Spring love – o tempo da paisagem – english version – Bruno Miguel – 2010

Time in Landscape

“I suppose the formal content of a gesture lies in its aptness, economy and grace.”

Brian O’Doherty

The question of whether there is space for painting landscapes in contemporary art was the origin of this research. Stating from the premise that yes, there is this space, I chose the possible relationship between the natural and built landscape (according to Anne Cauquelin, every landscape is constructed and nature is inaccessible – we only have access to the landscape, a disorder which we give meaning; she also says that any attempt to seek the landscape is an attempt to reconstruct the garden of our childhood) as the initial thematic focus, but other issues of the same or greater importance are also developed.

Thinking about construction and representation, I think of my landscape. I suggest relationships between the built landscape and the natural landscape exploring space, support and time. I think about painting beyond the picture.

I propose the inclusion of natural elements (however constructed) in dialogue with the built landscapes (architecture): paintings, drawings, objects, trees and plantations as elements (or cut) of a landscape thought to occupy the built environment, creating an environment that instigates new forms of view for unusual landscapes.

Language and experimentation – new medias, such as industrially popular fabrics printed, banner ads or objects removed from original function, are all ready to accommodate painting. There is no longer the necessity of a single technique to develop the research. It is important to understand the multiplicity of possibilities in approaching the subject without preconceptions about the chosen technique. To experiment with new technical possibilities and materials in painting – drawing taken to the field of real and virtual space – but without losing the ability to be traced with an almost youthful disengagement. Instead of beginning with endless white, it starts with a medium that already has a story and the intrinsic charge allows the extension of time to the work before the beginning of my painting, discussing issues that go beyond time and joining discussions regarding the ownership and the role of the painter going beyond just the technical part. The participation of the “other” as coartist, the foundation through the research of thoughts together with newer languages, such as the planting of grain and mechanisms for integration and dissemination, such as the internet or the creation of large networks.

Through the exchange of seeds and grains and the suggestion in some works, the viewers becomes coartists, taking the seeds to their homes or bringing the seeds to inseminate in the collective plantations mounted in the exhibition. The artist acts as a proposer and supports inclusive situations for the viewers. Plantations are drawings, interventions, time and transformation. Cotton plantations or land, drawn in space, transform every day. Various grains allow the work to be in constant change – while some seeds germinate, others are already dying. The work in its total temporality, planting, germination, growth and death.

Time in landscape – the possibility of having time as the protagonist of the work. In painting, this is possible through the representation of different times in the final process. As if the final presentation was a result of frames captured at different moments of the construction work, the total time is presented with the overlap stages of the process without any annulling another (different from timeless). It shows the network of influences / daily references of the artist who uses these as building blocks, instead of the real landscape. And, in the plantations, there is an expectation of a landscape that changes every day, by germination, growth and death of the seeds sown. It explores the boundary between the natural and the artificial, emphasizing hybridity as possible. The issues around the time of representation are taken out of the screen, the time we live in, and documented through the flux and reflux of our own time, snapshots, and without limits across borders due to the internet and the speed of information in our globalized world.

The construction of hybrid and collective landscapes – while past generations had to wait for the publication of books to have access to great works, often printed in black and white, or be lucky to have an exhibition with important artists of their time going through the country (a common situation in the third world countries and the large peripheral circuit), the artists from my generation have access to everything that matters to them from a variety of media, the main one being obviously the internet. The network provides a continuous exchange between people and realities. A life lived from distance. Also, currently, the number of international artist residencies is unprecedented. This experience in other countries allows to mix the everyday and the new, similarities and contrasts of thought and production can be noticed, providing situations in which the artist sees with his eyes images that are not always perceived by the local resident. The ease of access means that artists in different continents can perform similar landscapes although none of them has really been to them. In a time when the worlds like Second Life, Facebook or Orkut have become overwhelming, it is impossible to refrain from intercultural exchanges and flux and reflux.

Unlocking the view to look at everyday landscapes – suggests, through some works, for one to see daily life with other eyes, viewers are able to be enchanted with a building which they pass every day and whose details they have never noticed before. Allowing them to see the beauty of the volume of a building, the colors of time on the surface, the relationship established by man between the built and natural, and nature’s answer to this imposition. By unlocking the coartists eyes, it makes it possible for them to intercede with their actions.

Landscape in art history – how can we think about a subject, so worked throughout history, in a new way and make it continue to be current. To make possible the understanding of new influences such as technology, access to information and globalized world as elements in the construction of contemporary landscape as well as in politics, society, circuit and market. To make it possible to see a landscape not limited only to its representation. The landscape brings with it the full potentiality of our times.

Our generation, unlike the previous ones, did not have to transgress that much, since everything had already been accomplished. Currently everything is permitted – we are children of a generation that fought for change, and I believe that art has already been demystified, it is close to our daily life, even though it is incomprehensible to the vast majority. The internet, MTV, advertising and globalization have changed the concept of time in our lives and in history. Nowadays there is no excuse for lacking information: everything is available, cut and pasted, is no longer possible to create a work without contextualizing it, unaware of the history of art, including contemporary. Everything is instantaneous, fast, related to fashion, and becomes obsolete in a short period of time. We learn how to live in a world of disposability, and thereby create defenses and attacks. We turned into a generation that in its essence has an ironic approach to history.

Bruno Miguel

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