Instituto Tomie Ohtake created the Arte Atual program in 2013, an experimental platform for presenting the researches of young artists, in which, through a question posed by the Curating and Research Department, a group of artists is invited to create a new project.
In its sixth edition, named Fábula, frisson, melancolia. (Fable, frisson, melancholy.), curators Paulo Miyada and Carolina de Angelis brought together Marcelo Cipis, Pedro Wirz and Tiago Tebet, catalysts for the imagery and sensibilities of our present time. In varied aesthetics, they echo parts of fables, frisson and melancholy: the mysterious - legends, myths - that overflow on the nature apprehended by humanity; the collective realization in the stages of spectacle; and inertia, disillusionment or impulses that are never realized.
"Each artist is aligned with a certain field of fables that cross through ordinary landscapes - urban, rural or the ones present in the collective imaginary. As artificers, they go beyond given forms and symbols, creating new and captivating images. In contrast with our current reality, however, they still reveal gaps, mismatches with this world that has become specialized with consuming dreams or selling them as decadents parodies of itself", the curators state.
About the works:
Pedro Wirz, in a time when values and meanings are inverted, he turns to atavistic reminiscences. He takes up his own childhood, his roots, the folklore and the stories told around the campfire… entire myths, geographies and psychologies that were built due to the possibility of fantasy. Wirz presents a dark room that instigates the audience to explore the forest - evoked by the crackling of the sticks on the ground - and to find a ciranda sculpture (ciranda dance) composed by small characters. There are two sculptures in the installation, a small bronze piece on the ground that evokes the ciranda – depicting people involved in a type of square dance, and a large one, made of rammed earth, or taipa (a vernacular construction technique in Brazil), rolled on the wall. A large amount of soil creates labyrinths on the floor; dried wax and tree trunks present textures; wood gains the most varied shapes. Dealing with bronze, a recurrent material in his work, reminds us a traditional sculpting technique.
Tiago Tebet presents a set of around 15 new paintings. The artist also wanders in search of a different imaginary, aspects of reality that feed new imageries, but his territory is the big city. In it, he found a different architecture from the one taught in universities and reproduced by developers that are hungry for new businesses. Not science, nor business, the architecture that interests him is the know-how passed on from generation to generation. The vernacular: cement, plaster, painting, texture, color, adornment. Everything is processed and intensified in the artist's studio. White canvases show typical patterns from house painting techniques. Stones, plaster and a mixture of sand and glue come together with a scraping procedure to reveal surprising vibrant gradients. In this set of paintings, however, there isn't a celebratory atmosphere: something rough insists on increasing the gravity of each one of the works.
Marcelo Cipis presents the video that was originally created for the 1991 São Paulo Biennale, together with a large 2.5mx6m painting that reproduces the backdrop used in the video. Furthermore, there are ten paintings that emphasize the clatter and the unfinished, characteristics rarely seen in the artist's work, but which are present in pieces from different periods and even more so in recent times. They depict a media environment, inhabited by promises of happiness and well-being. With affection, the artist imagined the face of a kind corporatism, in apparently unpretentious humorous images. The 1991 video, which promotes the “Cipis Transworld, Art, Industry & Commerce” company, points to a world in which technology and market would live harmoniously together with art and creativity. Time, however, reveals the anguish behind laughter - the discontent that begins, resumes and provokes short-circuits in a previously clear and precise trace. Paintings and drawings show indecision and procedural uncertainty.
The Arte Atual program relies on the partnership with galleries and institutions for the production of the works, developed through interlocutions between Instituto Tomie Ohtake's staff and the guest artists. This edition had the partnership of BFA São Paulo, Luciana Brito Galeria and The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. The program has already realized five exhibitions: Estranhamente Familiar (Uncanny) (2013); Medos Modernos (Modern Fears) (2014); Coisas sem nomes (Things with no name) (2015); Da banalidade (On banality) (2016); e É como Dançar sobre Arquitetura (It's like dancing about architecture) (2017).