach-House there was already a corporal relationship present, established even by the dimensions of those paintings.
SQ: Some very important things caused the inflatables come about: the experience of the previous inflatables, which were not penetrable, but hollow and almost plane, like large, transparent air mattresses, with orifices, through which the space on the other side could be seen. Soon after constructing these inflatables in 2002, when I saw them ready for the first time, hung, I noticed, through the transparencies, the three-dimensional structure of the orifices of the constructions.
These first inflatables, Tropeços em Paradoxos — AR (Stumbling on Paradoxes — AIR) (p.12-23, 14, 20) were created in the sphere of the series Stumbling on Paradoxes in 2002, (p.118-129) thinking more of a frontal situation of the painting — they are pieces of wood cut with liquid encaustic thrown over a surface, of which a series of orifices is removed, circles, and these circles permit a view of the wall behind it. They become white circles. The first inflatables were much related to this work. In Stumbling on Paradoxes — AIR, the cylinder
that structures the orifice, that is, that is between the two surfaces form an internal column. This architectonic space created inside there surprised me. Then I wanted to make another piece that was the same
story as the painting, in which I could begin and be somewhat contaminated by the actual painting environment. This remained in my mind in 2002, when I built the first inflatables. I showed them, during a week in 2004 in front of the Coach-House (exactly when the In Between exhibition was being held). The desire to build a penetrable
inflatable that would dialogue with the architectonic scale, with the human scale and the body was confirmed. To build a relationship with the body with painting, through a kind of architectonic space where it would be inserted — the Velatura installation hid the whole gallery — and that it could promote the embarking of the work itself,
enabling the view from within a liquid medium, of a transparent paint impregnating our skin, modifying our perception of the actual space, of the actual body; in relation to walking as well, to circulation between the columns in that space. I thought of mirroring: on the larger wall there would be a mirror from the ceiling to the floor, so that when someone entered, they would also see themselves entering, distorted, veiled, smudged, stained and reddened within a duplicated space, and an unreal space because it is curiously out of
focus. The entire mirror is out of focus because of the material. The title Velatura refers to the painting technique that exists since the Renaissance, by superimposing transparent films of oil paint that modify the color of the painting without hindering the view of its elements.
In Velatura, the expansion of painting alters our time-space perception, by creating the experience of being immersed in a large painting. The transparent material provokes the perception of innumerable
ranges, hues and semi-hues of reds, chromatically modulating upon whoever enters and whoever observes from the outside.
The movement between the columns is the experience of a kind of architecture (the body) inside another. Inside our bodies turn red because they are bathed by the filtered light that transforms us into new elements of the work. For me Velatura = painting/architecture/ organism/ color red.
And of course, I thought a lot about Hélio Oiticica, obviously. I though a lot about him because I see all his penetrables as strong painting experiences.
GF: Or at least with a very strong presence of painting…
SQ: A very beautiful presence, very important in the whole experience. It is an experience in which the color is printed on the actual location. This presence is very strong, one of the most incredible things...
GF: In another context you referred to a dialogue of your work with Pre-Renaissance painting, previous to the moment of the perspective grid, your reaction to the impact from a visit to the Cluny Museum in Paris. You relate the elements to topology, with which you work today, and that are very present in Velatura, for example, and
the space of the medieval painting… I refer particularly to your conceptions about Topos.
SQ: I see a close relationship between the Topos experience, a wall piece, and that of the inflatables — both are related to topology. According to what I believe, in relation to the Pre-Renaissance Art and Architecture, it seems to me that there is integration, a common birth, a complete interdependence between spaces and things, things and spaces. There is no hierarchical difference so great between these histories.
This relationship of the place of the work and the indistinct architecture strongly calls my attention, it motivates me a lot. It is a relation of art with the experience with the world itself, with the now, with the motif itself and with the internal space as well. It is because as one follows the route of a space such as this, it is there, integrated.
It is a very particular perception. With the portability of Renaissance Art and the perspective construct, there begins to be a distancing of place, of visual construct, architectonic construction, things have different functions, already distanced functions — symbolic function, spatial/architectonic /constructive function. They distance themselves and gain autonomy. They loose the dialogue, this is my sensation.
They gain conversation, it is obvious, but loose that fusion. In both the inflatables and the wall works I think about this, in the experience there in Cluny that was very important. Perhaps one of the most important experiences for me. It changed me. It was in 1994.
