First Solo exhibition in the USA of Artur Barrio at TRANS> area 

Artur Barrio: Burning Issues (english version)
By Ricardo Basbaum
TRANS> 9/10 p. 220-228

Artur Barrio: Deflagrar situações (portuguese version)
Por Ricardo Basbaum
TRANS> 9/10 p. 220-228

Artur Barrio is one of the artists in Brazil (a peripheral country, so-called, in the process of redefining its role in the new economic and political world order) whose work is in close dialogue with the local environment, but who nonetheless retains his central position in the debate about contemporary artistic languages. If indeed it is impossible to be an artist without claiming some kind of centrality—a work of art being, in the end, that great attractor, which consumes all kinds of energy: aesthetic, social, economic etc.—then that centrality (without which no art is possible) is created with an understanding of its transitory nature. When they appear, Barrio's pieces cause a complete reconfiguration of their field of influences, of their web of internal and external connections, which affects the entire field. This dynamic is later obscured (checked/slowed down) by the majoritaire (to use Deleuze's word) play of capital, which inevitably attaches itself to everything, especially and paradoxically, to art. For this reason, the work of art that prevails is the one that is absorbed by the market and its institutional networks, even if the price such a work must pay for this is that of subjecting itself to immobilization, as well as to formal, reductive, and encyclopedic archiving.

 

One of Barrio's main works, as well as one that is crucial to an understanding of his work, is T. E.—Trouxa Ensangüentada [B.B.—Bloody Bundle], 1969. The piece is a bundle of fabric daubed with red paint and tied up with string. It has been exhibited on numerous occasions (though never outside Brazil, interestingly), including at the XXIV São Paulo Bienal, and now forms part of the famous Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection, considered to be one of the most comprehensive collections of Brazilian art in the world. The object dates back to Barrio's actions in 1969 and 1970, when he burned several T. E.'s during interventions both in museum spaces and on the streets.1 Originally, the T. E. were bloody bundles of flesh and bones (as well as of other organic material, garbage, and detritus), and were part of his SITUAÇÃO …………….. ORHHHHHHHHHHH …………. ou …….. 5.000 ………. T.E ………. EM……….N.Y…….. CITY……….1969 [SlTUATION……………ORHHHHHHHHHHH…………or ……….. 5.000…………B.B………..IN……….N.Y……….CITY …………1969], presented at the Salão da Bússola in Rio de Janeiro's Museum of Modern Art.2 Barrio wanted to “interfere with the running of the Salão,” and to confront "the ossified concepts which commonly accompany the works of a salon."3 Conceiving of his work as garbage, i.e., as "work in a continuous state of change, which thus entirely annuls the concept of...finished work," Barrio showed T.E.'s made of fabric, rope, paint, blood, cut paper, and meat. At the exhibition's close, Barrio had all the material taken outside the museum for pick up the following day (in the artist's absence) by garbage collectors who took it to the local dump.

 

A year later, Barrio presented his Situação T/T. 1 [Situation T/T. 1], 1970, a multi-part work whose first and second parts included the preparation of fourteen T.E.'s (made with meat, bones, fabric, and rope) and their later burning on the banks of a small river (now diverted underground) which divides the downtown area of Brazil's Belo Horizonte. The action caused considerable local consternation, attracting some five thousand onlookers and worried police and firefighters. Because of the ephemeral nature of the intervention (its strategy being contingent, contextual, and targeted), photographs and films taken at the time are all that remain of the action, allowing the work to escape the conventions of art collecting and marketplace dislocation, and rendering the matter of its physical conservation moot.

 

The ephemeral intervention is nothing new, as it was addressed in the latter half of the sixties by numerous artists who invested in the changeability of materials, the dematerialization of their work, and in non-institutional venues for their artistic actions (as did arte povera, conceptual, and land-art groups, among others). While Barrio's ties to these groups may not be direct (though his works' strategies and poetics evidence the experimentalist frame of mind of the decade), it is important to remember that he constitutes a particular inflection of these strategies, in close dialogue with issues pertinent to Brazilian art. He too insists on keeping open that disturbing region of changeability, dematerialization, and non-institutionality, believing in the force of his artistic process and stressing the significance of the type of "work space" created by his particular poetics.

 

When we view an object such as a T. E. – Trouxa Ensangüentada today, bereft of its meat, bones, and blood, but made up instead of a piece of folded fabric stained with red paint and filled with a random substance which merely creates volume, how are we to interpret it? Is it a simple fetish for the collector, geared towards feeding the art world's inertia with things meant for contemplation? Institutionally, there are at least two ways around this problem. One is to update the piece conceptually every time it is shown, while indicating the original context in which it was produced; and the other—a challenge—is to reconstruct the original situation (that is, to carry out an intervention similar to the original one).4 Still, the paradox remains, represented by the distance that separates the work's emergence, caught in the red-hot glare of the here-and-now moment (which is strictly unrecoverable), and the time of the work's exhibition or preservation as a long-term investment. Regarding the T. E, Barrio has confirmed that there are currently only four in circulation ("They are prototypes," he says, "objects without history," as they had no direct role in any intervention). Three of them are in collections or galleries, while the whereabouts of the fourth is unknown. His policy is to reject any request for their restoration, preferring instead to let them disappear over time, at the rate of decay of their own materials, it being the artist's responsibility, in the management of his poetics, to be attentive to the functioning strategies of a work whenever it is co-opted and institutionally circulated (a path followed remarkably by Marcel Duchamp with his Étant Donnés).5

 

Barrio's work exhibits an organizational methodology that is clearly chaotic, betting as it does on states of turbulence to be creative, to generate diverse experiences, to open multiple paths and, above all, to ensure a continuity of access to openendedness. Hence recording's importance to the configuration of his work's poetics, be it through photography (the preferred medium), film, or video; in fact, the very production of images (since we are talking about the presence of a technological interface here) must confront the challenge of delving into such chaotic/turbulent situations in order to emphasize the presence of these very situations. As early as 1970, Barrio manifested his preoccupation with similar issues in a set of instructions he wrote for the use of imaging equipment in his projects:

"In the first place, each and every situation, when being recorded, encompasses the content of a moment, therefore the recording is not limited by the technical qualities, nor only by the content, but is also subject to the psychological behavior of the operator, in this case, the photographer... [who is] facing a piece, moment, or situation which generally provokes a series of situations [and] occurrences that are never static...physically or psychologically.... In other words, given the recording, with all its...precariousness, visual or otherwise (since the media used in my work are precarious), I don't see why...recording necessarily needs to be linked to perfect technical aspects.... In the end, precariousness is precarious."6

 

