Three Landscapes, by Cauê Alves
More than a specific space or territory, the landscape is also a construction. In addition to natural and geographical elements, something of history and culture is present in the landscape. It is closely linked to the horizon of possibilities and, therefore, has a temporal dimension. In other words, the landscape is linked to projections, to what will still happen, to the future, and also to the future. Whether natural or artificial, the landscape is in front of or around us and is therefore inseparable from the environment in which we live. It has been the subject of research in the sciences and the arts, from naturalists who passed through South America in previous centuries, such as Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius and Alexander von Humboldt, to contemporary artists such as those who are part of the Three Landscapes exhibition.
Among modernists, fundamental is the research of Roberto Burle Marx, who along his trajectory, in addition to the Atlantic forest, worked with plants from the cerrado, Amazonian species and the northeastern hinterland. He valued national species hitherto neglected and, between the work of an artist and that of an amateur scientist, he carried out dozens of expeditions in which he discovered species not yet cataloged. More than making gardens, the landscape for Burle Marx is the construction of public space, areas for meeting and socializing with the different.
In 1965, Hélio Oiticica called a series of covers, banners and tents an environmental event, with an emphasis on the body and sensory experiences. Two years later he made Tropicália, a kind of garden, or better, an environment with sand, stones, plants, parrots, wooden constructions (Penetrables) and poems. In this colorful and tropical environment, there was an allusion to the Rio de Janeiro landscape, to the hills and slums. In addition, the artist wanted to create an image, even if not edifying, of Brazilian reality. It was linked to dance, samba and the spectator's participation. Something about the impossibility of a modern and civilized Brazil was placed in Tropicália de Oiticica.
More than 50 years later, Daniel Caballero participates in the Casa do Parque de Três Paisagem, with Dark Tropicália, 2019. The series of four paintings on truck tarpaulins brings images of tropical landscapes of the Atlantic forest with black as the predominant color. Instead of emphasizing the vigorous green of the woods, using saturated colors or something from a tropical color palette, Caballero draws our attention to darkness and darkness. In fact, the general feeling is that we live in an obscurantist time, of decline. At the moment when scientific data is simply denied in the name of beliefs, it seems that the lights are really going out and that we are in the middle of the storm.
The assembly of landscapes in large formats very close to each other creates a kind of environment. Up close we see only blots, lines and charged spots that are distant from a cold or hard drawing. It is only with retreat that our gaze moves away from the artist's gesture and apprehends a totality that is always revealed in parts. From the chosen frameworks it is as if we could never have the experience with the whole of the forest, we always see fragments, pieces of trees or vines.
More than a painter, Caballero is also a kind of contemporary naturalist traveler who makes expeditions through the lands of Piratininga. Since 2015, he has developed the Cerrado Infinito project based on research on vacant lands and remnants of the cerrado on the São Paulo plateau, which has very different characteristics from the common Atlantic forest in Serra do Mar. In the video Transplante de Paisagem, the artist reactivates a square in the city of São Paulo from the moment it transplants and cultivates typical species from the São Paulo cerrado in the public space. The process, by definition without end, has the collaboration of several agents and partners that came together around the cause. In addition to political activism, the work deals with the resistance of species that traditionally are devalued and understood as weeds to be exterminated. Caballero's work opposes the homogenization of the landscape and reopens a discussion about the relationship between the environment and the construction of urban views.
Another artist from Três Paisagem is Fernando Limberger, who also works as a professional landscape artist. His work in general reinvents landscapes from the denaturalization of the gaze. By using natural pigments and sand tones that we don't normally see on the ground, its practice makes explicit that what we call landscape has an intimate link with the project and with the painting. Of course, there is a complexity of other issues in the construction of landscapes, which involves species of botany, three-dimensional space, the displacement of materials and the variables of the environment.
The landscape that Limberger creates outside Casa do Parque reflects the Villa Lobos Park on the other side of the avenue. Both in the sense of mirroring and inversion of the image, as well as making us reflect on the characteristics of this space. The link between the house and the park is based on the collection and planting that the artist made of seeds of different species found there in front. It is a synthesis of the plant species that integrate the landscaping project of the large urban garden, but also of the invasive species, those that are born silently without anyone having cultivated them. The plants were sown by Limberger in a rectangular area of about 25 square meters. Over the time of the exhibition the seeds will sprout and develop. The landscape for Limberger is a constantly changing process. The configuration with organic forms that the work acquires is comparable to the sinuous forms of Burle Marx's gardens.
But the prepared sand is black and quite distant from the chromatic exuberance of Burle Marx's projects. If, on the one hand, the black earth indicates a fertile field because it contains organic decomposition residues, on the other hand, it contains dead elements. The initial darkness prevailing in the sowing opposes the stereotype of the tropical landscape. The installation features elements the color of charcoal, as if it were what was left of a forest after it was burned. The drawings with hens' feathers dyed black in transparent boxes are similar, but they have a negative reasoning. The color appears in the background, from the intervals and voids between the feathers. The different green tones of the papers contrast with the dark areas somewhat clouded by the threads of the feathers. If the drawings are autonomous and do not come from landscape projects, it is very close to floor plans used in projects.
Ana Paula Oliveira's work in Três Paisagem relates to the landscape less as a representation than from the presence of fragments of natural elements such as cicada shells or cocoons. In previous works the artist has used live animals such as fish and butterflies. But now, the presence of metallic animals, as if their bodies were preserved from the action of time, brings evidence of the interruption of life.
Everything is suspended, it is as if not even the decomposition process could take place. Something close to a state of exception. In a pyramid shape, with the apex pointing to one of the corners of the exhibition space, around 5,000 origins of cicadas sprout that multiply and spread strangely around the surroundings. The structure of the pyramid, made of sleepers, brings evidence of the passage of time. The pieces of hardwood, taken from old railway lines, are pieces of the landscape. Heavy, they defy gravity, but paradoxically to support light folds of cicadas. Traditionally the cicada is linked to singing, music and summer. However, Ana Paula Oliveira's are silent, silent and cold as metal.
The artist invents small landscapes, as if some animals were born naturally in intervals, grooves in wood or metal. It is as if the existing shapes give rise to these cocoons or metallic butterflies that accommodate or hang from contrasting materials. Some of its glass-covered boxes approach showcases of natural history museums that house rare species. They are compositions in copper tones with mysterious geometric shapes, different materials, alongside real or invented specimens of fauna. Ana Paula Oliveira's recent drawings mix lines and cocoons that resemble fossils. Her collages made from geology books, as well as other works by her, are the result of slow sedimentation processes.
The landscapes, both those that inhabit the artists of the present show and those produced by them, arise from the contact and modification of the surrounding environment. All three, whether directly intervening in the environment or starting from collected natural elements, invent landscapes and contribute to the expansion of our perception and awareness of the world. To gather works that go beyond different landscape conventions is to go beyond the established notion that it is what is before our eyes. Each of the three landscapes encompasses an open and indeterminate field of meanings that sometimes come together because of what they have in common - due to the observation of an interruption in life, the refusal of the most exuberant aspects in a period of darkness - and sometimes due to differences due to the singularities of each work. This diversity of landscapes is undoubtedly essential not only for balance, but for overcoming adversity and developing the environment in which we live.
About GAME OVER or The extinction of Brazil , by Tiago Santinho
"The horror, the horror ..." Commander Kurtz's words always return in political situations as disastrous as the one we are experiencing today. However, this horror in Conrad and Coppola refers more to the dark forces of nature, it is the one that runs through what we commonly associate with our ordinary fears. This "horror ..." that was so repeated and parodied, made them even doubt whether it was ever spoken by Marlon Brando or even if it was written by Joseph Conrad.
Svetlana Aleksiévitch in her "Voices of Chernobyl". He sews dozens of reports on the nuclear accident in Ukraine. The catastrophe in Chernobyl brings something even more frightening than the very evil scale of the accident: human irresponsibility. Svetlana who writes something between the journalistic and the fictional and weaves the ambiguity of technological danger between his control and his possible lack of control. In this case, we had the invisible horror added to a bureaucratic society that was also sneaky. A disaster like this or like the one in Fukushima loses a certain scary character and makes dramas more intimate and somewhat clean, as the danger is not visible, and moreover, it is a silent threat. It lurks embedded in the surfaces for an undetermined time.
Daniel Caballero addresses some of these catastrophes. But he chooses violence to represent these occurrences. His set of works is almost a cohesive monument, even if at first chaotic. Not technicalizing with scientific explanations, statistics or making up with historiographic filters. Not acting as a good part of contemporary artists and their descriptive exhibition, research strategies displayed in displays, archives and documentaries. Caballero leaves for a heavy and “no frills” exhibition: he himself suggests that despite the technique he does not see the works on display exactly as paintings, but as something more urgent, more direct, more poignant. Even flirting with what is derisory, but in the same way there is a lot of laughter or ridicule in sincerity.
What, after all, is the power of an artist's “poetic” stance in the face of a natural and political catastrophe? Even if that position harmonizes with common sense. After all, the commotion in the cases of the great tragedies is unanimous and, within possible interventions or even exercises to explain or recall a tragic occurrence saving it from oblivion, it can be even embarrassing to evidence the evidence of the tragedy taking it even more tragic. Extreme knowledge, play in the face ...
