I’ve been rehearsing to write this testimonial for some weeks now. Today, it occurred to me that I have resisted producing this text because the very idea that flat 18B Bemuurde Weerd OZ will close feels very strange; or that The Grand Domestic Revolution will come to an end. I don’t think that things should last forever, on the contrary. But I would like to have spent more time there, to have been able to return and dedicate more time to reflection about all the complexities implied in this research before writing about my experience.

My first work at Casco was a small gesture of reaction to the Many Furniture project, which comprised of a handful of furniture pieces scattered around the house, each piece painted according to a colour system, indicating the intended different uses: one set allocated to the individual artist dwelling in the space, another for the collective use of artists, another for families, and further bigger sets for use in the days of public activity. I had proposed to experiment the individual artist system, the ones painted bright red. I made use of a red single bed, a red table, a red chair and a red stool, which served as a bedside table. I felt the lack of a space to keep the books I was using during the residency, so I decided to paint part of the bookshelf – originally painted lilac, the colour for art collectives – red. Besides, as a small protest against the system instituted by the architects, I painted one of the many stools for the days of public activity yellow. This action was dubbed More Furniture – red bookshelf and yellow stool. (more…)

In the end of June 2011 I have been nominated by Simon Sheikh for the 1st edition of the Visible Award – Fondazione Zegna-Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto. Judith Wielander and Matteo Lucchetti, the curators of the prize, asked me to submit a proposal for it. In their words, “The Visible Award is an international production award devoted to art work in the social sphere. The award  is set up in response to the desire and need, which already underlie the cultural activities of Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto and Fondazione Zegna, to communicate and make known a possible rethinking of the role of art which can be brought about by heightened awareness of the part played by those contemporary artists who work on engaging creative processes that consider art and society as intertwined and indivisible fields of action”. I didn’t win the prize but it was very stimulating to think of this new project, entitled Relação [Relationship]. Here I’m only publishing the initial text that I have sent to the curators. I must thank Simon for his trust in my work and Usina’s collective (presented in the text), for the inspiring meetings.  

 

Concept
You ask me to establish a relationship between the concept of this new work and my experience as an artist. If there is one thing I have learned about myself in the recent past is that every time I meet a demand  – be it from a curator, from an institution, or from a prize like this – I end up seeking new ways of “not fitting” into the demand, sometimes even frustrating expectations. Not in disrespect, on the contrary. I take things so seriously that I cannot avoid making an issue of it, understanding the very proposition as an active part of my research, of my intellectual and artistic practice.

In the descriptive enunciation of this prize, a few words caught my attention, in this order: “intertwined”, “indivisible”, “responsible relationship”, “involvement”, “interaction”, “commitment” and “cooperation”. As an artist who has been collaborating for years with certain Brazilian social movements, I know that this type of suggested and sought after relationship, enunciated in the prize’s description, is not always easy to carry out. Because, even in ideal circumstances, even in a situation of totally shared practices, sometimes there are differences that render relationships not very frank and/or totally unequal. (more…)