Have a nice day – english version – Bruno Miguel – 2011

Have a nice day!

“11:41 p.m.: Somewhere between New York City and Rio de Janeiro on an American Airways Flight…”

Landscape is a gap. The relation between the spectator and landscape takes place at a very precise moment, between two given times. Normally between home and work, though one or the other is all too often replaced by leisure. We overlook landscape all the time, its access to or visual awareness goes almost unnoticed. In this momentary lapse of landscape one characteristic remains clear: movement. We move, landscape moves and our perception of the world outside (outside our car window) does the same, unfortunately our eye beholds too little of the delight that the time-space relation has to offer.

My generation, the first to be dubbed a global youth, has conquered the world thanks to the web, enabling our identities to exceed the limits of our homes. Global consumption promotes aesthetic and behavioral connections. However hyperinformation and the possibilities that ensue are genarating chronic anxiety to all. We have been developing non-linear thinking patterns, caused by the web, and the ability to capture images in less time than a blink or a snap, thanks to MTV.

This world scenario guides this exhibits development, Have a nice day! As the title suggests, aside refering to the Carpe Diem motto, happens to be the most usual commercial greeting method I heard during my stay in New York City, the perfect laboratory for the types of images I was looking forward to experimenting for the series hereby presented.
As I delved into painting in landscape, hinge which I purposely chose to kick off the works, I have come to understand that this ubiquituous presence happens in our society through the necessity for capital industries to woo the consumer with propaganda and marketing.

We live in a surrounding of excess, or excesses, global economy depends on consumption, and in the big cities, the already overloaded landscapes tend to suffer even more due to these interests. Once bucolic landscapes are now but memories, which some of us may not have even lived. The idealized landscape becomes an oasis, a pseudo-playful universe refuge where we can run to to escape a whole world of anxiety filled images. The sheer possibility to stop time and plunge into a sublime cut of breathtaking images has come to represent an urge which can often only be made possible in the virtual universe of games, cinema or litterature.

My intention is not to speak of any specific place, I looked for a global landscape, which instilled clichés, being commonplace and easily recognizable to most of us. Cinema which has done so much to promote this “landscape in English” ends up to be one of the actors in the technical as well as the conceptual evolution of the image. This path to three-dimensions prematurely termed as “of no return”, which new technologies herald, is but one of the fronts which I cover in my series of paintings, giving an analogical reply to digital tools. For this effect I have used a series of frames with glass which belonged to my teacher, with who I’ve worked for years, Mr. Carlos Zilio.

I portray passages’ landscapes. Images which commonly go overlooked as a consequece of our hectic lifestyles. I have tried to express a relation between freeze frame/static and narrative/movement. It is a reality of relocation which is part of my day-by-day. As a resident of the Ilha do Governador, a peninsula neighborhood of Rio, I spend at least an hour comuting to go anyhwere. This dynamic back-and-forth ended up reeducating my vision of things, slowing down my perception to situations which were once numbed. Additionaly to the obvious discussions such as the paint and the frame, the illusion of perspective and hybrid creative approaches, I question the possibility to have a more politicized reading of landscape painting.

With the landscape furniture I introduce another possible relation of landscape to contemporariness. Always seeking to associate the aesthetic of the North Zone of Rio to my work, I use the carnival and the allegories as a reference to make this furniture full of memories. All the parts used to make the furniture come from used pieces, bought in fleamarkets, given by friends or which one belonged to my family. I believe that this conceptual load, which the use of objects with a pre-history implies, enriches both the work and its relation to the spectator. The fact that this is not handy, functional furniture reclaims the sublime aspirations. The possibility to bring buildings indoors, to turn monuments into domestic, as well as the power which the market exerts turning just about anything and everything into a product are all questioned.

I believe that the understanding of the world, of the reality of our surroundings, the ability to develop critical thought and the favorable conditions to convert this into image, technique and concept is the most summaized way to, in my opinion, define what must be an artist today. Understand the interfaces of painting with other forms of expression, contemporary life and history are obligations which none of us, painters, visual artists, trendsetters and opinion-makers can consciuosly think of avoiding. Even to disagree or mainly to contest one needs to be inserted, it is necessary to be inside.

Bruno Miguel