To observe the recording of a piece such as Da série: Serpente—Praia de Zandvoort [From the series: Snake— Zandvoort Beach], which is a series of ten color slides from 1983, is to see this process at work. In the piece, a random object (a long strip some five meters in length, made of rubber possibly), on a random Dutch beach, sparks the interest of Barrio (who, for that moment, is the random individual). The artist walks alongside the object, taking pictures of it. Could he modify the pattern created by the waves washing over the strip, combining his energy with the sea's? (The eye behind the camera is not neutral, since the act of recording is perceived as being part of the situation being recorded.) It happens that it is Barrio's poetic procedure to intervene and participate in the instant, to observe the object "within a process of relationships which defines its singularity."7 And it is precisely here that an entire sense field becomes apparent, weaving a web of singularity around colors, smells, textures, temperature, tactility etc., while heightening the sense of the moment's uniqueness and nontransferability. This strategy reveals a way of approaching reality, of viewing the artistic statement as a means of forging pathways to the field of life, of superimposing the playgrounds of art and life—for to reveal the flux of things is to perceive "disorder as a principle of reality," and to adopt a `'work-in-progress" methodology is to show how a situation can be sparked, how an instant can multiply itself and acquire the contour of a fluid field through which an object irreducibly becomes part of a place, which thus itself becomes unique.8

 

Barrio's retrospective at the Museu de Serralves in Porto, Portugal, last year included aspects of his action strategies, now forced to confront and negotiate the structure of the museum. As mentioned above, such strategies create precarious situations, necessitating the discovery of ways of accessing the present moment in order to foster the fluid fields of unpredictability and singularization on which his work feeds. Regist(R)os [Reco(R)dings], as the exhibition's title suggests, focused on showing elements (including notebooks, photographs, films) that anticipated (created a space of linguistic simulation) or followed situations (recordings of burnings) that Barrio has carried out. In this way, the institution of the museum itself was examined as a possible second stage of the recording process, and, as a space, it had thus to be instrumentalized as such. Films and videos, slide projections, and photographic enlargements were shown, in combination (or not) with the objects they recorded, and, as always, the attempt was made to have them invoke and update the actions they chronicled. (Here, in effect, the issue was made material: Is it possible to reconstruct this or that original situation, when the circumstances surrounding it no longer exist?) Seen through this lens, the catalogue for the show takes on special significance, focusing as it did on a moment when the museum-as-mediator worked side by side with the artist, multiplying the effects of his actions.

 

But a retrospective is always an uncomfortable thing for a contemporary artist, whose currency comes from the production of new work, but whose work in a museum retrospective by definition cannot be new precisely because of the museum "aura" it takes on. It was in this spirit that Barrio created a small, last-minute installation for the show, entitled Vá lá... Artur...estou falando a sério...de um título... [Come on...Artur... I'm serious...give it a title...], 2000, which illustrated the clash between the demands of the museum and the artist's rigor in the production of his language.9 Vá lá... Artur...estou falando a sério...de um título... was produced in a twenty-four-hour period, using materials left over from other installations in the show. The work's title came about almost against the artist's will, and reflects the exasperated insistence –and actual words – of an installation assistant at the museum. It also brings to the surface the artist's attempt to make a gesture of resistance against institutional imprisonment. Another important gesture, which also makes this resistance clear, was Barrio's determination to raise questions about his place in a particular genealogy of Brazilian art history. On the walls of a series of three installations he produced last year—including one for the Museu de Serralves were jottings and doodles concerning issues that came up while he was preparing various of the exhibition's projects. These inscriptions, like the artist's notebooks, work as fragments of thought that occur as situations unfold. For the Serralves show, Barrio used them to try to problematize a certain hegemonic vision of the historiography of Brazilian art, which considers neo-concretism (specifically, the trajectories represented by Lygia Clark, Helio Oiticica, and Lygia Pape) to be the matrix from which other post-sixties' art currents have sprung.

 

In the view of historiography of this kind, Barrio's work is located on this same cusp, that is, it is heir to the constructivist tradition (even if this tradition was turned upside down by its very protagonists, i.e. Clark, Oiticica, and Pape), a position that Barrio wants to turn away from. Rather than following Malevich or Mondrian, he considers his work to be closer to Dadaist and surrealist currents or, in his own words, to be far from "art in the earthly tradition...[with] a beginning, a middle, and an end," and to be more like a "body plunging into a salty sea, in the sense of being absolutely pleasurable and playfully sensuous, and, retinally, paradise itself."10 Aside from the interesting interface these comments introduce between the contemporary art historian and the artist – a relationship that is not always harmonious, since there is a curious conflict of function between the two positions —Artur Barrio's remarks indicate another gesture in his game of resistance to the process of archiving and institutionalizing his work. Not an outright denial (which is a naïve position), it is rather an effort to reveal the specifics of this game with the contemporaneous, in which an institution works simultaneously – and at times faster – than an artist. Barrio's work has the merit of materializing such matters and of insisting on a more generous place for the artist in the scheme of today's circuit of art. The importance of the trajectory he represents resides in its development of a linguistic strategy that thinks, invents, condenses, and materializes the site of action both as a derivative of disturbance and of the sensorial, chaotic, unstable, and unpredictable.

 

Translated by Odile Cisneros

 

Notes:
1. There is a photographic record of the situations involved in the T.E.'s in the catalogue Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object 1949-1979, published in 1988 by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Barrio participated in this exhibition, and his work is analyzed by Guy Brett in "Life Strategies: Overview and Selection-Buenos Aires/London/Rio de Janeiro/Santiago de Chile 1960-1980" in the same catalogue.

2. During a controversial period in the history of the Bienal de São Paulo, when it was being boycotted internationally to protest the reigning military dictatorship (in power from 1964 to 1989), attention shifted to the Salão da Bússola, which was showing the language experiments of contemporary Brazilian artists. Among the visitors to the Salao during this period was Kynaston McShine, curator of the 1970 exhibition Information, who invited Barrio, Cildo Meireles, Guilherme Vaz, and Helio Oiticica to participate in that celebrated MoMA show.

3. Artur Barrio, Barrio (Rio de Janeiro: Funarte, 1978).

4. Another idea, according to the post-historical (yet utopian) vision of thinker Vilem Flusser, is to propose the development of institutions devoted to the "adoration of the absolutely different" and the "completely unpredictable," so that "intellectual activity may become an adventure again" and "celebration which is thinking may become dramatic again." A Dúvida (Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumará, 1999).

5. This question was brilliantly posed by the Brazilian poet and essayist Antonio Cicero, in his poem "Guardar" [To Watch]: "To watch a thing is not to hide it or lock it up/ln a trunk one can't watch anything/ln a trunk the thing gets lost, goes out of sight/To watch a thing is to look at it, stare at it, to inspect it out/of respect, that is to lighten it or be enlightened by it/To watch a thing is to watch over it, that is, to heep watch over/it, that is, to have a wahe for it, to be awahe for it,/that is to be there for it, to be for it./ That's why one can better watch the flight of one bird/Than a flightless bird./That's why one writes, one speaks, one publishes,/that's why a poem is declared and declaimed:/To keep it:/So that it, in turn, can watch what it watches:/Watching whatever it may watch, a poem:/That's why the casting of the poem:/To watch what one wants to watch." In Antonio Cicero, Guardar (Rio de Janeiro: Record, 1996).