However, the re-presentation games that artists tend to play when they move towards the “sociological real” cause that, within their expressive limits, they often become redundant. Furthermore, the distancing from a discursive legitimation: the artist who deals with science, the artist who deals with politics, who deals with anthropology, etc. Often falling into the literal out of insecurity or desire for intelligibility.
There are formulas that have become common for the exhibition of artistic works that are intended as alerts, awareness or denouncing problems and social disasters. To say that there are formulas does not imply a negative or disdainful criticism since we have the salutary abandonment of the mythical originality "art for art" with forceps and also with regard to the delimitation of the theme and the performance in its transmission and understanding.
The effort then ceases to be in the form of displaying the artist's position (or simple presentation) regarding the problem exposed, but becomes the specificity of the research or denunciation itself proportional to how obscure, prohibited or eccentric this object is.
Caballero goes further and makes the representation of tragedies something with a force and poignancy that match the object. From more to more it also saturates, blemishes, pollutes. It uses the raw form for undisguised or supposedly intellectual representation when it takes the responsibility to be as tough as the subjects it deals with.
But thinking, for example, of Mariana's tragedy, or of the disappearance of Sete Quedas ... how to approach them without falling into a technicist circle that contradictorily justifies the unjustifiable and that only affirms them as the past, as if that past were buried within the history and that it couldn’t always emerge worse, always asking for its update even if it was necessary to return rudely distorted.
Mariana's tragedy, for example, ecological and coincidentally political, played with several meanings of public commotion: from the grief for the natural catastrophe and its implacable consequences to the discussions about the responsibility and would come with the consequent punishment of the private company involved and the government's carelessness. State regarding the monitoring and due safety inspections of the structures of these dams.
Nor is it necessary to remember that there was no substantial punishment for those responsible at the time of writing. For as usual, what was collective revolt was gradually cooled down, and "believe it or not" the disappearance of the media whine of that time (even though it was hidden, affirming yet another bullshit of the gods at the expense of the relevance of the political infractions involved). Well ... nothing new about the flood of evil ...
When talking about history, there is even a bizarre game, like this tragedy that, even if recent, is disappearing, because we do a kind of defense and appeasement of conscience, which is consummated, which is spent in the inexorable of the unsolved, without any problem.
Perhaps it was even necessary to make them emerge from their “pasts”, to unarchive them, to place them as well as delinquent representations, in a maximum of updating, even if it perverts its character of record or document. Note that the disappearance of Setes Quedas or the fire at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro has even in its distance in time the same fate of exemplary crimes committed by a careless bureaucracy. A crime of another temporality, a crime that seems without a crime.
To make them less bureaucratic ... to mix their potential for real disasters with imaginary ones.
Philosopher Anne Le Brun in the essay “The Sentiment of Catastrophe” writes about the change in the apprehension of “natural” tragedies by culture. From the sublime romantic and nature as a source of fear and fascination to the current technological paranoia and rationalizing protocols. Thus suggesting a weakening of the imaginary and consequently a kind of “poetic” weakening.
Naturalize, or even, neutralize our responsibility in the face of these events ... manipulating their weave: sometimes making them something of the impregnable of contingency, of "uncontrollable nature", sometimes creating seductive intricacies where so technically complex and inextricable that we would never reach a culprit, a cause or reason. Recalling that even the Flood had a political cause (a punishment against the sinful state of humanity).
The exhibition “Game Over or The extinction of Brazil” is an angry and risky experience where this risk is far from being solely intellectual, where even if referring to a relatively thematic scope, the senses are less tied to ideas than presence, the weight, the brutality of the works shown.
General fields, by Josué Mattos, June, 2018
We are a family owned and operated business.
The invisibility that hangs over the cerrado corresponds to the context in which general fields came to be adopted as a generic term, Daniel Caballero told me. Its use would have a direct relationship with the unrestrained extinction of the biome. In order to consider no less invisible the fine line that divides the generalities that gave rise to its name, from those that forcibly define it as areas of risk, undergrowth, wasteland or a place of abandonment of waste and debris. Mato is another term reserved for native vegetation and also reinforces its degradation. Reflected in dehumanization processes, its disappearance occurs while the implantation of hegemonic species has its proliferation and survival guaranteed. The inferior species remains to witness its own extinction, naturalized by aestheticizing ideals of progress. Thus, promoting actions capable of unveiling harmful strategies, which transform the native landscape into hostile spaces - in the society that most uses phytosanitary in the world and intends to dominate these areas - has become a priority agenda in interdisciplinary practices and debates that resist fertilizers interested in that only a few species survive.
The Campos Gerais exhibition brings together three artists who live in high-risk areas. Daniel Caballero lives in São Paulo, close to the Cerrado Infinito, which he created in his studio-nursery and extended it to a public square, in which he opened trails for thickets to be transplanted. In this breathtaking project, which includes botanical drawings of species that most certainly proliferated at the time of the Vila de São Paulo de Piratininga, meetings, records and engagements with direct implications in the writing of the city's history accumulate, understood, in the artist's words, as suburban gardening actions. As if what made us think was the idea that the place relegated to native vegetation mirrors the way in which the process of gentrification defines the margins of the landscape, expelling the undesirable to its edges. Therefore, by oxygenating projects such as Joseph Beuys' social sculptures and sharing his recent reframing, with the environmental sculptures proposed by Jorge Menna Barreto, in his Restauro project, Caballero moves and repositiones the place of the marginalized landscape of the São Paulo savannah. In this context, its gardens, trails and seed pumps act against the absolute extinction of what remains of the biome in the city. Reinforced by the infinite adjective, the artist's actions invite the general public to replicate the cerrado in domestic areas. It rectifies the indifference generated by the dominant society and designs alternatives for the proliferation of the biome, acting against the extractive texts, which deform it, making rivers disappear, while raising the usual frantic pace of life, so that the edge of the cliff is not perceived, even knowing that soon we will not be able to turn around.
"The woman inside each one does not want more silence", says Elza Soares in Deus É Mulher. It "will come out of whoever it is" or we will cease to be each one. Mata (2017), by Manuella Karmann, has wide meaning in this context. It is the forest woman and the forest female, seen above as synonymous with the landscape destined for extinction. As the third person of the singular of the verb kill, conjugated in the present indicative, it would be the figuration of who points the trigger of its own extinction. She is a mother, in Sanskrit, the language from which the artist's intense training process originates, who has lived in the village of Nathdwara, India, where she has been studying, since 2012, the tradition of Pichwaii painting, a practice that dates back to the 15th century. It is the woman "from within each one" imbued with lyricism and a strong field experience. Over his naked body, the foliage that divides the circular space, with insects, birds and reptiles, marks expeditions through the vast backyard of the artist's forest studio, located in the Serra da Mantiqueira. In an old open country, protected by his family since 1980, tens of thousands of plants were rooted, so that the dense vegetation that partially covers the woman, at the same time dress and voice, with leaves that spring from her mouth, provides another narrative central to Campos Gerais. It indicates how much the profusion of colors and shapes that characterize it is not inscribed in a context less tragic than that which Caballero finds in the almost extinct cerrado of São Paulo. Although the fascination with the idyllic scenery of the "top forests" prevails due to its expanded horizon, it does not escape the domain of gigantic pastures and disorderly occupations, which transform the mountain range into small islands, giving rise to true forest archipelagos, consisting of remaining areas that prevent the slopes fall. The strong roots of KalpaVriksha (2018) support a set of species of life on a tree that alters the scale of the curruíra in relation to moths, lentils and japu-black. It brings the teju lizard closer to beetles and bees, gathers seasonal foliage that camouflage the locust and the mantis. The blue skirt, the teque-teque and the sanhaço, the jackdaws and the yellow-headed woodpecker, the snake-liana and the false-coral, all fit in the tree, expanding Mata's poetry. Four girls are scattered through the tree that shows KalpaVriksha's hand. They are women "from within," Elza would say. The Sanskrit term that entitles the work is translated as a wish tree and comes from narratives of Purana literature. It seems to investigate the desire of the desire trees. As a pulsating and diverse body, it expands its roots and branches, in order to grow in other fields, like a rhizome created for unforeseen encounters and scales.
