Natura abhorret a vacua
(Nature abhors a vacuum, alchemistic law)
Painting arises from the planar surface. In its processes it tells us about the intrusion of the shapes, as a sign upon the plane, which is invisible prior to the introduction of the signal. Even if the abstract shape can resist as a signifier, and is able to reject the illusion of meaning through a process of extrusion, it always speaks about the human rendering of space as an element of a topic language, always referential to a site.
Site is symbol; space always evokes a topos, an enveloping territory pushing us back to a resonance of the origin.We have motherland, a home, a mother; origin is our topmost state of potential. It is also the place of betrayal where the utmost force renders us to a distance that transfigures our shapes and allows the self to look upon the aesthetic moment when, by figure of chance and choice we are become the owners of an apical path that configures us to be and look. When Emmanuel Kant looks at the sky and within himself, he can be wrong in his propositions, but he is filled with awe. He is touched, and through this emotion his thought motivates itself when faced with the parallel imponderabilities of a cosmos and mind. Both these figures are motives of a Euclidean space, disabled as they are defining the reason of their centre. Mistaking beauty for the origin has its roots in the unattainable; even when contemporary physics stomps towards the original moment where time equals zero, it humbly admits that it will not be possible to go beyond the instant when law and rule were defined, being these instants obviously not coincident.
Our work is felt cold because it does not belong to us. We add vectors to points to attain points and images of possible courses which would deliver us back to our archetype, that we always imagine centripetal in its obviousness. All this devours us, and origin defines itself as a vacuum that we, as agents of nature, are forced to siege in order to obviate it, paradoxically, through its own confirmation.
We have already said that we, as painters, start from the plane; we trace the world from the substantive and graph its forces through the verb. Point and force. In the definition of our field we overuse the principle of accretion of the difference and repletion through the process of displacement. We have already defined interior and exterior and having reached this point we feel free to assume a consensus which allows us to set forth towards the particularity of an interior space where, protected by the exercise, we can interweave the individuality of our parcels of land. Space ends up being the essential matter of the body and movement the verb with which it is organized. This practice and this usage, as defining elements of a weft laid upon the plane, achieve by suggestion the dimension of volume; suddenly the image becomes space, forcing us to define our work around an axis of capacity. We are demanded for a centric discourse.
From this moment on we go back to the beginning. We are swallowed up by the anti-cartesianism of post modern paranoia and consumed by epistemological conflict; centre is origin and we cannot determine or decide the world within the equation of this structure. Thus, we place, we signal points always assuring the maintenance of its void. Localization objectifies space, consummates it, and in its simpler form is the minimum point between the abstract and the figurative. To position is to assert the nodule that, as a rhizomatic structure escapes both the definitions of end and beginning; this minimum point is also the one of maximum tension. This effort of positioning coerces us to the confrontation with a perceptive limit that diverts us from a hypothesis of the object as a unitary entity, able to be reduced to its coordinates. We are forced to describe the extension of our territory; our representations (paintings) definitely assume the invasion of the bi-dimensional by volume, the foreign impression of a graphic language ulterior to the plane.
These discoveries impose pause and reflection, our expression attains a condition of project that unfolds new paths and dimensions of the structure of our previous proposals. Depth is no longer a concept of perception, it tears the canvas. These extensions of are polytypic constructions that claim for them a design of cut which escapes the limit of the sheet. We are captured by the idea that our space lacks the obvious dimension – outwards. Without using the figure we end up thrusting the planar from the mere suggestion to the effective demonstration of density. Here, the usage of colour reinforces this notion of an implicit geometry and suggests a state of alterity between the different levels represented over the plane. Line localizes and identifies us, surface and light explain us. The development of our study of bi-dimensional space has finally forced us to search for interpretative tools beyond the bi-axial dimension. We compare our method to the one of solid geometry and relativistic physics where, to explain the apparent paradox of some results, it solves it by the addition of a new axis. There is density and there is time, dimensions can be protected and depend reciprocally on each other. The Universe convolutes; the promiscuity between its states renders it univocal.
We call upon ourselves another set of tools; “Language, he (Merleau-Ponty) suggest at one point, can only be conceived of as ‘a surpassing of the signifying by the signified which it is the very virtue of the signifying to make possible’. […] The ‘surpassing of the structure by meaning cannot be described simply in terms of subjective ‘intension’.”1 The idea incites the work; this concept of surpassing suggest a super-action inherent to the relations between sign and signal and shows us, the structure of language itself, the force we recognize to be cleaving our canvas. Through an exercise of deconstruction of the matter of the plane we ended up making volume within drawing. Even if a perceptive illusion arrest us in the bi-axial world, our study becomes object when we suppose, as it is done in the last quote, a dynamic relation between structure and meaning. A conjunctive relation between representation (signifying) and object (signified) that develops by itself the necessity of a construction.
The reason why our work, even after jumping out of the plane to realize (or conclude) the trace, keeps its connection to the languages of painting and drawings comes from the relation of the figure with the surface never being broken. The sculpture appears in an affine space (Euclidean still) by the simple animation of the possibilities of the drawing in the suggested volume. It is accelerated outwards by the contradictive act of folding in the paper. This process is visible by the repetition of the piece in various moments. These drawings are happening, but not in time, they suffer a process of embodiment and substantiation; by folding the plane we form a dihedron that determines the advance of the tracing over the volume. When escaping its bi-dimensional nature, this etch might happen as a sculpture but it never fully escapes the definition of the planar surface and the possibilities it has of defining planes.
To free these objects from their bi-axial origin is, if not impossible, made difficult by the fact that when they are formed they become the front side of their anti-volume. All the space they conquer is emptied in their reverse. The figure, becoming object, always transports in its back the mould of its form. This idea underlines and proves the attribute of construction we call for these sculptures keeping the dominance of the act of drawing over them, defined by the dominance of trace, turned into cut by the process of folding.
Following the old alchemistic law enunciated in the title of this text, we adequate ourselves to what it implies. The flat surface suggests a vacuum of volume and the discovery of our work (through a creative and distinctive process) is that the representation tends to escape and invade the empty spaces adjacent to it. Since the object/significant, in its relation with meaning, lives in constant convolution, we cannot guess the surprises withhold in the paths we chose. We now know that representation moves towards a corporal state, independent of the level of abstraction that defines it. We came to volume and the discovery of our drawing in sculpture.
1 Norris, Christopher (2002) Deconstruction. London: Routledge
José Roseira, 2005.