And I only started to make the first work related to this experience, the first group of topological white works years later, defending my Master’s in 2002. But it was already present, being drawn and imagined.
There was no way to have done it before, but I was thinking about it. Topology is one of my interests and I feel that there is continuity for this research.
I was at the Cluny Museum for the first time — Musée National du Moyen Age, in Paris in October 1994. It is a museum dedicated to Medieval Art and known to possess the tapestry set of the Lady and the Unicorn. Well, what is interesting is that there is a room there, already on the way out of the exhibition, where only fragments of
sculptures, probably found in the excavations of the museum, are displayed in a peculiar way on a great wall (the museum is built over the Gallic-Roman hot springs, 1st to 4th Century and over the Abades Hotel of Cluny from the 13th Century). These fragments are unrecognizable, anonymous pieces and part of a time that we have no
access to. There I found the silence intensely, the remote and the mysterious, and this was one of the strongest experiences I have ever had and that, although unexpected, lead me to work with topology.
For a long time, the photos of Cluny stayed on the wall of the studio, just waiting, with the discrete interference of some colorful brush strokes. After, I made a model of a large wall with reliefs on the surface that transported me to that atmosphere, and also two drafts of reliefs in white cardboard.
Only in 2002, however, did I make the first work in white reliefs, presented with other works, paintings and sculptures in the Stumbling on Paradoxes series, in the final exhibition of my Master’s in Visual Languages. The work was a small and discrete group — a small installation with pieces of organic forms in plaster, somewhat similar to seed, that adhered to the wall and effected a sensation of topological alteration.
The convex surfaces of the pieces were in continuity with the surface of the wall, becoming visually soft and malleable.
Certainly, the topology is exactly this relationship of place, that is, for example, with the spatial integration of the Möbius strip, which makes no distinction, or better, breaks with our Cartesian idea of local distinction, from inside and out. The Möbius strip simply throws all that to the wind. There is no inside and no outside because the strip makes the inside the outside and the outside the inside, continually, and so destroys the limited certainties of space — here this is, this is not, this here is and this — speaks exactly of this deconstruction…
Topos, which I exhibited at Funarte, was the third work that I made in this direction. It was a large wall in spilled flow that overflowed onto the ground, a group of white, cubic reliefs. There were still two nuclear works: one again with 11 “Arpian” forms, (because I wanted to recover the 2002 experience, since the work of that period
broke) and a small negative triple relief that pushed part of the smaller wall inside.
I wanted Topos to be “a thing” of the wall being the actual wall that was transmuted, undulated and mixed with the flows of the movements.
An architectonic space that loses its stationary quality, invaded by the undulations, expands and retracts, so becoming mobile, soft and malleable. I thought a great deal on the wonderful poem by João Cabral, about the Capibaribe River:
In the landscape of the river,
it is difficult to know
where the river begins;
where the silt
begins from the river;
where the man,
where the skin
begins from the silt;
where the man begins,
in that man.
João Cabral de Melo Neto
The Dog without Feathers / II. Capibaribe Landscape
Actually, topology is a branch of mathematics that connects the study of space and the study of transformations, and it is all focused on the concept of continuity between points. It is important to say that I articulated topology as the thought of dissolution of the habitual physical bonds of reality, given its possibility of a “softening”
of the real. For me, the meaning of this experience certainly passes by the symbolic, by connecting itself to aspects of a longtime memory and, I think perhaps universal in a certain way. It is as if one could
make connections with the absences and/ or invisible transformations that build internal marks, in a different dimension of time and space, and that constitute subjectivity.
I speak more specifically of dematerialization and the difficulty of thinking of a “non-body”, in death, for example. These reliefs that push the wall seem like more than marks, they are breath, expansions
of a longer time that approaches. The topological alteration speaks to me as well about the question of being, of place and space. We push and modify space; we impress and are impressed in various ways
by this invisible entity. Architecture and our bodies become essentially frontiers between without and within. But, inside or out of what? Where do we begin and where do we end? Would a frontier exist between elements? We know that there is not, although we are permanently fooled by our senses.
GF: Without a doubt, the topological space dialogues with the Pre-Renaissance space, but at the same time, it is important to take into consideration that in the Pre-Renaissance conception the space developed in circles, hierarchical circles and, for this reason, not topological, it does not suppose the idea of expansion, nor of reversion between the outside and the inside.