6. "Da qualidade técnica do registro ou precariedade" [Of the technical quality of recordings or precariousness], in Barrio 1978, and reprinted in the catalogue Regist(R)os – Artur Barrio (Porto: Fundação Serralves, 2000).

7. Luciana Parisi and Tiziana Terranova, "Heat-Death: Emergency and Control in Genetic Engineering and Artificial Life" (http://www.ctheory.com/article/aO84.html).

8. L. Parisi and T Terranova.

9. Vá lá…Artur…estou falando a sério…dê um título… is a further development of Desígnio [Intention] and O fio de Ariadne…(no tempo…como jogo de tempo…no proprio tempo)… [Ariadne's Thread…(in time…as a time game… in time itself)…], presented in 2000 at the Artur Fidalgo Escritbrio de Arte in Rio de Janeiro and the Paco das Artes in São Paulo, respectively.

10. Fax sent by Artur Barrio to the author in July 2000.

 

Ricardo Basbaum is an artist and writer in Rio de Janeiro. He co-edits item magazine ansd serves as a co-director of the Agora agency in Rio.

 

Barrio é um dos artistas que desenvolve sua obra no Brasil (ou seja, um país dito periférico, em processo de reposicionar seu papel na nova ordem político-econômica global), em estreito diálogo com o ambiente local, sem entretanto abrir mão de seu lugar central no desenvolvimento das discussões acerca das linguagens artísticas contemporãneas. Se é de fato impossível ser artista sem reivindicar para si alquma centralidade (pois a obra de arte é finalmente este grande atrator a consumir energias de todos os tipos— estética, social, econômica, etc), este lugar central (sem o qual não há arte) se faz com a compreensão de sua própria transitoriedade: no momento de sua emergéncia, os trabalhos produzem uma reordenação completa de seu campo de influências, sua rede de conexões internas e externas, afetando todo o campo; a seguir, esta dinâmica é obscurecida (refreada/ralentada) pelo jogo majoritário (no sentido Deleuzeano) do capital que a tudo – e sobretudo à arte, paradoxalmentese acopla, de forma inevitável. Por isso, o trabalho de arte que permanece é aquele assimilado pelo mercado em suas alianças com a trama institucional, ainda que ao custo de sua imobilização e arquivamento formal, reducionista e enciclopédico.

 

Um dos principais trabalhos de Barrio, fundamental para a compreensão de sua obra, chama-se "T.E—Trouxa Ensangüentada" (1969), e pertence à célebre coleção Gilberto Chateaubriand, considerada uma das mais completas da arte brasileira. A peça que vemos consiste em uma trouxa de tecido, amarrada com barbantes, e manchada com tinta vermelha; o objeto mede aproximadamente 15 x 30 x 60 cm, e já foi apresentado em inúmeras exposições (curiosamente, nunca fora do Brasil), entre as quais a XXIV Bienal de São Paulo. É preciso saber, entretanto, que este objeto decorre das ações de Barrio de 1969 e 1970, em que as "T.E." foram utilizadas para deflagração de situações de intervenção, tanto no espaço museológico quanto nas ruas.1 Originalmente, estas "T.E." são embrulhos de carne, sangue e ossos (e outros maferiais orgânicos, assirn como lixo e detritos variados), que fizeram parte do trabalho "SITUAÇÃO……………ORHHHHHHHHHHH ………..ou……..5.000……….T.E. …….…EM……… N.Y. ……….CITY …………1969", apresentado no Salão da Bússola, no Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro:2 Barrio quis "interferir no regulamento do salão", concebendo seus trabalhos como lixo, isto é, "uma obra (trabalho) de transformação contínua, anulando assim totalmente o conceito germinação obra acabada", com o objetivo de confrontar "os conceitos petrificados que comumente acompanham as obras em salões", tornando-os "evolução".3 As "TE." aí apresentadas foram realizadas com tecido, cordas, tinta, sangue, papel recortado e um pequeno pedaço de carne. Ao final da exposição, Barrio transfere todo este material para fora do museu, aonde foi "abandonado" e removido (à revelia do artista) para o depósito de lixo, um dia depois.

 

No ano seguinte, Barrio apresenta a “Situação T/T. 1” (1970), cuja primeira e segunda partes compreendem a preparação de 14 "T.E." (com carne, ossos, tecido, cordas) e sua deflagraçáo num pequeno rio (hoje encoberto) que corta o centro da cidade de Belo Horizonte: esta ação causou considerável impacto local, juntando cerca de 5000 curiosos e atraindo a atenção da polícia e bombeiros, preocupados em investigar o conteúdo e a natureza destes estranhos embrulhos orgânicos. De tais ações restam registros fotográficos e fílmicos, uma vez que a característica efêmera da intervenção—em sua estratégia de ação contingente, contextual e específica – escapa às convenções do colecionismo e do deslocamento mercadológico, esvaziando o sentido de sua conservação fisica, objetual.

 

Esta não é uma questão nova, uma vez que foi de certo modo enfrentada por todos aqueles segmentos de artistas que, na segunda metade dos anos 60, investiram na processualidade dos materiais, na desmaterializacão da obra e nos lugares nãoinstitucionais para a ação artística (arte povera, conceitual, land-art, etc). Não que Barrio tenha relação direta com estes grupos (ainda que sua poética e estratégia de trabalho tenham sido contaminadas pelo clima experimentalista daquela década), mas o que importa é destacar uma inflexão particular em diálogo próximo (e isso não significa uma genealogia linear em termos de história da arte, mas confrontos mesmo) com questões da arte brasileira e, principalmente, uma insistência em manter em aberto esta região perturbadora, acreditando na força de seu processo artístico e na importância de fixar as características deste lugar de trabalho.