Pitomba, jatobá and tarumã are among the first species known to Miguel Penha, an indigenous artist residing in Chapada dos Guimarães. Another explorer artist develops his work in close contact with the cerrado of the Midwest and the Amazon rainforest, whose depth of the paintings accentuates the vastness of the figured area. Majestic guanandis, chestnut trees, copaiba, buriti and samaúma share space with sucupira piquizeiro, cumbaru, pau-terra, cane-do-brejo, quince marmalade. Fragments of vines and sculpted twisted trees, typical of the region, create lines of force to the composition of great naturalism, which the artist elaborates after living with each one, for decades, in his atelier-observatory, built by him in 1983, in the middle of the cerrado. At the time, he did not imagine producing the set of works that would make him an artist responsible for circulating decentralized and counter-hegemonic landscape paintings. He imagined even less to compose works of memory due to the accelerated devastation of the cerrado, largely taken up by soybean and cotton plantations. Nor did he foresee the abandonment of areas of permanent preservation, the precariousness of endemic plant species, or that springs present in his paintings would become highly damaged by improper handling, with pesticides threatening the watersheds. It did not occur to him to consider threats against the Guaraní Aquifer and the upsurge of land grabbing in the region. He only pursued the sacredness of the forest, revered in his painting with the strength of one who preserves hope in the supremacy of nature. As a guardian of sensitive expressions of indigenous culture, the artist proceeds contrary to the way Manuella gathers his collection of images, in the sense of proposing compositions based on species that he could observe in long walks, decades ago, as the artist they keep them in their forest laboratory in the process of recovery. As a result of the memorial experience, multiple temporalities permeate his work, which investigates the monumentality of the landscape, introjecting the viewer's gaze into the evanescent space of the canvas, loaded with images that are partially erased from the place where Penha found them. While observing himself collecting images and preserving experiences in the forest and in the cerrado, the artist walks into the past, which he condenses in his work with the luminosity produced with the least use of white paint, transformed into tonal gradation through his reduced palette of Colors. Contrasted with the spiritual charge of the magenta color, present in veins and roots with little light, Penha encodes his painting, embedded in complex compositions, in which the indigenous landscape, truths and spirit disconcert the naturalist painting procedure, marked by strong expressiveness that turns it into fragments of memory. Whether in observatories, actions that promote the resurgence of native landscapes in public gardens, or in expeditions and reforestation, each artist in his own way corrupts the idea of general fields, introducing in his work the emblematic formula of Paulo Freire, for whom readings of world precede that of words.
And now São José ?, by José Bento Ferreira
Daniel Caballero is convinced that the Cerrado is the biome that originated in the São Paulo plateau and that it was disfigured by colonization and industrialism. The refuge theory, adopted in Brazil by geographer Aziz Ab'Saber and biologist and composer Paulo Vanzolini, just ignites the artist's enthusiasm. According to the controversial theory, the cerrado dominated until the last glaciation, thousands of years ago. After the warming, the forest areas were extended from certain redoubts, or refuges, leaving behind them the remnants of the archaic savannah.
Because of these enclaves, it is possible that certain regions of São Paulo inhabited by indigenous peoples and occupied by colonizers had the aspect of savannas, which would explain names of places such as the “Campos” of Piratininga, Santo André da Borda do “Campo” and São José “Campos”. This ancient landscape, which Brazilians know as typical of the northeast and central-west regions, would have declined in São Paulo because of the introduction of exotic species throughout the colonial period. Species of ornamental trees and grasses for pastures changed the landscape of São Paulo, which accelerated with the expansion of agribusiness, the installation of industries, the construction of roads and the growth of urban centers.
However, like the natural biomes, the anthropocene landscape has discontinuities, refuges where certain typical species of the cerrado survived. When exploring these redoubts, Daniel Caballero created the Cerrado infinito, an art and activism project whose developments reach SESC São José dos Campos. According to anthropologist Marc Augé, we can call “non-places” the spaces resulting from urban development, generally focused on mobility, such as roads, stations, terminals. In the trail of non-places, empty spaces, empty spaces, vacant lots are formed. In them Daniel Caballero found survivors of the archaic biome.
When reconstituting a cerrado in São Paulo, Daniel Caballero does not intend to reverse progress, but to reveal its predatory action by evoking the image of the lost world. The fire with which this vegetation is naturally accustomed is an ambiguous emblem present in the videos, drifts and drawings of the artist: it refers both to the destruction of the landscape due to unrestrained progress and to its resurgence through art work.
Our place is the path, by Bernardo Mosqueira February 2017
(to my love)
Geography is the area of knowledge that studies the landscape formed by the relationship between the systems of human social actions or practices and the system of dispersion of objects in the world. Far beyond a set of morphological characteristics, geography must be understood as the constant activity of creating logical chain over the spatial order of things. It is through geographic research (in the relationship between space, meaning and value, for example) that we can produce concepts for a social theory about contemporaneity in order to build, also, the very transformation of the world we inhabit.
Everything that the human accomplishes on the surface of the earth, that is, every expression of the technique that physically transforms the landscape from the landscape itself, happens to meet the most fundamental human needs, such as nourishing, sheltering, relating , reproduce, move around, have useful objects with you, make sense of yourself and things etc. What can we find when we carefully examine the space that the human has built to surround it? How is what surrounds us to teach us about ourselves? The complex landscape in which we live is the result of many layers of history about the same place, of sequences of different relationships between human activity and the physical structure of the world. Geography listens to the questions asked by the landscape, composed of its many enigmatic marks.
From a cultural perspective, the landscape is precisely where mediation between the world of things and that of human subjectivity takes place, it is a “way of seeing”, it is the object of the active process of creation and meaning of “perceiving” the world.
This exhibition brings together very different fruits of the encounters between the whispers of Santos' landscapes and the research of a group of artists. “Geographies - our place is a path”, is the second show of a trilogy started at Sesc Jundiaí in 2016 and which will end in São Paulo in 2018. The word “Geography” (which, above all, is a modern, constituted and constituent science hegemonic epistemology), in its presence in the titles of the exhibitions, serves as a metaphor for the site-specificity of the researches carried out.
This project results from the collective articulation between seven artists who are current members or former participants in the study group of Ateliê Fidalga, led by artists Sandra Cinto and Albano Afonso in the capital of São Paulo. The subtitle of the exhibition refers to the fact that, between the months of December 2016 and February 2017, the artists organized, in partnership with SESC and with the participation of the public, a series of walks through different regions of the city, in which could practice alternative (non-scientific, non-hegemonic) ways of creating landscapes, of examining urban space.
Walking is a special process of recognizing territories and building knowledge about a place. In ambulatory drift, we do not see the world with the distance of someone who observes a map as if flying over the city with universal eyes. Walking on the ground floor, we can see the marks of time and history, we do not circumvent the signs of social inequality and the exploitation of man by man, we carry our culture within us, we feel the smells of corners, we are equally with objects, animals and plants, we are smaller than walls, bigger than almost nothing.
It was through walking in Santos that the artists Cristina Ataide, Daniel Caballero, Flavia Mielnik, Helen Faganello, Laura Gorski, Renata Cruz and Renato Leal investigated this city whose development is intertwined with the History of Brazil, with a flow of social and cultural formation complex and full of folds, which is island and continental, directly linked to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and to the top of Serra do Mar, which contains the largest port in Latin America and a huge Environmental Protection Area. The different aspects of Santos' geography echoed vacant in each of the artists so that this exhibition offers landscapes that are sewn fragments of landscape to the public. This exhibition, a meeting of simultaneous and alternative views of the same place, inspires us to the notion that there are many ways to perceive, learn and become involved in the same environment. After all, what will we answer to landscapes when we start to allow ourselves to hear the questions that are asked?
Preface Field Guide to the Piratininga Fields ... by Bruno Mendonça 2016
Since the beginning of his artistic production, still in a phase more focused on the language of drawing, and still very close to the graphic arts and comics, which is visible aesthetically in several works such as “No Beginço era Verbo”, or “Carbona ”, Just to name a few examples, we can already identify the interest of the artist Daniel Caballero in the complex relationship between man and space.
Subsequent to this phase, after a period of deepening in his training and research, the artist starts to spatialize the drawing in installation works in which he begins to use materials such as garbage and rubble, problematizing issues related to the city, in works such as “ Beginning of the End of the World ”presented at the Rome Film Festival in 2007, as well as the individual exhibition“ Good Manners: Educated Geophages don't believe in Imaginary Lines ”, held at Casa do Olhar in 2009, and“ Walking, drawing, imaginary lines that fill the space with useless paths ”, at the Paço Municipal de Santo André, in the same year.
These installations and interventions from this period also reveal a new procedure operated by the artist, the site-specifics, which arise from Caballero's more analytical relationship with space and landscape. This is more evident in the project “Não Pise na Grama ou Arcádia” (2011), carried out in the context of the collective exhibition “Aluga-se”, in which several artists occupied a house in the Pinheiros neighborhood that was having problems with location a in order to problematize the beginning of the wave of real estate speculation in the city of São Paulo.
We could say that it is at this moment of the unfolding of the artist's research, more specifically in 2012, during the exhibition “Picturesque journey through the space of my home” held in the Exhibition Program of Paço das Artes, that Daniel Caballero begins to present questions that will takes him to the conception of the “Cerrado Infinito” project, as it is at this point in his research based on the study of vacant lots, that the artist begins a constant contact with the “cerrado paulista” that practically disappeared after years of deforestation of this vegetation with the developmental movement in the city of São Paulo. Apparently a large part of the city would have been this savannah one day, a landscape different from the dense tropical forest present in Serra do Mar, and formed of low shrub fields that were highly conducive to urbanization.
This developmentalist process is connected with an anthropocentric Western bias and which has intensified in the modern era from an industrial and mechanical logic with capital development, generating an almost delusional struggle between man and his environment. The “Cerrado Infinito” project then opens in Caballero's production the articulation of a more complex repertoire based on this reflection on this man's position in relation to space and landscape, based on this kind of Cerrado “metaphor”, tracing relationships with the gift.