SQ: Yes, it is a geometric space...
GF: Geometric, although not systematized like the Renaissance space... In regard to Pre-Renaissance painting, your work is from a more intimate and interdependent relationship with architecture. However, it seems to me, your relationship is more with the contemporary conception of topology itself… There is also the fact of topology having been important to Neoconcretism, for example. In other words, besides the reference to Pre-Renaissance, there is also a reference to art made here in Brazil.
SQ: The relationship that I identify with between my work and this medieval moment in the Roman cathedral, for example, is that of the integration of the space/art /being. Although the hierarchy exists, obviously, by presupposing a religious context that is hierarchical, the relationship between the experience and the place of the things is side by side, it is parallel. I perceive a distinction of the more Euclidian space of the perspective construct of the Renaissance, and the whole history of increasing autonomy and distancing of the painting in relation with the place it inhabits. The painting begins to be thought of from there, distanced from a situation of relation to the real, having the idea of portability as example, which invigorates and remains. Now, topology is interesting to me precisely because it is the study of spaces, transformations, and deformations of planes rising from continuity.
Such continuity, however, that is deformed, as if the plane were malleable, or as if it were alive; as if it had the possibility of moving or reorganizing. The thought of topology is then a very curious, liberating
thought by permitting the most strange and unexpected connections possible in the space, which is this mathematical relationship. Neoconcretism will make this fabulous connection. Lygia Clark, for example,
achieves this with Caminhando (Walking) and other works as well. This is one of the questions that these artists bring: the relationship between art with experience, again, with the world, beings, the spectator. And these integrations, or better, this proximity happens.
So obviously, my work is connected with several things…
GF: In the broader context of your research on space, you are working with maps, which removes the question of the topological inside and outside to a relationship with space that is more of the order of signs and less of the actual space itself.
SQ: Yes and no... because the idea of the maps, first and foremost, lies in the relationship with the question of flow. This idea, obviously, becomes clearer in the works with the wall and our works with the inflatables, as in these the perception of time, the bit of the extension of time, appears immediately. In the painting of the Coach-House, Stein und Fluss, 2004 (p.84-89), and in the following series, I greatly relied on the post-image device to conquer this perception of time, of throbbing color that dialogued with this same idea. The question of the maps is similar — they are maps — but are most of all, flows. And there are very interesting things about this, such as the idea of the city having other cities within it, above it, below it.
Cities are systems composed of several superimposed systems. Each system depends on and influences the rest. The superimpositions and intertwinings occur on several levels, on the surface, below and above
this, including the air space, the Internet, but above all, the networks of thought, an immaterial and historical ramification that is connected to everything.
The city also is the superimposition of architectonic and urban grids of different periods, sometimes built above the ruins of others. The simultaneous quality of constructions of distinct historical times and the way they coexist in the present is fascinating. On the other hand, it is a time-space superimposition one over the other, since a city is an organism in constant mutation. I think about the path of each individual in the city and in the world as a construction of a subjective contour, of meetings and crossings superimposed in space and time.
Thus, the city becomes a drawing to be walked and each path is one among many. I remember the Multiplicity conference, present in the book, Six Memos for the Next Millenium, by Ítalo Calvino, where the
author comments on the Recherche project by Proust. Calvino affirms that for Proust, “the network that connects all things is made of time-space points occupied successively by all beings, which act as an infinite multiplication of the space and time dimensions in such a way that the world dilates to such a degree that is becomes incomprehensible.”
So for me, this work takes the image of cities as a paradigm of the ideas of flow: synchronicity and superimposition. Maps of several cities in the world are the references for this kind of cartography that
presents simultaneously the diversity of the paths and the actual “walk” by the experience of the painting. We have a perception of the city and streets as “walkers” of them, but these same streets, these same
experiences, possess other relationships to the spaces.
GF: Yes, but the space of the cities, of these different flows, occurs in a different representation on the map, another type of codification of space…
SQ: Of course, the map is an attempt at spatial recognition… of identification…
GF: We could say that the map does not re-present, but seeks to present…
SQ: To present possible interpretations, summaries, principally, summaries of flows. The street map seeks to summarize a topographical situation so that it can be understood on another scale, a scale that
is used, for example, on a tiny map, enabling one to have the perception of orientation: north, south, east, west, and internal relationships of this flow.