 

Quando temos numa exposição um objeto como a "T.E. — Trouxa Ensangüentada", que deixou de conter carne, ossos e sangue para resolver-se enquanto uma porção de tecido pintado com tinta vermelha e com um recheio qualquer a Ihe dar volume, como devemos considerá-lo? Simples fetiche de colecionador, a alimentar a inércia do mundo da arte com coisas afeitas à contemplação estética? Podemos imaginar duas situações ao menos, sob a perspectiva institucional, para enfrentar tal impasse: a responsabilidade de atualizar conceitualmente o trabalho cada vez que é exibido, indicando sempre o contexto original de produção; o desafio de sempre reconstruir a situação apresentada (ou seja, realizar uma intervenção similar a cada exposição).4 Ainda assim, permanece o paradoxo: a distância entre o momento de emergência do trabalho, envolto no consumo de energia do aqui e agora (rigorosamente irrecuperável), e seu momento de exibição, de investimento a longo prazo em sua correta conservação. A respeito das "T.E.", Barrio declara existirem apenas quatro em circulação ("são protótipos", diz, "objetos sem história", uma vez que não participaram diretamente das situações), três delas em coleções ou galerias, uma de paradeiro desconhecido: sua postura é rejoitar qualquer pedido de restauração, preferindo que desapareçam com o tempo, ao ritmo do desgaste de seus materials. É responsabilidade do artista, na administração de sua poética, atentar às estratéqias de funcionamento do trabalho quando da inevitável captura e circulação pelas trilhas de sua sobrevida institucional (percurso exemplarmente conduzido por Marcel Duchamp junto a seu "Étant Donnés").5

 

O trabalho de Barrio expressa uma metodologia de organização claramente caótica, apostando mesmo no estado de turbulência como criativo, gerador de experiências diferenciadas, portador de múltiplos caminhos e, sobretudo, garantindo a continuidade de acesso ao aberto. Daí a importância dos registros para a configuração de sua poética: soja através de fotografia (principalmente), filme ou vídeo, esta construção de imagens (de fato, trata-se da presença de uma interface tecnológica, de máquinas programadas com as quais se têm que lidar) deve enfrentar o desafio de mergulhar neste ambiente de caos/turbulência de modo a enfatizar sua (do ambiente) presença. Já num texto de 1970/75 Barrio manifestava preocupação nesta direção, indicando uma forma particular de utilização dos aparelhos de imagem em seus projetos:

"em 1º lugar, toda e qualquer situação, ao ser registrada, encerra o conteúdo de um momento, portanto o  registro não está condicionado a qualidades técnicas, assim como também não apenas ao conteúdo, mas sim também a todo comportamento psicológico do operador, no caso, fotógrafo, etc, diante de um trabalho, momento ou situação que geralmente provoca uma série de situações acontecimentos nunca estáticos, tanto física quanto psicologicamente (...) ou seja, o registro com todos os seus aspectos de precariedade visual ou não, pois já que o material empregado em meus trabalhos é precário, não vejo porque o registro tenha de estar ligado a aspectos técnicos perfeitos. (...) Afinal de contas a precariedade é precária."6

Se observarmos registros de trabalhos como "Da série: Serpente – Praia de Zandvoort" (série de 10 slides a cores, 1983), a mesma impressão faz-se novamente presente: uma coisa qualquer (uma longa tira com aproximadamente 5m de extensão será de borracha?), numa praia qualquer da Holanda, desperta a atenção de Barrio (naquele momento, uma pessoa qualquer), que passava pelo local: existe entretanto uma metodologia de trabalho em desenvolvimento, que sabe deflagrar ali uma situação, fazer com que aquele instante se multiplique e ganhe o contorno de um campo de fluidez a partir do qual o objeto passa a pertencer de modo irredutível àquele lugar, tornado especial. As imagens mostram como o movimento das ondas modifica a forma da peça, produzindo de modo casual diversos desenhos; o artista caminhou ao largo do objeto, fotografando-o – terá ele modificado o desenho, combinado sua energia à energia do mar? (o lugar atrás da câmera não é neutro, uma vez que o registro é concebido como parte da situação registrada). Ocorre que o processo da poética de Barrio é intervir e participar deste instante, observando o aparecimento daquele corpo "dentro de um processo de relações que define sua singularidade" 7 – e precisamente aí todo um campo sensorial se revela, tecendo a teia de singularidade em torno das cores, cheiros, texturas, temperatura, tato, etc, incrementando a percepção daquele momento como único e intransferível. Esta estratégia revela um modo de aproximarse do real do mundo, concebendo a proposição artistica como modo de construir passagens com o campo da vida, superpondo áreas do jogo da arte e da existência: revelar o fluxo das coisas é perceber "o desequilíbrio como princípio de realidade".8

 

A exposição retrospectiva realizada no Museu de Serralves, no Porto (de outubro a dezembro de 2000), evidenciou diversos aspectos ligados às estratégias de ação de Artur Barrio quando submetidas a uma situação de confronto e negociação com a estrutura-museu. Como já vimos, a situação é delicada, e é preciso construir uma via de acesso à atualidade para possibilitar a instauração de um campo fluido de imprevisibilidade e singularização, do qual o trabalho se alimenta. "Regist(R)os", como diz o título da exposição, ocupou-se basicamente da exibição daqueles elementos (cadernos-livros, fotografias, filmes, projetos) que antecipam (criam um espaço de linguagem de simulação) ou se seguem (registram o deflagramento) às situações realizadas, Deste modo, a instituição museológica e investigada como um possível segundo momento deste processo de registrar, espaço que deve mesmo ser instrumentalizado enquanto tal: exibição de filmes e videos, projeções de slides, ampliações fotográficas combinadas ou não com os próprios objetos originais – sempre procurando constituir uma superfície de potencial invocação e atualização de cada ação proposta (é neste momento que a questão materializa-se efetivamente: é possível fazê-lo, ou seja, reconstruir esta ou aquela situação, assim distante de seus pressupostos?). Sob este prisma, o catálogo da mostra ganha especial relevo, apontando um momento em que o agenciamento museológico trabalha ao lado do artista, multiplicando a influência de sua atuação.

 

Mas uma exposição antológica ou retrospectiva é sempre incômoda para um artista contemporâneo, cuja existência legitima-se enquanto disponibilidade de invenção e realização no aqui e agora. É assim que Barrio produz uma pequena instalação para a mostra, intitulada "Vá lá ... Artur... estou falando a sério... dê um titulo..." (2000), cujas circunstâncias de realização indicam o quanto a questão do choque entre as demandas museológicas e os rigores do artista na produção de sua linguagem torna-se concreta 9: " Vá lá ... Artur... estou falando a sério... dê um título..." foi produzido em 24 horas, no último instante, com o aproveitamento de alquns materials não utilizados para montagem das demais salas; seu título aparece quase à revelia do artista, sob insistência da assistente de montagem (é afinal dela a indagação que acaba nomeando o trabalho). Todos os elementos conspiram para trazer à tona um esforço do artista em demarcar um gesto de resistência a seu aprisionamento institucional, tornando visível o apetite museológico pelo arquivo frente ao potencial perturbador da obra atual. Outro gesto significativo a configurar mais um traço desta resistência é a insistência de Barrio em levantar uma série de questões acerca de seu lugar numa possível genealogia da história da arte brasileira. Em cada uma das três montagens desta última série de trabalhos, as paredes que compõem a instalação trazem variadas inscrições, rabiscos e desenhos — que funcionam (a exemplo dos cadernos-livros) como fragmentos de pensamentos e devaneios surgidos no desenvolvimento e construção da situação – acerca de questões envolvidas na preparação dos respectivos projetos. Na versão realizada para o Museu de Serralves, Barrio procura problematizar uma visão hegemônica na historiografia da arte brasileira, que considera o Neoconcretismo – mais especificamente as trajetórias de Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica e Lygia Pape – como a matriz da qual derivaram todas as demais correntes contemporâneas pós-anos 60, a partir do questionamento e "superação" do objeto de arte.