Caballero then starts in this context, the activation of the Praça da Nascente space in the West Zone of São Paulo, as a kind of laboratory and breeding zone, carrying out in this environment a series of practices such as trails, walks and planting actions with vegetation species. from the Cerrado of São Paulo, which still exist, as well as drawings, photographs and videos, unfolding the research for a great work in process. The artist had already presented part of this in installations, such as in the exhibitions “Expedição Botânica entre Avenidas Paulistanas” and “Land Art, or, Where can we build Mountains?”. But now his work takes on a more hermetic and conceptual tone and also starts to put himself in a fine line between art and activism. The Praça da Nascente space then becomes a kind of zone of resistance and survival that opens up possibilities for reflection on space and landscape in contemporary times, whether in a macro or micropolitical scope.
With the project “Cerrado Infinito” the artist starts to relate more effectively with a network of contemporary artists who have maintained procedures linked to artists of the second avant-garde of the early 1960s and 1970s. These contemporary artists have, in a certain way, given continuity to these practices and languages, but in many cases updating them. These artistic practices that deal with the binomials art-geography or art-nature in the contemporary context. These practices have been actively investigated in the last decades by researchers in the field of arts from transdisciplinary approaches, as is the case in Brazil of researcher Renata Marquez.
From these questions when analyzing the artist's work, I rescued a paradigmatic film for me, “Fitzcarraldo” by director Werner Herzog. In the film, the character Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald or “Fitzcarraldo”, as he was called by the natives of the Iquitos region, in the Upper Amazon, dreams of building an opera in this region. Previously, Fitzcarraldo had already invested in a railroad, the Transandina, and had failed. To try to raise funds with a new venture, he thinks of creating an ice factory in the tropics. Thanks to these improbable deals, he was called the "Conqueror of the Useless".
Finally, in a certain part of the itinerary, Fitzcarraldo raises money and buys a large river boat, trying to find a new route to transport rubber, from land that he obtained government authorization to explore. With the ship, Fitzgerald goes to the place where he wants to explore the rubber. Hallucinated, he crosses hills and woods with the boat, at the cost of human lives and much suffering.
These drives between dystopia, atopy and utopia present in Herzog's film reveal this bourgeois relationship, between western man and space and landscape, present in the processes of exploration and colonization of a not-so-distant past. The philosopher Anne Cauquelin in her well-known book “The Invention of the Landscape”, brings some interesting considerations in this sense; it points to a controlling posture of modern man in relation to his surroundings, as a way of building a social reality and a discourse that will work from the logics of power. For Cauquelin, it is in the Modern Age that this construction begins, which is passed through symbolic filters and ancient inheritances, that is, for her we only see what has already been seen and we see it as it should be seen. This standardization, hegemonization and homogenization became irreversible and crystallized forms in the functioning of the whole society, but which have been rethought by several agents since the first half of the 20th century and even more intensely from the second half of the century to the present.
The “Cerrado Infinito” project is thus a reflection and symptom of this moment in which a reconfiguration of these structures is sought, as well as the creation of “other landscapes”.
Afterword Field Guide of the Piratininga Fields ... by Jailton Moreira 2016
“As for the Cerrado Infinito project, I think of it as an act of utopian resistance. Every utopia is stupid, has a blind side. However, it is impossible to do a potent work in art without a utopia. This means that it is no longer smart to be able to place the lights of understanding on all possible areas of an idea. On the contrary, he is the one who manages to surround and make his shadow and imprecision zones latent. It is infinite because it will never end, after all no scenario dies entirely. It is infinite because the artistic work has something of Sisyphus - a type of obligation that, when it appears and imposes itself, is unavoidable. It is infinite in scale - it has inaccurate edges. It is infinite because the project will never be completed even if unfinished or abandoned, it will continue to reverberate. It is infinite because it is a process. ”
About Toxic Tropic by Vanessa Badagliacca 2015
Since the great navigations in the Age of Discovery, especially in Europe, the tropics have been associated with the unknown, with the same idea of travel and exploration to an uncontaminated nature, other civilizations, which for the sole fact of being different, would legitimize the fact that molded in the same image and similarity to those who "would have discovered them". In the 21st century, this original exotic aspect for Daniel Caballero, who grew up in São Paulo, does not connote the Tropic of Capricorn, which crosses the same Brazilian state. The word itself suggests a kind of linguistic path in which the initial "e" falls, in fact the tropics are no longer exotic, being neither far away nor in an indeterminate exterior. It is a land of asphalt and concrete trod by day, and the remaining six letters were not fixed over time, but moved by the inversion of the first part and leaving only the suffix of the adjective to form another adjective: "toxic".
The set of works from the Tóxico Trópico exhibition, however, presents a scenario of encounters and confrontations, construction and destruction, formed by the artist's personal experience in the territory. Furthermore, looking at the works of Daniel Caballero, it is sometimes possible to find him portrayed by himself as a botanist, looking at the various specimens in order to give them a name and an aspect, or much better seeming to question whether a presumed d (en) omination continues to matter. Likewise, that expeditions carried out from the 15th century onwards to the so-called “new world”, he holds pencils and paper on research missions in what constitutes his daily urban network: the city of São Paulo. In one of his works it is possible to read: "As I walk, I discover a daily life of wonders", from the 2014 Expedição Botânica series.
Thus, he becomes a sidewalk botanist, one of the main characteristics by which Charles Baudelaire described the flanêur. In this figure, the French poet identified the artist who travels the city, who for his outstanding vision, is fundamental in his role of trying to understand and represent the dynamic flow through which the city of modern and industrialized life moves. In the act of walking as an aesthetic and critical practice - as Francesco Careri would say - Daniel Caballero observes and sometimes leaves traces of his passage with ephemeral interventions in the streets, which can be noticed or not. In the same way, it happens with the uncontrolled growth of vegetation, which in the midst of abandonment and indifference, seeks spaces for existence and resistance in the middle of the construction made by humans.
This type of landscape called by Gilles Clément the “third landscape” in his Manifesto du Tiers Paysage, (Manifesto of the third landscape) recalling the Tiers-État (third state) composed of peasants, workers and bourgeois during the French Revolution and referring to to the pamphlet of the cleric Seyès where it was claimed: "What is the Third State? Everything. What has it been in the political order so far? Nothing. What does that ask for? To become something." submission to it, offering shelter for biodiversity, the third landscape appears as the privileged subject of Daniel Caballero's work, who is aware that more and more in the city there is no place for this uncontrolled growth and - we can add, quoting Saskia Sassen - "Public spaces are actually better described as public than public access".
In these itinerant botanical actions, the artist seems to subvert hierarchies, orders, genealogies. He shows us a plant that grows in and out of a pot; trees that live in the middle of buildings and cars emerging from the vegetation; trees that follow an intricate succession of cables carrying electricity from one place to another, becoming figuratively challenged electric trees, to walk with other shoes, such as the 15 Trees, from the series, “Try walking in my shoes”, of 2015, which echoes a verse from Depeche Mode, depicting 15 trees drawn in flags generally used to write slogans in public demonstrations.
Finally, in the triptych that gives the exhibition its name, the osmosis between nature and culture is complete (Tóxico Trópico # 1 | # 2 | # 3, 2015). The words of the artists, who in many works are an integral part of the whole image, leave space here for Portuguese translations of two French novels, chosen for being masterpieces of western heritage (Eugenie Grandet, 1833 by Honoré de Balzac, and Os three musketeers , 1844 by Alexandre Dumas). Apparently coexisting, nature and culture presented in this type of rough desert, appear as antagonistic forces, where after all the dominant force of nature phagocytes the pillars of humanity, in a physical and metaphorical sense. Through violence and, conversely, the sublime in this triptych as in other of the works presented, a reminder of the Charter on the aesthetic education of man (1794), by Friedrich Schiller, occurs:
However, as long as the rude nature, which knows no other law than to run tirelessly from change to change, will still retain too much strength, opposing this need for its different whims; for his agitation at this permanence; for its multiple needs for this independence, and for its insatiability for this sublime simplicity. It will also be worrying to recognize the instinct to play on your first attempts, seeing that the sensual impulse, with its capricious humor and its violent appetites. It is in this story that we see the taste, still coarse, of grabbing what is new and surprising, disorder, the adventurous and the strange, the violent and the wild, and flying out of nowhere as much as out of nowhere, both calm and simplicity. (Excerpt from letter XXVII)
In 'Everything I see is mine' (2014) calms down and the simplicity of violence and wild disorder also characterize the landscape filmed and crossed by a vision in motion. In a kind of apocalyptic and bloody process, in black and white, with red tones, it seems that the conquest of what we all see (a landscape of vegetation in the background) goes through an inevitable appropriation that implies its destruction, building upon it. But the more the construction made by all of us grows, the more we lose the power to see and move. As the last sentence of this video points out: "We can only walk when our hands are free".
Careri, Francesco, Walkscapes. Walk And Practice Aesthetics. Walking as an Aesthetic Practice, Barcelona, Editorial Gustavo Gili, SA, 2002.
Clément, Gilles, Manifeste du Tiers paysage, Paris, Éditions Sujet / Objet, 2004.
Sassen, Saskia, “Public Interventions: The Shifting Meaning on the Urban Condition”, Open, n.11, 2006, republished in Jorinde Seijdel and Liesbeth Melis (edited by), Open! Art & Culture and the Public Domain 2004-2012, Amsterdam: NAi Publishers icw SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain, 2012.
