“2. 8 9 2”
Os mortos no 11 de Setembro de Nova York foram 2.977 em 2001; as vítimas do recente terremoto e tsunami no Japão somavam 12.876, em abril de 2011. Apesar de causar espanto, no universo numérico qualquer tragédia pessoal é tábula rasa.
Nesta exposição, Daniel Senise apresenta quatro obras, sendo duas delas amparadas conceitual e visualmente na concretude abstrata de dados estatísticos que representam momentos de vidas. Em composições solenes e melancólicas, como em geral tem sido sua produção, permanece no processo de elaboração no qual a intervenção manual do artista é mínima.
A cifra-título da exposição refere-se a sua obra central, que instala face a face duas superfícies construídas com lençóis usados em locais associados a vivências extremas: um motel e o INCA – Instituto Nacional do Câncer. Com o auxílio de um matemático, Senise obteve o cálculo de pessoas que passaram pelos lençóis, ao longo de sua vida útil de 6 meses, em ambos estabelecimentos. Assim, chegou aos títulos “Branco 462”, referente à movimentação no hospital, e “Branco 2430”, no motel. Somadas, essas cifram chegam então aos “2.892”.
Interferindo pouco na constituição dos tecidos, o artista permitiu que as marcas impregnadas na maculada imensidão branca gerassem uma estampa própria, de onde saltam imagens mentais de estórias pessoais desconhecidas, sopradas ao ouvido do espectador.
Por sua vez, “Mil” trata-se da milésima obra de Daniel Senise, e é composta por tijolos de papel reciclado de convites e catálogos de exposições. O título, celebra e ironiza tanto a quantidade de obras já produzidas poe ele, como o excesso de informações e imagens despejadas pelo mundo da arte, que se tornam ruído acrítico. O acúmulo que dá qualidade à cor branca deste trabalho, traça ainda um paralelo com “2.982” – onde o branco manchado vem do montante de corpos e emoções que se sobrepõem e se esvaem sem deixar lastro narrativo na superfície do tecido.
“Crucifixão” e “Rua Silvio Romero 34, dez-2009” encerram o conjunto de obras. A primeira, usa a página impressa de um livro de arte de 1952 com a descrição de uma terceira obra, homônima e ausente. Inserindo tal descrição em desenhos de nichos perspectivados, Senise lida com recursos ilusórios e aponta a desfuncionalidade desse texto descritivo como o lugar que engendra este trabalho.
A última obra, de título descritivo, são 5 fotografias idênticas, pisoteadas e sujas do atelier de Senise, reveladas em cores esmaecidas. Ao assinalar o gesto humano sobre a imagem construída, a noção de representação é rasgada, corroborando com a premente discussão da contaminação da arte pelo mundo real.
Daniel Senise escolhe objetos mundanos e preserva (ou forja) as marcas do tempo entranhadas na matéria perecível. Assim, aprisiona em suporte artístico as memórias impenetráveis, embora murmurantes, de materiais comuns e gastos transfigurados em obra de arte.
Daniela Labra, abril de 2011
2 ,8 9 2
On that afternoon in April, we remembered that on September 11, 2001, the dead numbered 2,977 in New York. But, we had not considered that the victims count from the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan had already reached 12,876. These are enormous numbers that, when considered as mere statistics, make tabula rasa of personal tragedy.
2,892 is the cipher-title of Daniel Senise’s project. The title refers to the overshadowing that occurs between extreme experiences and numerical data, as touched on by the central piece of this exhibition: a monumental scale installation composed of facing giant screens of used bed linen, from a motel and the INCA — National Cancer Institute of Rio de Janeiro.
Leaving the dramas of the unknown uncommented upon, Senise obtained with the help of a mathematician a practical calculation for the number of people who had passed between these sheets, in each establishment, during their useful lifespan of 6 months. Thus, he arrived at the title for each side of the installation – “White 462,” refers to the movement in the hospital, and “White 2430,” in the motel. Added together the ciphers equal “2892.”
But we know that Daniel Senise is not exactly an artist fascinated by numbers. His research basically explores the universe of painting, even though it’s been many years since he’s worked as a painter in the strict sense. Still remembered as an exponent of Generation 80, at the end of that decade he began consistently to seek out methods for discussing themes of the pictorial medium such as, its history, invoice, texture, materiality, and, principally, theories of representation and the place of painting in contemporaneity, among other things.
In 2892, as in other exhibitions, the artist chooses mundane objects as his artistic media, and he preserves (or forges) the marks of time pervading perishable material. As such, he captures everyday memories of worn out materials and transfigures them into works of art. Intervening minimally with the surfaces that he appropriates, Senise allows the signs of wear to mark the work themselves, as in the case of the bed linen. Without illustration of any kind, the patches and stains on the sheets evoke mental images and anonymous stories, thereby providing singular narrativity to the installation.
In distancing himself from the customary pictorial process, Daniel Senise works in formats today that escape literality. By formal opposition, therefore, he comments on issues relative to painting and representation of the world without relying on figuration, conveying reflections about the nature/culture binomial in the worn bed sheets as well as in the grayed mass of recycled papers.
Such is the case with “Mil” (Thousand) – the thousandth piece produced by the artist – a series of brick reliefs, made from recycled exhibition invitations and catalogs, suspended on the walls to suggest hanging paintings. The title celebrates and makes light of having reached his thousandth piece, while it simultaneously questions the excess of information and imagery printed in paper and dispersed throughout the art world, the content as such becoming mere white noise.
In addition to the pieces referred to here, the issue of narrativity and of representation is also delved into through various ways and means in two other pieces giving coherence and dynamism to the show.
In “Crucifixão” (The Crucification) one sees the printed page of an art book from 1952, with a descriptive caption of a third work, an homonym that happens to be absent from view, inserted into a niche, a perspective drawing. Here, Senise deals with illusory resources and points to the dysfunctionality of a descriptive text as a place to engender work. If, in the other cases, the accumulation of information and memories create an impenetrable tangle, this time the caption separated from the referred to image becomes itself the image and the art.
Lastly, the sequence of photographic prints entitled, “Rua Silvio Romero 34, dez/2009” (34 Silvio Romero Street, dec/2009), reflect more obviously on temporal layering in the creative process. In this series, five identical photographs from the artist’s atelier, developed in pale colors, are trod on and dirtied, highlighting the human gesture over the constructed image.
The descriptive title of the work brings forth the crisis of representation in art, while the layers of events imprinting the passage of time on the surface of the work evoke a kind of meta-representation. Each photograph from this series carries a title that registers the moment that the image was captured and exhibited at first, the footprints that add up afterwards provoke a certain temporal shock. Thus, this intrusion of life upon art suggests that the world is no longer represented but presented in contemporary poetics.
2,892… On other afternoons that we reflect on numbers, we also remember the negotiation process with the establishments where the bed linens would be used and then returned to the artist fifteen years ago.
At that time, the idea behind the work was still a shot in the dark, as it was, deviating from the path of Daniel Senise’s other work, contact with the hospital had already been made, but negotiations had not yet been made with a motel. This became the task of his assistant at the time, to create an agreement with a high rotation motel in the city to leave new sheets for six months. The bed linens went and then returned used to the artist’s atelier where they hibernated for many years.
A decade and a half passed before Senise’s career reached a point where these materials could be incorporated into his oeuvre. Coincidentally, this is the period of time it takes for an idea for a work of art to maturate and for an ex-artist’s assistant to transform into an art critic and curator. Today, because of these same artifacts, I encounter the career of Daniel Senise again, with some objectivity, and to write about a work of art, which, in a certain sense, I helped to create.