 

Para estas historiografias, a obra de Barrio é localizada também neste vértice, ou seja, herdeira de uma tradição (ainda que revirada ao avesso por seus próprios protagonistas) de raízes construtivas — posição da qual o artista quer desviar-se: mais do que a Malevitch e Mondrian, considera sua poética próxima às vertentes dada e surrealista, ou, em suas palavras, longe da "arte dentro da tradição terrestre (...) [com] princípios meios fins" e afim ao "corpo mergulhado no mar salgado enquanto sensorialidade absoluta lúdico prazerosa e retinianamente o édem ele mesmo".10 Além da sugestão investigativa, que abre uma interessante interface entre o historiador da arte contemporânea e o artista – nem sempre harmoniosa, uma vez que há mesmo aí um interessante conflito funcional entre as duas posições –, a colocação de Artur Barrio indica mais um gesto em seu jogo de resistência ao processo de arquivamento e institucionalização da obra. Não se trata de sua sumária negação (posição ingênua), mas de evidenciar as particularidades deste jogo na contemporaneidade, em que a instituição trabalha simultaneamente – alqumas vezes, mais rápido – ao artista: o trabalho de Barrio tem o mérito de materializar em obra este feixe de questões, insistindo em um lugar generoso e maior para o artista em toda a trama do hipercircuito da arte de hoje. A importância de seu percurso reside no desenvolvimento de uma estratégia de linguagem que pensa, inventa, densifica e materializa este local de atuação enquanto derivação da inquietação e do sensível – sempre caótico, instável e imprevisível.

 

Notas:

1. 0 registro fotográfico de uma das situações envolvendo as "T.E." está no catálogo Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object 1949-1979, Org. Paul Schimmel, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1988, p. 217. Barrio participou desta exposiçåo e tem seu trabalho analisado por Guy Brett no ensaio

"Life Strategies: overview and selection – Buenos Aires/London/Rio de Janeiro/Santiago do Chile 1960-1980", publicado no mesmo catálogo

2. Em um momento de esvaziamento da Bienal de São Paulo, sob boicote internacional em protesto contra a ditadura militar (no poder de 1964 a 1989), o Salão da Bussola passou a ser um dos principais eventos a exibir as experimentações de linguagem da arte contemporânea brasileira. Foi visitado por Kynaston McShine, curador de Information (1970), que acaba por convidar os brasileiros Barrio, Cildo Meireles, Guilherme Vaz e Hélio Oiticica para participar da célebre mostra do MoMA.

3 Texto do artista, no livro Barrio, Rio de Janeiro, Funarte, 1978.

4. Ou ainda, segundo a visão pós-histórica (mas ainda utópica?) do pensador Vilém Flusser, propor a presença de instituições dedicadas à "adoração do de tudo diferente", ao "totalmente imprevisível", para que "a atividade intelectual volte a ser uma aventura" e que "a festa que é o pensamento volte a ser dramática". A Dúvida, Rio de

Janeiro, Relume Dumará, 1999.

5. Esta questão foi muito bem colocada pelo poeta e ensaísta brasileiro Antonio Cicero, em seu poema "Guardar": "Guardar uma coisa não é escondê-la ou trancá-la./Em cofre não se guarda coisa alquma./Em cofre perde-se a coisa à vista/Guardar uma coisa é olhá-la, fitá-la, mirá-la por/admirá-la, isto é, iluminá-la ou ser por ela iluminado./Guardar uma coisa é vigiá-la, isto é, fazer vigília por/ela, isto é, velar por ela, isto é, estar acordado por ela,/isto é, estar por ela ou ser por ela./Por isso melhor se guarda o vôo de um pássaro/Do que um pássaro sem vôos./Por isso se escreve, por isso se diz, por isso se publica,/por isso se declara e declama um poema:/para

guardá-lo:/Para que ele, por sua vez, guarde o que guarda:/Guarde o que quer que guarda um poema:/Por isso o lance do poema:/Por guardar-se o que se quer guardar" in Antonio Cicero, Guardar, Rio de Janeiro, Record, 1996.

6 "Da qualidade técnica do registro ou precariedade", in Barrio, op. cit. Reimpresso no catálogo Regist(R)os – Artur Barrio, Porto, Fundação Serralves, 2000.

7. Luciana Parisi e Tiziana Terranova, "Heat-Death: Emergency and Control in Genetic Engineering and Artificial Life", <http://www.ctheory.com/article/a084.html>

8. L. Parisi e T Terranova, op. cit.

9. “Vá lá … Artur … estou falando a sério … dê um título…” é um desdobramento de "Designio" e "O fio de Ariadne … (no tempo … como jogo de tempo … no próprio tempo)…", apresentados em 2000 no Artur Fidalgo Escritório de Arte, Rio de Janeiro e no Paço das Artes, São Paulo, respectivarnente.

10. Fax de Artur Barrio enviado ao autor em julho de 2000.

 

Ricardo Basbaum é artista plástico e escritor o Rio de Janeiro. Ele é co-editor da revista item e co-director da agência Agora no Rio.

 

Artur Barrio
[page 59]

On the use of toilet paper as a creative situation of forms in relation to itself and to aspects of the environment.

IN TERMS OF THE WIND
IN TERMS OF WATER
IN TERMS OF THE CITY
IN TERMS OF THE BODY

On the body as a point of auxiliary support  in the development of forms in space through toilet paper.

             ROLLING
            UNROLLING
OF THE MOMENTARILY                        OF THE PERISHABLE

On the photographic record as the capture of some of these moments of constant transformation, inscribed on a momentarily perishable situation, also recorded by the inter-mediation of slides, films, etc…or simply by the retina.

On the realization of group works based on this idea.

WORK BY BARRIO (ARTUR ALÍPIO BARRIO DE S. LOPES)
RECORD: B/W photos and slides by César Carneiro
RIO DE JANEIRO, MAY 1969/FIRST REALISATION, SEPTEMBER

 

[page 87]

 

DEFL………………SITUATION…………….+S+………………STREETS………….APRIL………
DEFLAGRATION OF SITUATIONS ON STREETS
(OTHER SURFASES INCLUDED)
PROJECT:
THE THROWING OF 500 PLASTIC BAGS CONTAINING:
Blood, bits of Nails, Saliva (spit), Hair, Urine (piss), Shit, Snot, Bones, Toilet Paper, used or not, Sanitary Towels, Pieces of used cotton wool, Damp Paper, Sawdust, Leftovers, Paint, Bits of Film (negatives), etc.