Schiller, Friedrich, Letters Upon the Aesthetic Education of Man (1794), Blackmask Online, 2002.
About Everything I see is mine! by Andrés Hernández 2015
Have you ever climbed a mountainside? Which side of the mountain? Are you sure? How do you decide which side is ideal?
These are, among others, the questions raised by Daniel Caballero in the exhibition Everything I see is mine, at the headquarters of the Ribeirão Preto Art Museum (MARP), shows that it has precedents Picturesque travel in the space around my house, installation in Paço das Artes, in 2012, and the exhibition Terra non decoperta, at Galeria Virgilio, running until June 4, 2015, both in São Paulo.
The artist classifies the mountains into three types:
That of the cerrado, built with plants from the cerrado. On display at Galeria Virgilio;
The invasive species such as African grass, transgenic corn and plants abandoned by floriculture, which invade the space of what was originally. Plants collected on the street and in public spaces in the city of Ribeirão Preto, in the exhibition Everything I see is mine, here at MARP from May 29;
And the tropical environment: orchids and plants originating in India that manifest exoticism in everyday life. Still as a project to be executed.
The mountains of the three types are structured like archaeological puzzles, imagining to reconstruct the biome whose plastic origin begins with the systematic collection that the artist makes of seeds, plant seedlings and pieces of branches that he then plants in his garden or on the premises. Thus, Caballero idealizes the construction of the mountains not as a faithful reconstruction, but an imaginary one, because in the constructed mountains the artist puts us in the situation of deciding which side we will climb in person and individually and / or through socio-political references and questions based on aesthetic representations .
A parallel can be drawn with the visionary project of the French architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879), one of the first theorists of the preservation of historical heritage and considered a theoretical precursor to modern architecture. To restore Mont Blanc to its original grandeur, he designed a mountain out of a mountain, and the most extraordinary thing: he thought of transforming the mountain's summit into a work of art. A utopian nostalgia for a bright future. A fantasy that combines science and dreams, romantic delusions originated from talent and knowledge. Caballero also suggests building an ideal mountain between Virgilio and the APRM, but it would be directed, above all, to reflection based on plastic reasoning. In this metaphorical conception, the artist also alerts us to the expansion of the cruel treatment given to nature, including the fragility of the mountains in the face of their own immobility and the destructive mobility that man gives them when they constitute a frontier for the expansion of modernity. Caballero also explores the relationship between architecture and the landscape designed to interfere, redefine and modify the places previously regulated by architectural actions, in addition to those marked by a punctual, critical and ephemeral character associated with coping with the political, social, institutional and media order . The relationship between the mountains and each other and those who see them is narrated.
If Viollet-le-Duc considered Mont Blanc a ruin from which it was possible to recover its shape, as in the restoration of a monument, Caballero shapes his mountain from ruins, as well as the ideas of preservation and restoration of monuments in process: the results of the action of time and man on nature.
This mobility, suggested and imagined for an approximate 300 km distance (between São Paulo and Ribeirão), establishes, at the same time, an immeasurable limit where the subjectivity of the human being is inserted from the elements that each side of the mountain can delimit. How much internal movement is there? What kind (s) of movement (s) take place between the mountains? What would this intermediate landscape be? The beginning of the slope on each side (São Paulo and Ribeirão)? The side over there can be at the same time here, and vice versa: a general movement. The artist thus provokes a sensorial situation of spatial and temporal recognition in the immediate thought of the viewer. Build an imaginary monument to nature made by individual vision and experience. Each individual imagines space and nature without ever seeing or predicting the end! But this is impossible. It is a monument on a human scale.
In this imagined space between mountains, there is a discussion about the evaluation of ways to understand the legacy of the Indians, respect for their ancestral culture, without that “Let's save them!”. Save them from ourselves, huh? A warning to the fact, for example, that the materials that the Indians traditionally use are already scarce or do not exist in the reserves: thatch, which is used in the construction of roofs, is extinct, has to be brought from other places. The demarcated reserves have become almost human zoos.
Caballero also denounces the invisible war to which man induces nature, for example, the grass that burns and resurrects quickly and overlaps the place of native plants, in a silent war. The transformation of the landscape into another landscape. And he asks: how will we reconstitute forest reserves?
In the exhibition, in addition to the flow of particular subjective relationships that he suggests, the artist provides us with information that helps to reinforce the sensations, and connects us with possible visual events between the mountains through video and land samples. It is a connection with distant stories and the unknown.
The video Everything I see is mine, 8 ', which gives the exhibition its title, was produced from the artist's journey through the Chapada dos Veadeiros, in Goiás, and suggests that this intermediate mobility be imagined. The land cut with the background landscape, the brightness of the sky and the contrasts of the red or red-black-and-white everything make a combination of the original landscape in the background with the real, the result of the hand of man, in a foreground that generates a mutant chromatic cartography. It is an aesthetic self-contrast that is accentuated with the phrases inserted by the artist, intensifying these contradictory relationships. For example, "My footprints write the land". These are paths that are being segmented, where what remains are ecological corridors. Ratio of scale and time. We don't understand space and how it changes. The thesis and the antithesis. If, for the colonizers, the constant coexistence with the marvelous in a way enabled the Portuguese eye to face without surprise the possibility of Paradise on Earth, Caballero presents us here with a contemporary aesthetic and critical manifestation of valuing nature according to the perception of a social reality through culture and those who decide their luck. This manifesto is organized according to the logic of a cultural situation, an expanded field governed by the condition of man in his time.
The allegorical elements used by Caballero challenge all possible allusions to representative references and, therefore, their significant nature. Thus, the artist makes art continue to function as a language. From the cuts in the land and nature and the route shown in the video, the cataloged samples of land, entitled Terra Firme, which have the precedent of How to choose a good stone? Sprout, a serial cataloging of stones - for example, P.01. In the exhibition, Caballero presents the land samples in Lots. Cataloged, each lot contains land from a different place. Examples: L01503, L41847. Lots that singularize the plurality of possibilities in these perceptual and controversial displacements.
The proposal intends to provoke sensations from a spatial, timeless and imagined movement, an invented reality. The space represented from the lived space associated with the daily activities of man, bringing together features that give new physiognomic characteristics to a place. Caballero formats a cartography of plans in the articulation between the representation in the exhibition space and the critical reading of the visually described space. An imaginary geography to be decorated as one of the first maps of Brazil, published in 1556: the Atlas delle navigazione e viaggi, by Giovanni Battista Ramusio, which describes the journey of the French pilot Jean Parmentier to the Brazilian coast. The Atlas may contain the first map of Brazil shown individually, albeit inaccurately. Terra non decoperta was represented by mountains, with the fanciful indication of the Amazon and Prata rivers rising from an active volcano, in the middle of the Amazon jungle.
The impossibility of dimensioning the size of the mountain (which has initial dimensions 200 x 350 x 250 cm, variable because the plants will grow), because of the transformations that the microsystem will generate during the exhibition period, expresses the artist's interest in transgressing the use exhibition spaces. It is a need for revolt as a constitutive principle of art, the same principle that determined the emergence of a type of art away from the addicted commercial circuit, proposing to access the public domain through the establishment of an a-directional connection between the city, the public and the exhibition space. The video and soil samples are inserted here.
In addition to the physical dimensions of the project, it is important to highlight that it is a plastic manifesto related to the registration of an ephemeral process in material and subjective transformation as a means to disseminate a contemporary sensitivity in relation to nature.
The artist proposes the renewal and improvement of perception, structuring possible spaces to mobilize and develop thinking by encouraging the viewer to get involved in the creative act, in a media flow of daily references transformed into a work of art - thus accentuating the difference in the way we react aesthetically to the innovative proposal. In my opinion, it is proposed to dilute a single point of view in a structure open to collaboration (artist / spectator = spectator), in an unlimited field of interpretations, alternatives and interventions.
Thus, Caballero's proposal for the MARP expresses his commitment to the renewal and discussion of art in the present time and places his production in concomitance with the position of Piero Manzoni (1933-1966): “[...] With the emergence of new conditions, the proposition of new problems, includes, with the need for new solutions, also new methods and new measures; you can't run or jump off the ground; wings are needed; changes are not enough; the transformation must be integral ”.
About Terra non decoperta by Douglas de Freitas, 2015
It is natural that the landscape changes over time. This process is not exclusively the result of the action of man, since the world is a world, chemical processes, and the survival of species, result in changing the landscape. It was only in the last few centuries that man's action has actually had an impact on the landscape, and the notion of the scale of that impact has only come in the last few decades, with the advancement of technology, and the possibility of observing the earth from another scale. , air, flights and satellites.
In recent years, Daniel Caballero returned his research to the extinct Campos de Piratininga, a type of vegetation characteristic of the Cerrado Paulista, which had an intense presence in the city of São Paulo. His interest came from previous works, where the artist recorded the coexistence between nature and human action, or nature and human construction. From this process arose the interest in knowing which species were those, which are embedded in the concrete and resist.
