Paulo Venâncio Filho

Recent Perspectives on Brazilian Contemporary Sculpture

Galeria Sergio Milliet (October 1988)

It is sculpture itself that is intended to be the issue here. More than this: it is presenting its current possibilities. Radical modern sculpture’s destruction of the classical canons has not only meant a complete reformulation of subject and techniques; it has also been a subversion of sculpture’s place. It could be said that it has been removed from its paradigmatic position as the centre of the space, as though submitted to the pressure of devastating centripetal and centrifugal forces. With the removal of its original verticality and its base, it found itself in the situation of solid matter suddenly turned into liquid; without shape, able to assume any form. It is then that, wandering and erratic, uncertain and without a centre, it seems to experiment, for the first time, its spatiality – opening out towards all spaces. So it is hard to establish a tendency, a single line, an indivisible, uniform development. What these works present is a plurality of perspectives. Each one indicates a distinct genesis, a distinct direction. They are, nevertheless, similar in the way they relate to space, in the way they confront its undefined possibilities. No longer single, indivisible, uniform, it has become multiple, divisible, pluriform. Dimension, position, relation: relativization. Thus the border between the work and the space has become fluid, flexible, elastic. It is in fact a dialogue between simultaneous potentialities. The space is no longer a priori, an absolute, immutable axiom; it is a construction, as the process of creating the work is.

These works are also similar in their use of materials, experimenting with the potentiality and the possibilities of any material. Each material, in itself inertform, here assumes a presence, actively imposing itself. New materials, textures and weight are added to dimension and position – the two fundamentals of sculpture. The passage from quantity to quality: flux.

In these sculptures, so diverse yet so similar, we find a principle of freedom, of anti-dogma. An experience that is free, unfettered.

© Paulo Venâncio Filho