Publication date: 2001
Fio das Contas e Carregador de Pérolas – Threading Beads and Stringing Pearls
Cultural Center Cândido Mendes – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – March 1999
Center for the Arts Helio Oiticica – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – March 1999
In order to place the work of Christina Oiticica, the artist from Rio de Janeiro, one must return to the art scene of the 1970’s, when the experimental movements which appeared in the mid-50’s were crystallized by innovations in neo-concrete art. In this respect, the artist is a child of that period. Neo-concrete art is opposed to the mathematic rigidity of São Paulo’s concrete art and to is pragmatism, and attempts to insert the work of art within an industrialization process. The intention in Rio was to prevent that pragmatic approach, to elaborate an art form which retained its mark of subjectivity (it is worth recalling that the philosophical text on which such works were based was Primacy of Perception, by the Frenchman Merleau-Porty) of the body and of the spectator’s active participation in the work, typical of Lygia Clark’s “beasts” – metallic articulations the can be mutated by the active “spectator”.
The seventies inherited, therefore, a cultural foundation and works which challenged this basis, the stage for these activities being the experimental room at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro. An investigative pattern of the way of making art in the Rio de Janeiro scene was thus established. Christina Oiticica also took part in the deconstruction, which occurred during the eighties and nineties working with traditional materials. But a lot of her work belongs to the experimental basis of that time. The peculiarity of most of the artist’s work deals with the sign of fluidity and of transparency, seen, for example, in the installation Stringing Pearls (Pot of Pearls), made in 1999. In this work she used embroidered bags of tulle, pearls and the suggestion of a Japanese garden, creating a kind of filtered environment, a tactile, optical and sensorial landscape modulated by the sensitive idea of transparency. Besides that, the artist has a sensitivity which is very precious these days, the unveiling of a peculiar perception which seems to come from a poetry of the feminine, poetry of the intimate feminine, to prevent any comparison with the works of feminism, which almost always have political connotations.
Around 51 works make up Christina Oiticica’s visual discussion on display at Galeria Portal. Corresponding genres and techniques used in the construction of two- and three-dimensional pieces – painting/ acrylic, on canvas, drawings, sculpture, objects, examine the point of interest presented in the drawing of a woman’s bust and her multiple necklace, the objective being to extract possible derivatives from the circular forms employed.
Touch and sight
The artist questions the relationship between the point and its respective evolution. She starts the line of inquiry with the circular shapes, from the tactility of the drawing and its sensitive mark on the paper, and later submits it to formal deconstruction by the computer. Firstly, there is the direct relationship of the artist with the working instrument, in that the muscles and nerves in her hands are directly involved with the work’s creation. Then the technological instrument privileges our vision, heightening levels of sensitivity, and is capable of substituting artistic gestures. Here the inquiring eye of the rediscovery of the work’s lines, although the drawing discreetly retains the genesis of the shape, and the computer exposes their every detail the deconstructed image.
In the computerized inquiry stage, the artist enlarges the circular forms contained in the original drawing, dislocating them in space, distorting them by arithmatic, into various graphic segments which begin to form new visual compositions.
Multiplication of shapes
The artistic interaction between the work of constructing the drawing, manually with the pencil on paper, and that of deconstructing it on the computer monitor, offers Christina Oiticica innumerable shape reconstructions and details for the creation of her pictures. So the artist’s exhibition is the result of the diversity and plurality in her use of the means adopted.
Associação Internacional Críticos de Arte