15.02 > 08.03.2018
Rita Gaspar Vieira — Simpósio
Curador: Sérgio Fazenda Rodrigues

The exhibition that Rita Gaspar Vieira presents at Appleton Square, in Lisbon, consists of a large scale installation on the top floor and a set of monotypes on the lower floor.
The works refer to the recognition of difference and the celebration of gathering. In what the artist produces, there is a simultaneous manipulation of support and inscription, which goes through the discovery / manufacture of the material and the manipulation of what with it interacts. In the management of this process, the error and the accident are accepted as an integral part of the work. Thus, when the artist manufactures and inscribes the paper or when she receives and arranges the tables she presents, the exception is held with the same value as the recurrence and, between the two, there is a dialogue that reinforces a sense of unity. The title of the exhibition refers to the book Symposium, by Plato, also known as The Banquet. In the book, where a praise of love (Eros) and the idea of truth are discussed, the simplicity, the intrinsic relation between what is useful and what is beautiful, and the logic of just measure, appear as guidelines. These same points are adopted by the artist who, in her work, promotes an idea of dialogue and gives special attention to what makes it viable. The installation is composed of a group of tables of different sizes, uses and origins. All of them were offered by people close to the artist and they bring something that, among others, can go from the domestic space (such is the case of kitchen tables and living room tables) to the workspace (in the case of studio tables) and to leisure (game tables). Both in the book and in the exhibition, the table stands out as a place for gathering and sharing between the disparities and the similarities of individuals. It is around the table that a hypothetical action unfolds and it is in it that is inscribed the use, distinct, that each user gives it. This is, in a personal way (supporting each one) or collective (welcoming the other), an element that promotes confluence and affirms the exception. The tables are grouped in a single set, in the middle of the room, and rehearse a platform where the height is levelled by paper shims. This paper, which is folded and serves as support, is made on each of the different tops and captures the uniqueness of each surface. Each sheet uncovers a time inherent to the use and conservation of each table but also another time where the artist manages the dilution, deposition and excision of the paper. The sheets of paper are thus a mirror of varied marks, migrating from the past to the present, from the top to the pavement, intersecting distinct actions and memories.
Rita Gaspar Vieira conceives something that records the differences, closes the gaps and promotes parity but, in this process, is attentive to the deviations that are dictated by the format of each table. In fact, it is a matter of managing a balance that both marks a base and guarantees the distance that each element requires. Thus, if there is a desire for equality, seen as a necessary condition for the exercise of democracy, there is also a desire to mark the space between things, recognising and accepting the exercise of distinction. All this delicate process arises from the encounter of the body with the object. In the case of the tables, it is the way in which we approach them and the way in which they receive us, which indicates a possible use (although, here, suspended). In the case of the sheets it is the hand of the artist who, touching the matter, extracts the drawing and affectionately cares of what is near. Rita Gaspar Vieira thinks the drawing in greater amplitude, letting it emerge from the way of consolidating, grasping, pressing, peeling and folding the paper itself. It could be said that, in its closeness, the touch of the hand translates the thought and the sight of the one who draws. And drawing is thus born of a near-fusion between the skin of the one who draws and the skin of what is drawn. With this in mind, on the bottom floor, a set of images is displayed occupying the walls of the room. These are works that relate to the installation above and which show us other less visible points, such as the cut out of the drawers.
Like the decal of the table tops, which remains folded on the pavement, what is in the lower room is the invisible side of what is in the upper room. However, what is presented does not derive from a direct relation with the construction of the installation. Not having a narrative nor linear logic, these images do not illustrate, do not explain, nor establish a hierarchy with the said installation. They stem from it, but rather focus on a web of relationships that contextualize the idea of encounter and discovery, expressed in another way. In these works, there is an archaeological meaning that works by the superimposed reading of several layers. And it is in the reading together of these layers, in the place between the part and the whole, that is named a place of sharing and respect, or a place of just measure. A place that, between the individual and the collective, expresses the true nature of a public space.

Sérgio Fazenda Rodrigues, 2018

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