 AIM: FRAGMENTATION OF THE EVERYDAY IN TERMS OF THE PASSER-BY

 

IN THE REALISATION OF THE PROJECT I USED a van, driven by Luiz Alphonsus with César Carneiro as the photographer; I Barrio, took care of the throwing of the sacks onto the open ground selected; the action began at 10:00 am, using the following tactic:……………… I advance on foot along a street among the passer-by carrying a bag (such as those used for flour, 60kg) full of deflagrating objects and, when I reach the appointed place, I drop it in the middle of the public thoroughfare, carrying on walking; soon afterwards, César Carneiro records the reaction of those passing by, etc., in 6 or 7 shots, soon returning to the car (van) waiting in a sideroad, with the motor running.

 

ASPECTS:

1)       CONSIDERING THE BAGS (deflagrating OBJECTS) AS CENTRES OF ACCUMULATIVE ENERGY.

2)       THE TEMPERATURE: HOT – COLD – FROZEN – LUKEWARM – VERY HOT – (OF THE RUBBISH).

3)       PSYCHOLOGICAL

4)       20% OF THE BAGS (deflagrating  OBJECTS) had a piece of tape on them, dated and signed by me.

5)       In one of the actions, taking place in a street in Tijuca, a passer-by became very interested in the bags (deflagrating objects) and wanted one, asking what they meant, as he initially thought they were witchcraft.  I told him no, what he had in his hands was art, to which he immediately replied that since he liked it he would take it home.

6)       In Praça General Osório, a woman offered me a sandwich.

7)       It should be noted that in various places, as the streets weren't very busy, there was no need to adopt any tactic whatsoever.  In other words, the tactic was to relax; which was not the case, for example, in Av. Copacabana, Av. Rio Branco, Praça Saenz Peña, other city center streets and the ponds in the Modern Art Museum, etc.

8)       DEFLAGRAMENTOS actually finished at the ponds of the Rio de Janeiro Modern Art Museum at 4:00 pm.

9)       The points where bags (deflagrating objects) were left created electric continuities between themselves.

Rio de Janeiro, first fortnight of April……………1970……….

 

[pg. 108]
Situação T/T – 1970  (3a Parte)

SITUATION T/T – 1970  (3a PART)

Material: 60 rolls of Toilet Paper.
Work realized in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerias,
April 1970.

 

[pg. 115]

……….SITUATION…….CITY……….COUNTRY……………..(1970)
            72¸9=8

                                    8=CONDENSED ENERGY
            Condensed energy= Bread = packets of baguettes/bread

Location of realization:
                                    On a road which divides the
                                    Marapendi lagoon in two, between the Sea and the Mountain

Itinerary……………………
                                    Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Av. Neimeyer,  
                                    Barra da Tijuca, Jacarepaguá
                                    Work realized in Guanabara (Brazil) 1970.

 

[pg. 127]

 4 MOVEMENTS                        Mindelo, Portugal, August 1974
Work by Barrio              (Recorded by: N. and B. Barrio)

 The work was produced with a fishwife during her normal workday, going from door to door in August 1974.

 4 MOVEMENTS is the result of my moving from the upper floor of the house (Record no. 1) to the small area where the fishwife was to be found.  From then on, the movements were produced solely by the fishwife, my role being simply to record them.

 ON THE MOVEMENT(S): the 4 movements, clearly, do not represent the whole development of the action and trajectory that followed (shown in the records), in other words: the moving of the fishwife from the grass to the stone area, but also all the movements that the whole process involves, knowing that a movement corresponds to another movement in the direct reaction of the body(ies) and having the fish as the center  of the action.

 ON THE WORK: the placement of the fish on the oilcloth/the fishwife/in direct relation to the environment, e.g., the establishment of the direct momentary relationship with the air/space where she is to be found: with the objects/the stone/the grass/ the sand/ the bushes/the shadow/the architecture/the doors/the window panes/cement/GAS/BUCKET/tube/FLOWERS/OXYGEN. On the establishment of the perceptive relationship.

 In the daily life of the fishwife (in rain or shine), I see the age-old conditioning of a part of the Portuguese people in their working of the sea and consequent survival through the selling of fish.

On the hand that offers and the other that, reticent through the bitterness of life…….receives.

 On cultural relations                   On economic relations
On political relations                   On social relations.

 

 [pg. 137] 

1)       BLOODY AREAS…………………..(First Part)
Portugal……….4.8.75……..Viana do Castelo
Praça da República

In terms of material, the work consisted of: a stone picked up on Valadares' beach on 15.7.75 at low tide, covered in plankton and other maritime residue.  That stone, even at low tide, was more or less under 15 cm of water; its weight = 20 kg; the stone stayed in a wood for 17 days and nights.

An old plank of wood found in Viana.

A small stone collected because of its surface covered in quite brilliant points; also picked up at low tide on Valadares' beach on 17.7.75, this small stone was left on the balcony of a small wooden house for 5 days and nights.

A hemp rope stretched along the plank, fastened: to the small brilliant stone; to a transversal stick of about 35 cm and 10 cm length of wire; on the other end to a packet containing bits of fish, given by a fishwife.

Driven into the packet of fish, a pruning-hook (bought at Espinho fair, 8 km from Valadares) half-wrapped in hemp twine, with the handle studded with nails.

 

2)       BLOODY AREAS…………………(Second Part)
Portugal………8.8.75……..Viana do Castelo
Praça da República

The second and final part of the work was the public debate on Portuguese TV with Lucíla, a fishwife who had agreed to take part in this piece.  After Lucília had given her fish-selling refrain, her hands covered in scales shining in the sun, the debate began.

 

 

[pg. 161]

 MEAT SKIRTING BOARDS

 Paris, 1978

 ON 10TH FEBRUARY, AT 7.00 PM, I WILL BEGIN THE “MEAT SKIRTING BOARDS” PROJECT 1973. 1978., IN A PLACE, “GARAGE 103”, WHICH IS THE CENTRE OF A CIRCUMFERENCE 1,600 KM IN DIAMETER AND 800 KM IN RADIUS; but my geographical localization will be outside the extent of the 1,600 km diameter, in direct relation to the center of this diameter.

The place of exhibition/action must close its doors from 10th February until 5.00 pm on 25th March.

 Inside the exhibition a 200watt bulb will remain on the whole time.  This text must be stuck between the two doors, like a stamp, to stop them opening.

 After 25th March, the “Meat Skirting Boards” project will be presented at “Garage 103” in Nice, in the form of a book………………………………………………………………………………………….1.2.78

  

 

[pg. 166]

 Livro de Carne – 1978/79

 BOOK OF MEAT
Paris. 1979

 The reading of this book was based on the cut knife action of the butcher on the meat, the sectioned fibres, the fissures etc. etc., as well as the different tonalities and coloration.  In conclusion, it's important not to forget to mention the temperatures, sensorial contact (of the fingers), social problems etc. etc…………………………………Enjoy your read.