That is how the exhibition “Terra non descoperta” was born, a title borrowed from the first map that shows Brazil individually that has news, made by Giovanni Ramusio and published in 1556 in Venice, where an imprecise territory is portrayed next to sea monsters, and the river Amazon born from an active volcano. As in the map, verified reality and poetic construction are mixed in the artist's works. At the entrance to the exhibition, the artist builds the base of a sectioned mountain. The vegetation that constitutes it are characteristic specimens of the Cerrado Paulistano, mostly collected by the artist in urban spaces, thus reconstructing a fictional image of what would be the pristine landscape of the city of São Paulo.
The work is fully realized on May 29, with the construction of the other end in section of this monumental invisible mountain inside the Museum of Art of Ribeirão Preto. There the mountain arrives with specimens harvested from the region, as if traveling the monumental distance of more than 300 km, the mountain also traveled in time, leaving a state untouched 500 years ago to arrive in Ribeirão Preto as the contemporary landscape.
In the series of drawings and large-format paintings present in the exhibition, the precise records of the action of nature's resistance to the contemporary city give way to the construction of dense landscapes, built on other landscapes, among details of plants, architectural plans and the artist's writings. In these works, various techniques and strategies are traced and overlaid, in a build and erase and then build again, as in city landscapes. While they are chaotic, these works still bring something of a meditative state of contemplation, as in the paintings by Alberto da Veiga Guignard, or in the oriental paintings that Guignard so revered. Together with the paintings they appear a series of drawings, photos and videos, which are articulated to account for the artist's actions on this landscape that he investigates. Here the record appears again in the work, and reappears in different ways, with freedom of expression, to the realistic rigor of the engravings and maps that record expeditions of discovery and exploration, or even as a study of botany of species found in the city, all put study of the making of drawing, presented as insignia of the artist's findings, and a showcase of his technical skill.
If in “Picturesque journey through the space around my house” Daniel Caballero proposes a record of overlaps between city and nature within the scale of his daily life, “Terra non descoperta” has another scale. The scale continues that of the body, the body of the artist, that of our body, but it is not simply a poetic record of everyday life. Here what comes out of the face-to-face scale is imaginative, is fiction built by the artist, and unfolds in another scale of time and space. Everything here is a landscape reconstructed within the romantic ideal of landscape, it is nature trying to overcome the concrete, infiltrating and retaking its place, in an exercise of letting itself be erased, and then building again.
1 Exhibition held in 2012 at Paço das Artes - SP, as part of the Project Season
"Under design and suspicion, drawing enters the landscape and is sedentary on the facades of 888, Rua D.JoãoIV ..." by Maria de Fátima Lambert, December 2014
This landscape is dynamic. I am concerned with the nature of the soil, which is why I impose a certain unity of flora and fauna, a mineral connection, the meteorological articulations. But the landscape moves inside and out, moves from day to night, goes from season to season, breathes and is vulnerable. The very end of the landscape threatens it. Because of the threat and vulnerability, it is alive. And it is also an imaginary thing, because a landscape springs from the same myth of landscape. What establishes his existence is situated in the conditions of desire: the movement between birth and death. The tension created by the destructive threat strengthens his vitality. The Tree of Flesh.
Herberto Hélder, “(script)” [“(script)”]
1 - Under design and suspicion of the landscape
… In the path of Bernardo Soares, I could say that I don't believe in the landscape. Lie. Also, the landscape is a lie invented to fill gaps, intervals of existence. If so, the breath could emanate and be a fragment of trees, rivers, clouds or cliffs; also, to be molded in plots of collapsed walls, facades needing to be caressed, cliffs and ravines in imbalance.
Philosophy of landscape and iconography of utopia are terms that emerge from the painting project of the 2 façades of Rua d. João IV, that are detached in the drawing conceived by Daniel Caballero, that are evident in the contemplation of the passerby willing to see. Never as much as aesthetics is now considered as a broad field for thinking, feeling and knowing, assuming divergences and consonances. Likewise, the aesthetics of the landscape is necessarily plural because the concept "branches out", bringing together knowledge that comes from different disciplines.
In Western thought, the history of the theme and genre of the landscape is approached under multiple aspects, methodologies and requiring scientific, cultural, artistic contexts. Therefore, several disciplines contribute to the greater rigor, systematization and expansion of reflections, arguments and interpretations about / d [a] landscape.
The landscape as an invention is sometimes assimilated or confused with nature, and wrongly contrasted with the concepts, for example, of the city, of the urban…
Precisely in this light, the intention, mission and completion of the work that Daniel Caballero undertook and develops must be considered.
The landscape, in painting and photography, as well as in video or cinema, is figured and populated by vegetal beings, animals - real and hybrid - that are repeated or disappear. The landscape is effectively a human decision, susceptible to being recreated, reborn whenever the world wants to replicate it. In reality, the reason for replicating is a constitutive act, generating singularity, never repetition in the constricting sense of the term.
The landscape can never be the same, nor "similar" as closing and copying, since neither chronological nor meteorological time is repeatable. What you see is never the same, what also happens to people who change themselves, in imperceptible but certain and irrevocable ways.
The landscape was not exhausted in conventional formats, in stereotyped modalities or in recurrences.
The landscape is reactivated, in and of itself, through irreversible updates that gain territory in the work of artists, whose relevance is unmistakable. These considerations apply to the thematic argument about the elements listed in the landscape, for example, the sea, the mountain, the heath (or architecture, the urban layout ...) as a landscape and, above all, as the elements in their quality as substance, idea and intentionality.
1- Daniel Caballero + Students of the Degree in Visual Arts and Artistic Technologies of the Escola Superior de Educação, in the Celebrations of the 30 years of the Polytechnic of Porto
2 - In Photomaton & Vox, Lisbon, Assírio & Alvim, 1995, p.140
2 - Under design and suspicion of design *
Design, nowadays and in the present, assumed an autonomy, similar to what happened with scientific disciplines, as was the case, of aesthetics in relation to philosophy. The drawing is no longer considered an intermediate or preparatory phase to achieve a finalizing artistic expression. The artists, throughout the 20th century, “discovered” drawing, very in particular - and in the emancipatory perspective, after the 50s. Until today, such positioning and conviction have been consolidated through something as simple as the decision assured, based on the intentionality that drives it. It doesn't matter so much what the drawing is (what is recognized in it, what it represents) but how it is. The “how” of the drawn is relevant, rather than the “what is” drawn. It is verified the logic, coherence, epistemological plan that are implicit, determining its own essence as a design to affirm today (after the so-called contemporary design). It involves lucid choices and deliberations on the part of the artists (as I noted earlier).
The physical approach to drawing, to better observe it, leads to an intimacy that is not only that of the person who made it. The dimensions and techniques, as well as their iconographic (and semantic) content, determine the placement, the posture, everything that a body requires to look in detail and detail or in distance and perspective. The drawing thus implies an action on the part of the spectator, making him the protagonist of an act of singularized knowledge. The drawing constructs, so to speak, different identities before the same graphic proposal. In other words, the drawing rules the constitution of a line of movement of the spectator's body, its captivation and sequentiality in the act of seeing. [«J'ai découvert that dessiner n'était pas seulement / regarder, plus also toucher. »Jan Fabre] In this sense," seeing "a drawing will effectively be" drawing ", by the movement of the body (of the spectator), a unique act of visual perception.
The attitude of each person directs / guides the appropriation of the design as skin, content or appearance, among other supposed “modalities”, requiring the concealment and / or unveiling of something or someone, depending on the cases: “The paper becomes what we see through the lines, and yet remains itself. ”
Drawing will therefore configure ways of looking, apprehending, interpreting and, on the other hand, as mentioned above, of being and positioning itself, thus promoting differentiation. Not only is it necessary to read the senses, meanings implicit in the development and registration of the drawing - in morphological terms - it will be necessary to (re) know the language of the drawing itself. For drawing, as a substance, may undergo transmutations, adding an almost organicity of elements (versus cosmogony): "The paper lends itself between the lines to becoming tree, stone, grass, water, cloud."
The remote history of drawing does not invalidate, but rather vivifies (reiterates) its pregnancy in the art of today, metaphorically visible in the famous edition Vitamina D… It is necessary to know how to overcome the restrictive circumstances, the stereotypes implicit in artistic teaching models, subverting them and anticipating them.
Then, " ... I could say the practice of drawing as the beginning and end of the work."
* This paragraph corresponds to an adaptation of my text published in 500 years of Drawing in the FBAUP Collection, Porto, MNSR / FBAUP, 2012.
Margaret Davidson, Contemporary Drawing - key concepts an techniques, NY, Watson-Guptill, 2011.
3 - Under the design and suspicion of Toxic Tropics, drawings by Daniel Caballero
I summoned the landscape and the design, anticipating what is a magnificent “aesthetic joint venture” in Daniel Caballero's work. Certainly, both the landscape and the design are inhabited, residing in them otherness and unique subjects. In this case - the design of the facades - the landscape entered the design that emerges from it to occupy its place on the facades of houses erected as an urban landscape. Landscape and design led a celebration that lasted a week and will take as long as it persists.
Daniel Caballero's work coincides in a persistence that defies the destructive dominants of time, nullifying the predictions that habits and routines install, subverting their destiny. His designs take on different proportions and fulfill multiple objectives. They can remain framed or go through glass and make walls and walls more opaque. They change the appearance of streets, houses, hospitals, metro stations and other non-places that exist and provoke you as a designer and citizen.