So as the map is a graphic letter for our encounter in a determined space, I think about each painting as an encounter with itself and with the actual moment of its execution, where the “walk” of the paint
brush is simultaneously the creation of its own path. Each painting is a particular experience, the differences being important to me. Once I start with fragments of maps, cutting them out until they lose their
identities and initial function; until the maps cease to be maps for “finding one’s self” and begin to be maps for “losing one’s self”. I always think about the experience I like to have when traveling and that every traveler does: I let myself get lost in the streets of the cities, following routes on the impulse of what I delight in seeing, but knowing that I have the map in my pocket to rescue me when I need it.
In this way, the leaps I make on the maps are like great flights in the terrestrial sphere, being able to being on a street in London, and then go to Aveiro in Portugal, and from there to Lapa and then Tunisia, and so on and so forth.
GF: As we know, the history of the map is very long, continuing since Antiquity, gaining a particular importance with the discoveries of new lands. At the same time, the “urban” map that accompanies us, with its identification and grid of the city with street names is recent, dating from the 19th Century, I believe the actual streets begin to have names around this time. This very alive interest in maps by artists, which is still present in current works, to me, reveals an attempt at approaching the real. The maps of Pierre Joseph, for example, are maps of memories, in which the streets disappear or are not in the right places. In certain works, maps are superimposed rising from the actual wanderings of the artists. You refer to the map as a question of flow with the idea of trying to relate these various flows…
SQ: For me, the question of maps is the consciousness that the city is a mutating superimposition of flows, in permanent construction and mutation. The city is composed of grids that are superimposed, and
even in this superimposition, they are in fact, all the same grid. I have read some very beautiful things and seen some very beautiful medieval maps as well. You were talking about this a bit. The medieval maps have a more affectionate understanding of the space. They do not represent the political and economic boarders, but represent the routes. They show a river, for example, or if there is a forest around, there are many fat trees and then a mountain. This kind of map has an affectionate and plane representation. The Renaissance maps already begin to use the Ptolemaic grid, thinking of land as an object, so they represent the coordinates in some way, in a way that can be related to a territory, to a kingdom, intermediary distances between things, and being to have an increasingly smaller perception of the spaces, to the point where you have greatly detailed maps.
GF: Like the NASA maps, or Google Earth...
SQ: Achieves its maximum... It is curious, on one hand, modern technology (and let us consider them since navigation), reduced the distances and, therefore, the “size” of the world; on the other hand, the
intrinsic multiplications to the contemporary networks multiply by the infinite factor to this “size” and again, become an impossibility to mental understanding of this map…
Today we have the possibility of an absurd distance from the earth, to see the earth from space, from satellites, for example, and at the same time, have the possibility of a radical proximity. This path from far to close is accelerated. While the medieval maps perhaps dealt with a reduced territory, almost as if it were a city block, showing its natural aspects, the geographic elements, the castle, for example, and the important symbolic characteristics for the maker of the map, this map is substituted, today, for an x-ray: the map is an x-ray of a mutating body, of an organism that is the city. They want to visualize its functions, its arteries.
GF: Indeed, a map today looks like an x-ray. Perhaps it is even this, if we speak of the NASA maps or the maps accessed on the Internet.
The difference between a map and an x-ray, however, is that an x-ray holds an indicative relationship with its referent, whereas a map does not; it is a kind of screen for looking at a city.
SQ: It is a fictitious screen actually. One thing that I discovered while researching maps is that there are no two maps alike. I researched maps of some cities from several sources: tourist maps, detailed maps…
Each one has a different organization…
GF: For example, the map of Rio, recently made for the Pan-American Games took out the Museum of Modern Art…
SQ: They take out everything… Indeed, these various interpretations are curious. When a map attains the level of complexity such as this one here, for example, the map of Berlin published by Falk, I would compare it to an incredibly complex x-ray because it presents thousands of little things: not just streets, bus routes, subways,
other roads, bicycle lanes, but also several other aspects. For being so complete, trying to show precisely the superposition of the city in such a detailed manner, rendering it almost impossible to read it… So, they are assumptions linked to different functions, and may contain incredible detail.
GF: Who knows, perhaps the way artists take hold of and fictionalize the maps, doesn’t it represent a kind of resistance to the technical rationality that increasingly requires details, more threatening instructions, as in the short story by Borges, to swallow us whole in its screen?