 

 

 [pg. 226]

 Anthology of the artist texts

 MANIFESTO:    against categories in art
                        against salons
                        against prizes
                        against juries
                        against art criticism

 Owing to a series of situations in the plastic arts, pointing to the increasing use of materials considered expensive for our, my reality, in 3rd world socio-economic terms (including Latin America), due to industrialized products not being within our, my reach, but in the power of an elite who I contest, because creation cannot be conditioned, creation has to be free. 

            Therefore, based on the socio-economic aspect, I make use of materials which are perishable and cheap in my work, such as: rubbish, toilet paper, urine, etc.  Obviously the simple participation of the works made with precarious materials is contested within the closed systemized circles of art due to its current aesthetic.

            Owing to my work being conditioned by a type of momentary situation, the record will automatically be the photograph, the film, the tape, etc. – or simply the retinal or sensorial record.

            Therefore, believing that expensive materials are being imposed by an elitist aesthetic which thinks in terms of top to bottom, I oppose momentary situation with the use of perishable materisals, in a concept from the bottom to the top.

            Rio de Janeiro, 1969

 

ON FORMS OF ACTION

                 Since the first works used as means of transforming sanctified spaces, closed to a type of behaviour/action, such as museums and galleries, the interference of works/actions has automatically caused the transformation of the environment, de-sanctifying it; the meaning of the action thus being seen in terms of the unexpected.

            From internal aspects – Salão da Bússola, MAM, Rio de Janeiro, 1969 – to the external: action on the street, in squares, etc. (69, 70, 71,…), the sending of material, works or records by post, of lightening-exhibitions, making use of places such as open ground, a gallery, or even a museum: all this in terms of a non-static action, in a dynamic sense, non-repetitive; disorganizing; pre-established concepts consciously confused; in direct action, with no half measures.

  1969/1970/1973…

 

[pg. 228]

 

MUD/MEAT SEWER

 What I look for is contact with reality in its totality, everything that is rejected, everything that is set aside because of its contentious character.  A contesting which encloses a radical reality, because this reality exists, despite being dissimulated through symbols.

            In my work, things are not indicated (represented), but rather lived, and it is necessary to dive into one, to dive into/manipulate it.  And that is diving into yourself.  The work has its own life because it belongs to all of us, because it is our everyday reality, and it is at this point that I give up my  categorization as “artist”, because I no longer am.  Nor do I need any other label and that, obviously, extends to the work.  It cannot be labeled because it does not need to be, nor are there any other words that can categorise it, because it happens that everything and nothing have lost their sense of being.

            Therefore, these works, at the moment in which hey are placed in squares, streets, etc., automatically become independent, with their initial author (me) having nothing more to do with the matter, handing that compromise onto the future manipulators/authors of their work; in other words…passers-by, etc.

            The work is not recovered as it was created to be left and follow its own trajectory of psychological involvement.

            I have realized works throughout Rio de Janeiro, getting the city involved, as in some of these works I have used more than 500 bags (pieces), spreading them over different points.  In that dispersion of deflagrating elements the important thing is that the involvement is total, at all points, at the same time, there being no defined single point, creating poles of energy between the bags.

 

Belo Horizonte, 20/4/70

               My work is linked to a subjective/objective situation-:-mind/body-, I consider this relation one thing only, as it is that which initiates the energetic process that will deflagrate the psycho-organic situations of the involvement of the spectator, leading him/her to participate more fully in the proposal presented , whether in its tactile, olfactory, gustative, visual and auditory aspects, or in its implications of pleasure or repulsion.  I even see the organic psycho-emotional implications, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, etc., as participants, that's to say, as deflagrating factors (provocateurs) that act in terms of the unexpected, fragmenting the everyday.

            In my work, the function of the creative process is no longer held within the internal situation, in other words, the studio (or workshop) as the beginning and end of the process of creation.  Ideas may germinate anywhere, even in the bathroom, which can thus be considered a workplace.

            I make use of precarious materials (including perishable situations), according to my awareness as an individual and at the same time as the result of a collective, socio-economic view of reality.  I think the use of such materials is extremely important, as their power to contest is very strong and very real.

            In my work, I record through film or photo, etc., simply as an informative process of an idea.  So as to be more open and to have a consequent possibility of acting, I have rejected categories in art, including the denomination work in art, which is surrounded by very dubious pomp.  I refer to what I do only as works.  The city replaces the paper, the canvas, etc., just like the country or continent, politically or geographically, or the planet itself in relation to the cosmos.
            1970

 

WORK                          :1970                            ART 

            The record of my works through photos, films, etc., is simply for information/publicizing, and they are never recorded in their totality as photos etc, never register all aspects of research, as some of this research can go on for weeks, months, etc.

            Therefore, within my work, I reject the framing of a photo etc., as a situation of the work of art or medium for it because, independently of the recording resources, the work takes place, disconnecting it or not from that informative cord as I see fit……………………….OR NOT………….May/June/1970

 

[231]

THE PLASTIC ARTIST
PUBLICISING OF WORK
THE ART MARKET

             Plastic artist: I don't see the need to use this label as a means of professional identification or specialization, as the work process is not only conditioned by one type of language/medium/action.  Therefore, the classic label “plastic artist”, I see as being outdated, more to do with a “Fine Arts” type of mentality.  The principal point in question is the way of acting in terms of a language electrically uncompromised by systems which condition its freedom/action.  It is a way of your work surviving without being conditioned by the blackmail of survival or social status.  That this kind of blackmail exists is obvious, as the plastic artist pays to show his work, instead of being paid, in the majority of art galleries.

            What is important is not compromising with “isms” and systems.  If this way of thinking leads to marginalisation within which one becomes a deflagrator, it is a reality but, in compensation, so is freedom of action.  Furthermore, it is argued that the plastic artist eternally produces the same themes without noticing their poverty, laying his emphasis on technical issues, obviously according to art criticism and the market which always value technical “quality” over creation.

            It's clear that to maintain a greater freedom of action we have to work in a team.  Not in the archaic sense, under the leadership of authoritarian or paternal cupola, but having a basis of individual and collective awareness of each component, thus removing the leadership issue.

             Not in a language that is called collective in terms of creative conditioning based on a thematic representation, but in a common language which is not conditioned to one type of representative image,.  The realities are various and vast.  The important thing in team work is the action, action in terms of how or in what way to act for a large or small public, whether the structure of the work is really disconnected from the aspect of mass participation or not.  The medium really, in the case of the photo, film, etc., from the moment in which it is printed/published, de-conditions/annuls a mentality, a limited language, in favour of mass production (deflagrations), thus bringing a given market into crisis.  It's clear that to achieve these objectives it is and will be necessary to keep prices and the profit margin in accordance with a low acquisitive power.  This criterion is up to each person's conscience  in terms of the socio-economic reality of the place where they live.
            1970/1974

 

IN RELATION TO THE ASPECTS: LABELS/SCHOOL AND POSSIBILITIES.

