2007 _ The White Wall | description of the project

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The White Wall | painting project

The scenographic painting Almagre, developed in 2005 on the island Santa Maria, Azores, for the festivities of the day of the Autonomic Region, explored the idea of the `capacity of a painted surface interacting with a public`. The encountered aesthetic option accompanied the ongoing of the referred ceremony through a game of portions of light of variable intensity on a painted surface.This experience permitted to develop the concept `painting with light’. The bright side of the moon, an exposition realized in 2007, gave continuity to the formal relation between volume and light, opening way to the development of the associated concept of materializing the time as a measuring unit. In 2005, with Boa viagem, the presented ideas were explored, adding the written text as a visual element and its relation with the context in which the work is introduced.

Orienting our attention to the formal relations between the aesthetic phenomena resulting of environmental and physical conditions, the project ‘he White Wall’ should be interpreted as a creative and experimental process, that profounds ‘lines of thinking’, founded on the problematics initially developed and functioning as a starting point for future projects.

This project pretends to explore the concept of the capacity of a wall transfiguring itself, the problematics of shadow/ light as a unit of time-measure, and a construction / desconstruction of the message as an aesthetic content.

In accordance with the spacial references of the physical nature, when we move ourselves in a place, we are being conditioned what concerns our behaviour. This question makes us search for understanding the concept of the wall as a `living` architectural surface, its relation with the involving space and sensorial implications on the spectator. Working in a different form according to the nature of the places – territory, public place or private place – `The White Wall` adapts itself to the different involvements due to its modular nature.

When you interpret the idea of time as element resulting of the interaction between the light, surface of work, involving place and the spectator, one should refer to the similarity of what happens to the moon, in which the sunlight is reflected through its surface and, during the lunation, the illuminated part presents itself with several aspects, depending on the relative positions of the sun and the moon in relation to the earth, the surface of `The White Wall` reacts in the same way, reflecting different intensities of light, like a living organism, only depending on the sources of natural or artificial lights existing in the place. Working as a means, the surface of `The White Wall` behaves itself plastically as a skin that receives everything and devolves everything, being marked by two principal characteristics associated to its plastic vocation : the three dimensionality/ irregularity of its horizontal and vertical elements and the chromatic treatment of its surface (whites and greys) and the colour of the involving wall.

In the presence of architectural places with differentiated chromatic characteristics, and confronting this variable with the necessity of interpreting the wall as a formal continuation of the work, the white surges as a central choice for the surface of the work, because of its neutrality, the capacity of reflecting light, its expressive vocation and poetic reading.

Giving privilege to vision, ‘The White Wall’ uses the light as a painting material, using its profound reflexes that, absorbing this same light, give it back transformed by the persistence of the use and the time.Filtering the light by layers, the surface promotes a tacit relation between clarity and darkness, developing a subtle dialog between shadows in a dynamic and in a temporal way.In an identical form, the visible is made of barriers with fragments of meanings that are taken apart by the wish of whom wants to see them, reinventing ways full of emotion and reason.

With a bas-relief made by horizontal and vertical blades of a variable height (2-5cm), a three dimensionality existing in the painting, promotes the concept of deconstruction/ construction of the message through the positioning of the spectator in relation to the work and functions like a catalyst of light, reflecting it and filtering it in accordance with the portions of the existing light in the place, because of the different angles and intensities of the incidence of the light on its surface. In the same way, the irregularity of the blades in its presence, permits to add new plastic properties to its surface, in this case the shadow-element, composed by a succession of lightness and semi-darkness, symmetrically opposed to the light-element.

Considering the work as a whole as a system of coherent values, it is to the composition to organize and to place in a hierarchy a reading that involves an aesthetic objective by the spectator through the visual elements of different natures and forces. Besides the questions talked about before, like relation between place and the way of looking at the work, the idea of modules also relates to the necessity of organizing the composition through the juxtaposition of three groups of distinct elements; on the level of contrast: clear-dark; on the level of drawing: geometrical-organic; and on the level of the global format of the surface and its relation with the involving place. In the presence of architectural and environmental variables, it turned itself important to stabilize the various solutions of the composition, to put on top a geometry of shadows that surge by the limits of the modules to the organization of the lines of light/shadow, resulting of the blade-elements.

Associated to its dimension, a composition of the painting structures itself through the 25 modules of 70 x 70 cm, making a dimension of 350 x 350 cm in its biggest version. With these characteristics one can explore different walls (as if in a puzzle) of differentiated formats and dimensions, just by reordering the disposition of the referred modules, respecting the relation of the scale, the characteristics of the existing light-points and the function of the place. The referred functionality of the work as an interventive capacity (poetic sense) of the message in the environment, can be incorporated in its surface through written texts or painted images that, in accordance with the written project, give new meaning to the initial problems. This question (that will be further explored in future projects) points out a problem of the back-ground, related to the relative literary power of the element on the foreground, being subject to a development of a visual ‘writing’ in commitment with all the other visual elements.

The White Wall develops two different variants relatively to its composition and message, independently of the general format of the work, pointing out in the first place a temporal concept, lacking in elements of the first plan, minimal and repetitive with a variable format oriented in a horizontal or vertical form, from a square, rectangle and triangle. This solution explores as a principal element the light/shadow and appropriates itself in a direct way of the wall where it is installed, using it as an integrated element in its value-system. The other way, the second solution puts in the first level the concept of construction/deconstruction of the message, as an isolated visual and identifiable element and working as a tension-point, putting all the other elements to the background. This visual element on the foreground depends on the nature of the text/ form and its capacity to gain new significances, in accordance with the context in which it is installed.

Exploring the idea in which the spectator is no longer in front of the artistic object and turns to be part of it, the exposed project promotes the ‘time’ through a visual mutation next to the receiver and its attached emotions. In the presence of an architectural place composed of three floors, two of them interrelated by two symmetrical mezzanines and an aerial walkway, that reinforces a central axis composed by a wall of big dimensions, The White Wall guaranties a logical continuity of the space, pointing it out and reinforcing it, imposing a relation of scale and redefining a ‘center’. The existence of several levels/ sub levels and angles of vision from the mezzanines, walkway and access-stairs, permits the spectator to have different angles of vision on the painting, giving the privilege of an extension of the own character of the place and reinforcing an understanding of it.



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