SQ: It’s true. I also looked at topographical charts of inland regions, astronomical and nautical charts, trying to see and identify the resources and the differences a little. It is an immense universe, very technical and specific. My question, meanwhile, becomes very perceptible to me that the flow, time, this continuum, is not only inside
me, but also in the live organism that I inhabit, which is the city, the world, the planet. In my view, these maps are an interpretation in this order. I made many experiments throughout this year, getting closer and farther away, until I was able to reach the relationship that I wanted or try to create this relationship. What image is this,
what superimpositions are these and what experience is this? In painting the experience is not just projective, in the sense of taking an image and projecting it on a plane, but has, above all, a poetic experience of walking in the painting itself with the actual material, constructing the path walking the path, which occurs in painting itself.
This is important for me, so that this work is also a painting. I make choices, analyze places, and connect one map to another, one city to another. I take a piece of the map, an unidentifiable piece, for being a view outside of that more characteristic view of cities. For example, I can take a piece of downtown Rio de Janeiro and connect it to another city. These are junctures that can happen when one uses these maps like objects.
GF: These prolongations of a map within another and the relationship with the city are very present, to me, in your Voo (Flight) project. How does the map relation occur with the balloons?
SQ: It is an experiment completely connected to painting. It is an extension, actually an expansion, and it came from the actual experience of painting. When I find myself before these images, these procedures,
this walk with the paint brush; it is also a little bit like being in flight. The map is, in a certain way, a blue-print where you vaguely seem to be flying and have an understanding of the macro, which would be impossible to perceive on the surface, and this idea immediately connected. I began to imagine the actual situation of the map
seen from floating above. What would the floating thing be? A balloon!
And what would the balloon be? It would also be a map, only spherical. The balloon would be a kind of spherical mirror, a large sphere with this confluence, mixture, organization and connection of images and cities and various flows.
I think of the flight and the fluctuation as the achievement of a suspension in time and space, but, most importantly, as a transforming experience, of looking outside of the habitual coordinates, in such a way that the more we distance ourselves, the less we also perceive. The view flies, reaches another place and another, lighter
experience, a cloud and the wind. The balloon will be a painting in space and the blue of the sky its environment. It observes and reflects the urban screen at the same time that it is an unexpected flying object in a cityscape.
GF: With the balloons, would you think of a way to hold the exhibition in the air…
SQ: This project also has a broad public that also interests me. Something that is enrolled in that expectation that I had in 2000 when I won the RioArte grant: to hold a painting exhibition in an urban space.
On the occasion, I thought about the outdoors advertisings. It was the research I had done. And now I think about the work actually floating. It is a work that is related to the city in another way: an object that surprises, that appears. It sees the city from above, a leads people to have the experience of flight. My idea is that the public can actually have this experience; it is not a distanced relationship. It is you going up, going way up there in the balloon and flying — to see from above, see the actual sphere from inside it, to see all this relation with the world, the city and nature, to experience this, would then be to achieve the “great painting”…meaning, “the world”…
GF: What statute does the certificate given to each person that goes up state?
SQ: The flight would be the poetic experience of seeing what cannot be seen. An actual situation of suspension, time/ space, perception of the world, the city, of nature, the great urban organism removed from the habitual reference. The multiple is the certificate. Why this multiple?
Because there is a tradition in ballooning of giving diplomas of the first flight to people, and then I imagined that this diploma of the first flight would be signed by the pilot and by me. Totally official.
In general, the people who receive these diplomas frame them and hang them on the wall…the same as a school diploma. It is very funny.
I found the situation so curious to bring the work to this context because it is a testimony, a diploma; it is something that transforms the person into a flyer, the difference. And in this certificate had printed some drawing related to the city, something multiplied there.
GF: As you finish speaking, you imagine this experience actually as the experience of expanded painting. We can even relate the attraction, the beginning of photography, with the aerial photography whose image would be capable of transforming out perception of the world. In Rodchenko, for example, with his plongées and contreplongées. Nadar almost goes bankrupt with his experiences with the balloon. You also see a new perception, but associated to the idea of a new pictorial experience…
SQ: Yes, for sure, I associate the idea of a pictorial experience. In fact, all these works are inspired from studio work. I see them as the same thing, and although I know they are not the same thing, internally they are, like multiple facets of the same experience, of the same meaning.
The daily work exists that has the time of the studio and the painting…they are completely different times, but this idea of the experience of flight, of the walls, of topology; this is completely connected to the internal elements of painting. There is a very strong connection.