 Precarious, momentary materials, are linked to immediate creativity, to the use/transformation of what we have at hand.  A no to the impossibility of acquiring materials, a no to the neurosis about the difficulties imposed by a market or aesthetic thinking linked to what is usually called GOOD TASTE or BAD TASTE.

            The use of precarious/momentary materials in my work is NOT a fashion, is NOT to be sent in any period, does NOT have anything in common with Arte Povera, which is a school, an aesthetic current.  The taste (bad) for labeling, was inherited directly from the dusty, old academic art, but was also to the taste of 20th century art movements including DADA.  Clearly, it continues to have numerous supporters, as many among the Vanguard, as the Rearguard, and this is not to forget the sadly renowned art critic, whose taste for discovering/labeling movements and patronizing them etc. is well known.

            Basically, the RearguardVanguardCritic is intimately connected to the process of good historical organization, of good conduct, of opening the drawer and finding the X of the problem, thinking/action disconnected from risk, just like any office, everything in its place, all tidy and correct, everything following the pattern, with or without cheap subtleties.  CHEAP…

            OF THE POSSIBILITY of a work ADVENTURE
            of the POSSIBILITY of a work RISK
            of the POSSIBILITY of a work in CONSTANT TRANSFORMATION
            of the POSSIBILITY of a work in EVOLUTION

Contesting the present doesn't mean returning to the past, it means:
                        GOING FURTHER FORWARD
1975

 

ART CRITICISM
DOES NOT
HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE

Art Criticism criticizes but, generally, does not like to be criticized.

Art Criticism has arrived at its current position due, in part, to the concessions made by artists to the detriment of their own theoretical work in favour of the theoretical work of the critic.

            From the moment Art Criticism begins to charge the artist in order to represent him, the public becomes the victim.

            Recently, there has been a proliferation of Artist Critics.  Through this, It's clear that Art Criticism does not have the knowledge, because if it did, there would be no need for its metamorphosis into an artist.

            Once in a while, Art Criticism, in agreement with the market and artists, exhumes old formulae, generally linked to the Canvas as a medium, rehabilitating them and relaunching them as the new vanguard (Kassel and the Paris Biennial obviously support this).  It is likewise obvious that they are transitory aspects because, as everybody knows, painting has lost its interference/communication value to that of investment, thus: PAINTING = TRADITION = INVESTMENT.

            As I understand it, the only valid Art Criticism is that which has dialogue with the artist on an equal footing.  Generally this criticism (that exists) is marginalized by the environment, in other words, the market, galleries; official criticism; panel and artists interested in maintaining the status quo.
            1974/1975

 

ON THE TECHNICAL QUALITY OF THE RECORD
OR
PRECARIOUSNESS

Firstly, every and any situation, in being recorded, encloses the content of a moment; therefore, the record is not conditioned by technical qualities nor by the content only, but also by the psychological behaiour of the operator, in the case of the photographer etc., before the work, moment or situation that generally causes the type of situations/events that are never static, physically and psychologically; this theoretical aspect doesn't reach the thing itself, or rather, the record with all its aspects of visual precariousness or not because, since the material employed in my work is precarious, I don't see why the record has to be linked to perfect technical aspects for example: in the show Information at MoMA in New York, 1970, I participated with two 16 mm films (photography by  César Carneiro), which encapsulated an extremely rich technical precariousness, rich due to its information data conveying to spectators, through total involvement, including aspects of the environment, emotional aspects etc.  The film sent to the Information exhibition was accompanied by a letter with an explanation of all the aspects of the break with a technical ritual, in this case cinema, in favor of a work etc. with not only the images being recorded dominating but also the psychology of the moment.  These 2 records – April 1970 – (Situação T/T, 1), are not edited let alone titled, which leads to the presentation of a written or oral poster at their showings; with it thus being clear that the situation of precariousness is unconnected to any aesthetic-technical compromise.  At the end of the day, precariousness is precarious.
1970/1975

 

CadernosLivros

 NotebooksBooks

NotebooksBooks represent in my work the embryo of itself, because this is the place where, almost in raw state, the germination of ideas for consequent realization of themselves happens. NotebooksBooks began as a work in 1966. The material of 1966/67/68 and part of 1969 was used by me, Barrio, during the realization of the work-process 4 Days 4 Nights—May 1970—on the streets of the city of Rio de Janeiro. This material was placed over the hood of some cars parked in various places in the city. NotebooksBooks has a direct connection as material and support with the theory developed by me (1969) referring to the socio-economic reality of Latin America and [the] consequent action in the art world. NotebooksBooks have as content: texts / projects / documents / works / reflections / essays / annotations / divagations / short stories / ideas / fragments of ideas / drawings / collages / etc. —NotebooksBooks have within themselves almost the totality of the documentation regarding my work. NotebooksBooks have as content dynamite. NotebooksBooks have as stuffing free creativity. NotebooksBooks are chaotic. NotebooksBooks are a new support.

—Barrio

August 78

 

P………..H………………………………………1969.

Do emprego do papel higiênico como situação criadora de formas em relação a ele mesmo e aos aspectos do meio-ambinte.

Em função do vento
Em função da água
Em função da cidade
Em função do corpo

Do corpo como parte de apoio auxiliar no desenvolvimento de formas no espaço através do papel higiênico.

Enrolamento
Desenrolamento 

Do momentâneo                                           Do perecível

Do registro fotográfico como captação de alguns desses momentos de transformação constante, inscritos na situação do momentâneo perecível, registrado também por intermédio de diapositivos, filmes, etc… ou simplesmente pela retina.

Da realização de trabalhos coletivos a partir desta idéia.

Trabalho de Barrio (Artur Alípio Barrio de S. Lopes)
Registro: fotos P. e B. e diapositivos de César Carneiro
Rio de Janeiro, Maio 1969/ primeira realização, Setembro.

________________________________ …_____________________________________

P….H….—1969 

On the use of toilet paper as a creative situation of forms in relation to itself and to aspects of the environment.
                                                IN TERMS OF THE WIND
                                                IN TERMS OF WATER
                                                IN TERMS OF THE CITY
                                                IN TERMS OF THE BODY 

On the body as a point of auxiliary support in the development of forms in space through toilet paper.
                                                            ROLLING
                                                            UNROLLING
OF THE MOMENTARILY                                                            OF THE PERISHABLE

On the photographic record as the capture of some of these moments of constant transformation, inscribed on a momentarily perishable situation, also recorded by the inter-mediation of slides, films, etc… or simply by the retina.

On the realization of group works based on this idea.

 

WORK BY BARRIO (ARTUR ALÍPIO BARRIO DE S. LOPES)
RECORD: B/W photos and slides by César Carneiro
RIO DE JANEIRO, MAY 1969/FIRST REALISATION, SEPTEMBER

   
 
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