… Only in rare cases do self-representations arise. When they see each other, they take on a proportion of flanners which is one of the raw materials for their production and thought. However, his drawn painting develops, starting from the conviction of the human person in the city. This is the core of his aesthetic thinking: molding through drawing everything that shows how much the city is deconstructed, for the human to collapse unconditionally. The human figure determines the denunciation that underlies the landscape, due to its persistence, in resisting, subsisting and lingering ... thus contradicting almost all the designs of an excess of civilization. The figure in the landscape is not epidermal or apparent, it is ingrained.
Stones, shrubs, spontaneous vegetation, trees, stairs, structures and foundations of houses, walls, facades ... it is about affirming an organization between elements of nature and buildings, architectures designed by humans in periods of time that are sequential in the city.
The aesthetics of the ruins, in a somewhat idyllic view, is one of the essential references when looking at his work. We are used to thinking about the primacy of this archeology of the memory of civilizations, regarding its patrimonial dimension (in different types, from the built to the human immaterial) and styles and affinities are mapped in the history of Western art: from the frescoes of Pompeii and Herculaneum, going through romanticist painting and reaching the currents and photographic modes that surround the ruins - historical, artistic, aesthetic and poetic values. Thus, Daniel Caballero's oriented walking (almost paradox, since it is consigned to a societal scope that reacts against the invisibility of the human in the city) fulfills the lucidity in tracing paths lived by his body that later transports in the drawing the envisioned elements that are matter more glaring than was seen and seen.
The ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum became a symbolic landmark, due to the tragedy that originated them, but, above all, due to the complex array of elements, artifacts, paintings and anthropological and cultural quotations that were revealed. These ruins populate our imagination. One can speak of an imaginary of the ruins that organizes the artistic conception of authors, generational ramifications - as visual elements and with a plastic-visual value. Also, impregnated with a poetics, founded on it, with emblematic and or subjectivist transpositions for the author's identities ... In the case of the Brazilian artist, I see all this, accumulated to the updated question of knowing the circumstances of his time - in which he lives - intending to elucidate and to act on the small perversions that ignite the rights and qualities of human life - for itself and in society. The ruins are the tops of the human in Krisis to recover the Husserlian term. It needs to be demolished to expand the “ruins”… and avoid new (but inevitable) Pompeii…
Daniel Caballero travels through the ruins that are to come, in a city where the speed in changing housing structures and architecture in general is uncontrollable. He intends to fix this change in latency in his drawings, preserving an anonymous memory of places, buildings and their people in a condition of almost invisibility… Last year, when his intervention in the Almost Gallery, the Brazilian artist brought elements seen by big windows. Shrubs, collapsing walls, trees and earth acquired another clairvoyant condition, allowing themselves to spread through walls, doors, wainscoting and flags. The layers of black and white paint overlapped creating modulations, volumetry, depth and thickness. It was still up to him to decide, on the wooden floor, three books from which three-dimensionality emerged on wicker rods crossed with interwoven threads.
In this project of “artistic intervention in public space at the Polytechnic of Porto”, in 2015, its design was established on a city street, where concrete also exists but obviously does not reach the magnitude, the excess of urban that characterizes São Paulo. The concrete man - from the state of São Paulo and everything - provided interim conditions, propitiated the pregnancy and emancipated the work, having seen it shared. The drawing has an added value to the artistic which is the educational. It is known that it promotes creativity, generating conditions for a self-identification that takes shape, when externalizing the conciliation of the body, thinking in vital dynamism.
If drawing sharpens the ability to look to see, in the case of Daniel Caballero, the need to look, tearing discomfort in the urban landscape, induces drawing. They are communicating vessels. Drawing is a cognitive instrument, which has its own substance, explaining itself in contents that it can import from different platforms, in addition to enabling the exercise of self-criticism, self-referentiality and creative self-documentation… The paths of drawing , today they are disparate, illuminating territories of the self, the other and others.
“The road cuts through the plain in a straight line to the horizon. There is nothing in the desert landscape. Only the undergrowth that grows on the gravel floor. ”
4 - John Berger, Twice Drawn - Modern and contemporary Drawings in context, The Francis Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College and Prestel Verlag, Munich, London, NY, 2011, p. 182.
5 - John Berger, Op. Cit, p. 182.
6 - Paulo Reis, “The Designer's Contract”, text for the collective exhibition in Plataforma Revolver, 2008.
4 - Authors in a state of sharing and ephemerality
"Yes, the artistic work is always the result of having been in danger, of having come to an end in an experience, where no one can go any further."
"The more you advance in it, the experience becomes closer, more personal, more unique, and in the end, the artistic work is the necessary, irrepressible, as definitive as possible, of such uniqueness ..."
Rainer Marie Rilke, "Letters about Cézanne"
The process undertaken implied a confrontation between the definitions of authorship of the drawing - by Daniel Caballero - and authorship of the painting of the drawing [taken as a reference becoming a simile?] By the Visual Arts Students of the Escola Superior de Educação do Politécnico do Port that took over the (free) execution process. This conversation of authorship in line took place under the auspices of an exemplary articulation. In spite of the existence of a pervading ocean and the physical impossibility of a face-to-face dialogue, the dialogue flows, fulfilling methodological, artistic, aesthetic and pedagogical purposes. It was not a matter of establishing or transmitting closed instructions for performance, rather, they were all engaged in sharing educational motivations for one and other societies that sometimes neglect their heritage, memory and future, in parallel and in different acceptations and typologies: architectural heritage, city (and urban) heritage, identitary human heritage, natural heritage, environmental heritage, memorial heritage… finally all subsumed and for the sake of a symbolic heritage - collective and that, through a consistent action and resilience, brings together the kingdoms (synchronous) of the real and the imaginary.
Joint action implied a complicity tested in the first days, when defining strategies and procedures; it was necessary to adjust the range of gestures and the extension of strokes, so that the development of one person, coincided with the layout of the other. Through a fragmentation of the drawing into constitutive parts, each person was in charge of fulfilling a section of drawing, converging to the drawing / painting as a whole. The thickness of the design accumulated due to the uneven density of the façade surface. The balconies, door and window frames, the attic recesses or the gutters served as scenarios, discrediting these elements as obstacles. Thus, another view of the routine traveled or hieratic was instituted for those who delay looking. Because the ruins have taken over the painting, proposing new drifts that stretch, rise in compact lines or in the fluidity of volumetric lines. After all, the stone facades are dense material that, despite the state of degradation, keep the reasons reflected in the thought of the Brazilian artist and the fables developed in the Portuguese.
The façades absorbed layers of overlapping or flanked paint, presenting a textured thickness that shapes the elevation, the contours at curved angles by the perception of those who are walking on the street, going up or down the sidewalk. It is a painted and huge drawing that accompanies the residents of the neighborhood, surprising them.
“Les ruines ne sont pas seulement des bâtiments dégradés, they participate in paysage rêvé. »
These are ruins that defy physical collapse, applauding him for what he has of aesthetic enjoyment and discomfort of indifferent people.
It is a case of memory, combining the reasons of the individual and the collective with the attributions of the imaginary - both individual and collective.
It is about knowing how to locate yourself. It is about being able to wander, without losing track of critical thinking, facing the world.
It is about accessing a knowledge platform that is rare because it implies the mutual generosity and perseverance of many.
It is a question of building an uneven but uniform volume on the surface of the façades, which when painting was only visible from a distance.
It is a landscape project comforted by the presence of unforeseen achievements and resilient dreams.
It is about continuing, keeping artistic action awake, acting as convinced “aesthetic operators” (paraphrasing José Ernesto de Sousa).
7 - Nelson Brissac Peixoto - Scenery in ruins, Lisbon, Gradiva, 2010, p.79
8 - Dominique Fernandez, Ferrante Ferranti et Patrice Alexandre, Imaginaire des Ruines, Paris, Actes Sud, 2009, p.16
* Text made during the curatorship of Daniel Caballero's joint action with the students of the Polytechnic of Porto, on the facade of building 888 of R. Don João IV, Porto, Portugal - 2015.
Roots are important by Mariaelena Cappuccio, 2015
It ends with death but in the middle is life, hidden under the earth, from noise and silence, from feeling and emotion. The sporadic bursts of beauty and then the misery of the man-made ruins. The path is as follows: beauty, ruins, rebuilding into something more useful, supposedly. The geography of the world has always changed and, in São Paulo, we are aware of this speed, perhaps excessive, following Daniel Caballero's research tours. The need to build something new, the divine delusion of man to modify the landscape to live better, taking up space, creating a vortex in the earth, stirring it, bewildering it and removing its geographical reference points. The irrepressible impulse of destruction stems from the delusional attitude of interpreting the world. In this whole process, the lack of a Geography, the continuous re-construction of nature reflects the “superhuman” desire to dominate. Mastering a nature that, therefore, apparently domesticated despite its magnificent omnipresence. Death is included in the process, as are the roots, which, apparently, may not be well rooted in the deep earth, but proliferate on the surface. The look of the pedestrian who lives with a “concrete” nature - built is modified. This visual (and auditory) shock became the normality of São Paulo documented in Daniel's ephemeral paintings. Drawings that contemplate nature with a disenchanted (almost distant) look, a contemporary look, of concrete. In the act of observation, Caballero was inspired by the first naturalists who looked at nature with analytical curiosity, cataloging the different species (naturally wild).