GF: In the Autorama project, there is also the question of flow, introducing the same kind of chain reaction as in the case of the map…
SQ: This project is also a direct fruit of the experience that one can have while flying over the painting and perceiving, much more than the image that we see from afar, its internal relationships in proximity to the material, the flows that happen in the painting. I understand Autorama as the development of this continuous flow, of these superimpositions and this continual walk in three dimensional spaces.
It would be this there in space…
GF: In your current painting a great change is perceived: the red is a little excluded…despite having been extremely strong.
SQ: It is not excluded, see here... But the previous relationship, like in the Coach-House, was very specific because of the red/green contrast producing a post-image, more powerful. It was a very welcome contrast to produce works that could support these ideas. The ideas are transformed. These colors were important, but it does not mean they have a special predilection or anything… It was the fruit of the work’s necessity, there was exhaustion later, but they are colors and are all there in the current painting.
What is important is that I can establish what the work wants to achieve with ideas, so, now I have a more free palette organization and even more experimental, not so tied down. I am doing things I would not have had the courage to do years ago…
GF: In the Flight project, in which you weave a relationship of a time and space, of a removal from the habitual place, as if suspending normality, and find what I believe is the same idea of present scale in your work with the maps, as if the actual idea of scale of the work were being modified…
SQ: Yes. It is also something I think about a lot now. It does not interest me to produce an idealized image, a visual form or an ideal method. What is interesting to establish now, after this year and a half of doing these small experiments, is that the diversity of constructions, that I observed in relation to the research on maps — the map as a visual construction with different functions, graphic languages and many conceptions — is that what I want to do is just that, experiment with scale. I don’t want to bind myself to a type of scale, but to work
different situations and relationships in each painting in the series, which will not have much proximity to the series Stein und Fluss.
Each work will be an experience dealing with different problems of different scale. With the approaches I intend to make, I do not see them as isolated paintings, and most importantly, differences that make sudden visual connections occur. In the paper cut-outs, these connections are of the order of our perception. So, the difference
of scale that is happening now is important…
GF: In the most recent work you are integrating your experience with music, with the tambourine and the repinique, aren’t you? In the installations, such as Vitória Suíte (Victoria Suite) 2007, (p.23-27) you
introduce music into the experience with the inflatable. Before, it seems to me, these experiences did not combine, other than a perception of time, from your interest in the question of time.
SQ: Oh... But they did combine because the Coach-House painting was divided in ten canvases in which each one had one, two or three green, square elements, and in the connection of these, if you were to think in bars, there was then a very specific rhythm. I thought about this at the time because music is mathematics, and mathematics is a subject that began to interest me with topology. The small experience that I have with percussion — I play the tambourine during Carnival since 1994, and now I play the repinique as well — it is the
experience of time. Music is time; it is flow. It is mathematics. It is exactly this that is the organization of bars, totally constructed and mathematical.
GF: Of course, but it was an internal experience that was in the work. Only currently you seek, I think, a more explicit juncture.
SQ: This is what is actually happening. I see it more present in the work, mainly in the blue inflatable, Victoria Suite. I thought about continuity, as if it were musical pieces that organized themselves, one not necessarily connected to another, formal or thematic. A suite is exactly this: instrumental pieces in a group to be played in sequence and without interruptions. It is as if it were a kind of collage — a cutout of map from somewhere, one form another place, and they are all there; there is no logical sequence, but it is a group presentation. I think this is connected to the story, I think it could be…
When I defined a title for this, at least a provisory one, which is Como num caminho no fora de mim (As on a path outside myself), it is the path outside — of me. This has a thousand implications… What is my space? And my path? And internally for my path as an artist, what would be a logical coherent development with a story? And what is the path outside of me? Perhaps I am now doing things that are even more outside of me… that surprise me, like a trip outside what my habitual being would be, this kind of self-formatting that we do.
There are limits that we establish, other boundaries that are new limits. I began to have an interest in walking outside of this, in work where I am a participant of the experience, as in the case of the inflatables, or now, by observing the other inside the inflatable, which lead to the lack of authorship control. It is a recent experience on which I must reflect more. I came to a very large impasse, but I did not retreat myself from doing it because only from this experience could I find another perception of myself, see myself from the outside. This work unites this: to try to grab hold of an idea outside of myself, outside… what is it?