reviews/ essays

João Silvério, Vrais!
"Nothing as the work of art demonstrates with so great clarity and pureness the simple durability of this world of things; nothing discloses of such spectacular form that this world of things is the not-mortal home of mortal beings."1

The works that constitute this project from Ana Pérez-Quiroga propose an ambiguous approach. First, because the frames, boxes or vitrines exceed the mere device of exposition and act as a composite and conceptual element of the artist’s work. The work of Ana Pérez-Quiroga integrates one systematic and practical recollection that results, in a singular fashion, of the treatment of space and the works that produce reconfiguring relations, which construct the collective imaginary. Second, the objects, found or collected, start to belong to a classification system, and each vitrine constitutes another linking place, where referring to previously dispersed, they find unfoldings of sense where the language acquires a structural presence. Third, because a relational and associative practice exists, for us invisible hence (involving/indicating) a nomadic structure, that looks for and goes over an itinerary found in the daily remains of our transforming substances, indexed in the title of this series, Vrais objets trouvés or a reflection on the emotions.
The heading is the first step to encountering this ambiguity that apparently divides us, between the status of found objects and the proposal of a reflection of emotional states. On one side we have the world of tangible things, physical, and on the other (perhaps exactly at its side) the subjective universe of human affections, whose visibility depend on identical characteristics to each individual. Sadness, shame, aversion, anger, fear, pleasure, love or surprise are zones of conflict and interior tension that emerge as psycho-social forms of expression. Their recognizable features are at times faint lines that unveil in a glance, in a grim face or in a determined object that denounces signals of belonging disclosing definitive characteristics of one or more subjects. Let us take for example Fear through the definition chosen by the author. Fear characterizes itself, among others emotions, by anxiety and horror. Similarly, Pleasure can express happiness and simultaneously sensitive or sensual satisfaction. In both cases we stand before lesser visual aspects of representations by the emotions.

The choice of the objects as well as the selection of definitions of the emotions, the author pursues her course traced long ago and uses what the world puts at her disposal. This becomes an even more long and winding road when we observe the objects and we understand that each one of them is duly identified, with the hour and the place where it was found. For example the Britannica – Book of the year – 1950, found (and chosen among a pile of books) on the corner of the Street Luz Soriano in Lisbon, at about the five o’clock in the afternoon on March 3rd, 2007. The itinerary is long and surprising, the Veil, encountered in a church of Lisbon, will moreover belong to the category of other objects and was collected according to same methodology and procedure.

However, somebody forgot this veil in the church. In contrast to the other objects, this one was not deposited in the public space, because its functionality and necessity lost the value that it withheld in the hands of someone else. Pérez-Quiroga pushes us to a hybrid zone, because what we expect to find apparently is revealed. The written lines, that give us clues to the their objects and emotions, are embroidered trough an industrial process.

The act of embroidery, attributed to the feminine homely genre, with noble roots in the decoration of appropriate clothing of celebrations and festivities, mutates in industrialized work, and serial production. It is in the use of the language and its support that we accede to the process of the work of the artist. If on one hand we have industrial production, on the other we have found objects (objets trouvés) in the debut of artistic movements of the XXth century, from the practices of readymade. While it may see that we are in the presence of a commentary of art history regarding the value and stature of the image and text; Ana Pérez-Quiroga reactivates our expectations in another direction. The performing character suggested in the procedures set off through its research work that denounces a conscience of public space as a natural extension of her atelier that allows to find an available world to be examined by her point of view. Her procedure denotes a relationary predisposition that recovers, in these art works, marks of identity and corresponding emotional changes that are not followed by the displacement of the objects from their original places. Ana Pérez-Quiroga is not proposing a form to rethink or to criticize the object’s validity in the artistic practice. Instead, she produces an inflection in the way of how one deals with the artistic object, therefore she questions our place in presence of it and its potential as a depository of collective memory, in Vrais objets trouvés. In this context it is the language that assumes the mediation between the artwork and the spectator, in a sense it structures the process of recognition of the field work, and it is the poetic and metaphorical support that suggests an enigma in each artwork. These objects contain an integral character of its preexisting condition to art, in the sphere of human actions, as well as transcending to the documentary category. In a certain way, we are in the presence of a dialogue that aims at passing death as a metaphor, solidifying in our conscience that we are mortal and that the objects are functional yet materially perishable. The difference is in the hints that these objects invoke and in the challenge that the author puts upon us invoking the "meat" that hides under the emotions.

1 Hanna Arendt, A Condição Humana, Lisboa, Relógio D'Água, 2001, p. 208.
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