CALL FOR PAPERS gathers in zet gallery in Braga a set of authors who privilege art on paper, seeing it not only as a medium, but also as a space which makes the development of installations possible: paper is the object and the works of Art combine themselves in differentiating assembly solutions to defy architecture and the intervention of curatorship in architecture itself. We set off from here and shout for paper, referring ironically to the Academy’s terminology and the technological and scientific events. The theme, despite being common, assumes six ways of seeing, six titles and six areas. 3×6. Superstition? Perhaps.
We get used to living off small balms, small emotional nothings, in a maze of lost days, in the illusions of everything we crave and of the little we truly need. Paper gives restless spirits the opportunity to question sorrows, resilience to daily speculative inertia. We handle words and shapes, we add content to doubts and replace void with the essence of the installed (dis)order in the souls of the ones who are (dis)obedient. Japanese have maintained the creation with and from paper as a sacred temple of aesthetics which is superior to the foolishness of destruction. Paper is the subject of artistic production and motricity exercise, it is refined and tangible.Traditionally the Western art market does not consider it as a medium, seeing it as a previous future design, a sketch of an idea, an exercise of the (dis)integration of image, a preliminary possibility (or not) of the representation of reality, practice of the hand and eye, opposite to sloth. However, paper has the mysticism of metalanguages and the combination of knowing how to do and how to think, paying attention to the unconscious and the immediate, besides challenging the exercise of adapting the body to shape and project. Paper has the plurality of confusing things from which we cannot escape. It is the balm of creative hiatus, of existential gaps. Exercise on paper offers us a dimension of Freedom, with no formalities and pictorial and/or compositional crutches. We face the idea or its absence and let the image reading of what comes from the inside or the outside flow. And from nothing we build an eulogy which will become an objectual poem between walls. We go forward, paying attention to the wordplay, in the tribute to paper and its return as a protagonist of time and subject of curatorship and in the alignment with a certain proliferation of the expo-graphic indiscipline, the so called explosion of unruly fragments and with no accurate direction¹ to which Leonel Moura refers and intends to give back to the audience the difficult plan of finishing the work of Art. Turning the audience into active agents of the creative process is one of the ideas which marks the so-called postmodernity, identified initially as a liberation of formalism, but also of the ideological apparatus, a release of dichotomous visions. Indeed, resisting neo-realism and the institutional apparatus was as important as outgrowing conceptualism.² Artists, curator, gallery and audiences establish connections in a vastness of sheets of paper turned into drawings or paintings: the antidiscipline of contemporary and forefront rules. The web becomes more complex. We wander in space, we try to read it, before and after questioning it. Is it a work of art? Is it a sketch or a circumstantial shortcut? Is it an exhibition or parable? Is it irony or tragedy?
This is thus an exhibition which performs acts, small gestures and stories stemming from simple everyday life and disconnected from the formality we were used to. It pays homage to matter and it is also a questioning. Art as an exercise. Art as a way to mediate between audiences and worlds.
Is it representation or abstraction? Does abstraction exist? We start off from here with Ana Bonifácio (born in 1975), Bernardo Scoditti (born in 1952), José Augusto Castro (born in 1962), Mariana Mizarela (born in 1987), Nuno Fonseca (born in 1976) e Rui Horta Pereira (born in 1975), a selection of artists who take us on a journey through the paths and possibilities of paintwork and drawing and their real benchmarks (or not). We distinguish them thanks to their languages and plasticities, to their ways of making and presenting the work of Art as the outcome of a thinking and inner development process, supported by concepts and simple stories of everyday life. We defy them: production on paper, paper as the object of installation, paintwork and drawing in the limbo of style categorizations and with the certainty that psychological time does not correspond to mathematical time³, as Saramago once wrote.
Helena Mendes Pereira
zet gallery’s chief curator
¹ MOURA, Leonel – “A discussão do momento” in Expresso “A Revista”, 30th January 1982, page 28.
² JÜRGENS, Sandra Vieira – Instalações Provisórias. Independência, autonomia, alternativa e informalidade, Artistas e exposições em Portugal no século XX. Lisboa: Documenta, 2016. Pages 330 and 331.
³ ALMEIDA, Bernardo Pint. de – Arte e Infinitude. O Contemporâneo: Entre a Arkhé e o Tecnológico. Lisboa: Relógio D’Água Editores, 2018. Page 46.