And now? The naturalness of nature is changing. In the city there is a new landscape with new forests, stones and natural elements placed by humans. Landscape of concrete, mountains. New perspectives that are lost in a horizon that in the end does not exist anymore because a flora full of new plants is created: the tree buildings. A forest that cuts through the breath. The noisy reality of the city is created from a “tabula rasa”, a candid wall. Then everything starts, mute at first, very carefully, almost with an uncertain line, then something happens, the brush is edged with black varnish and everything becomes confused almost violent in your being. The clarity of the white is stained by the dirt of the ruins, stones, wooden planks and broken walls that still resist in balance, that threaten to fall at any moment. Violent process that creates a sinuous movement, mixed with the earth - physical. Daniel enters with his own body inside his own painting, being almost swallowed by the wall and stones, creating in the end new ephemeral landscapes, which continue to evolve in something different, supposedly better. The visual, perhaps emotional, violence that the city transmits with these unexpected changes will be re-created by Daniel when he paints. It seems that it is also part of the destruction process, which changes everything and leaves us with a new view of reality. Perhaps all of this will serve us to just perceive the mechanisms that we collectively create by walking over ourselves.
* Text made during the curatorship of the exhibition Tóxico Trópico by Daniel Caballero, at Galeria Carlos Carvalho, Lisbon, Portugal - 2015.
Demiurgo Caballero by Renato Pera, 2015
"The city gives the illusion that the land does not exist"
In my opinion, what animates Daniel Caballero's work is an inclination towards entropy, an extreme degree of disorder and unpredictability, in which the material of his work tends to a state of bankruptcy, saturation and dissolution of limits. Therein lies the greatest interest of its propositions and, especially, of its procedures. Often, this tendency is the result of conscious gestures - or not so much - in self-sabotaging attitudes: if the drawing is too beautiful, if it presents a comfortable visual pleasure, some inadvertent and more violent gesture from the artist will certainly tarnish this beauty. The inadvertent, the impulsive, and the risky gain a lot of energy in their jobs. Otherwise, they would tend to the opposite extreme, for anachronistic and vintage beauty. They would also tend towards cynicism. Anachronistic because artists today are not expected to use an iconographic repertoire of botany, especially an iconography steeped in encyclopedist and colonialist themes (think of the scientific expeditions that took place in Brazil since the 17th century). A power graphics, it would be possible to say. I would not risk creating a defense of the cynical-critical qualities of using this iconography, as it seems to me that the artist is still looking for the critical terrain on which he wants to support the formal resolution of his production. Leaving this gap open can be very beneficial. If critical discourse tends to solidify, differentiate, and impose limits on the subject, it seems to me, therefore, an inappropriate continent for a clumsy, formless, entropic work of art.
The artist proposes excursions in order to detect the relationships that the city (a large city like São Paulo) establishes with the natural landscape. In this “arm wrestling” between city and nature, the city has already won, and has been winning for a long time. If the natural landscape could awaken in us a sublime emotion - reverence, threat, terror, or even dilution in its limitless vastness and power - this does not seem to be the nature presented by the artist. The experience of the sublime, in his work, finds a nostalgic echo, but which the artist strives to recompose by storing samples of plants and soil in their natural state, collected in vacant lots, in addition to drawings and structures that lead us to mountainous landscapes. Of the great solid body of earth and stone that is a mountain, the artist preserves only a trace, a small reference. What seems interesting to me is that, in addition to being a mountain, the structures are also huts, rudimentary places of protection and shelter, and we have a fruitful contradiction: on the one hand, a domestication of the representation of the natural landscape (movement that the configuration of the city performs), and on the other, a return to a primitive condition, inside the cave (again, entropy).
Demiurgo-Caballero. If the Platonic demiurge reproduces the form according to ideal models, therefore imposing order where order does not exist, Daniel Caballero seems to find a world in collapse. The demiurge becomes a kind of archivist, an exhausted being who tries to retain something of this world with tape and other rough and quick materials, before the world ceases to exist.
* Text made during the curatorship of the work Land Art or Where can we build mountains? by Daniel Caballero, at São Bento Metro Station in São Paulo, as part of the 9th Weekly Metro of the Environment - 2014.
Ecomargins by Juliana Monachesi, May 2014
Until another day I imagined, from the top of my lay ignorance, that botany was the simplest of biological sciences. Dedicating yourself to studying plants, flowers, photosynthesis ... It could only be an absolutely sweet area of knowledge - after all, what could be more distant and alien to the historical cycles of human social reality? But, thanks to the work that Daniel Caballero developed for the Festival of English Culture, you see, I discovered that there is a highly politicized and socially engaged branch of botany. And it gets even better, from an aesthetic point of view. The great banner of militant botanists is the marginalized. Those who stalk the wastelands, who avenge themselves when they remain invisible, who get stronger right where the carelessness of the State and civil society leaves them parasitizing, ignoring, the common good. I mean, of course, those honorable members of the plant kingdom called ... native plants.
Be marginal, be a hero, already proclaimed HO. In homage to the marginal native plants of São Paulo, which only sprout quietly in the wastelands of the city - where no one is going to uproot them, confusing the archaic little woods that carry in DNA all the ancestry of our wild nature with weeds -, I go in search of some marginal art historiography to investigate who were the precursors to Caballero's marginal botanical expedition. All the evidence leads me to the American conceptual artist Alan Sonfist, who in 1965 managed to convince urban planners and bureaucrats to give up idle land in La Guardia Place, Manhattan, to install his Time Landscape, a park of native plants in New York. Destructors swarmed that the plants would not thrive in a contemporary metropolis, but not only are they still there today, but Sonfist's list of pre-colonial specimens today is entirely on the list of plants allowed for planting in New York City.
What artistic practices as diverse as those of Caballero and Sonfist have in common? Well, some coincident intentions, at least: to encourage a public debate on an unknown and urgent matter; by contrast, making a private context largely ignored; perhaps, who knows, transform something in the process. In 1965, the expedient of erecting a public monument in the form of a park - at the time of Beuys's land art and social sculpture - was a good artistic strategy. Almost 50 years later, a similar procedure would seem naive, dated, or even instrumentalized by bad scientific conscience, to rely on Hal Foster and his warning about the trivialization of art and politics by mutual appropriations between ethnography / anthropology / sociology and art. Then Daniel sets off on urban expeditions and returns with a catalog of the largest botanical aberrations known, practiced by ... us, residents of the metropolis.
The picturesque journey of the contemporary artist, we discover in the present exhibition, no longer concerns the exploration of inconceivably distant and inaccessible worlds, nor an enumeration of specimens and their monotonous characteristics, with a view to a supposed scientific analysis, despite the fictional and subjective of every report. Today, the picturesque journey is undertaken knowing, from the beginning, subjective and fictional; it takes place within a relatively small range of action, but no less representative; and results in a surprisingly revealing portrait no longer about the "other", about a given object of research or an exotic sample that the explorer collects and takes back with him to his world, but about this world of his, precisely about what we call nature around us, about the "similar" that we encounter all the time in every corner.
Our idea of nature needs to be revised. Our ideas about art and ecology too. And our notions about political art, even more. I see here in this Botanical Expedition between Avenidas Paulistanas one of the most politicized works of art that I saw recently. Without being a pamphleteer, without ceasing to be art for even a second, it is a work that manages to engage us in a burning question. At the same time it puts us thinking about land art, performance, naturalism, graffiti, urban intervention, ready made, painting, drawing, comics, white cube, display, exhibition devices, narrative, rationalism, crisis of reason, modernism, post -modernism, multiculturalism, cultural wars, geography, ethnography ...
He said: “I don't like the landscape. (Off we go.) ” by Maria de Fátima Lambert, 2014
"By nature we understand the endless nexus of things, the uninterrupted parturition and annihilation of forms, the undulating unity of what happens, which is expressed in the continuity of spatial and temporal existence. (…) Our conscience, in addition to the elements, must enjoy a new totality, of something one, not linked to its particular meanings nor mechanically composed of them - that is the landscape alone. "
Georges Simmel - Philosophy of landscape
“… The definition of custom repeated to me, and as I told you that life could be as much an opera as a sea voyage or a battle…”
Machado de Assis - Dom Casmurro
“The landscape, as admirable as a painting, is generally uncomfortable as a bed.”
Bernardo Soares - Book of Disquiet, vol. II, p. 37
He (always absent from the play, is a kind of voice of conscience).
They - in dissenting unison: Daniel and Pascal.
Mountain man - has a house embedded in the heart because its material is wood
Concrete man (Brazilian term for the cement of Portugal) - wears a hat and shorts and is accompanied by a pad and pencil.
I - that's around.
He said, "I don't like the landscape."
I say: Off we go.
They (Daniel and Pascal) say: “let's go inside the landscape because the walk, the trip, the drift and the diving are inside, submerged ...”
I say: "... moving towards a luminous exit?"
They say: "... um maybe ..."
[THE MOUNTAIN MAN STAYS IN SCENE]
Mountain Man: “There is a tendency to look at images - whether pictorial or photographic - probing the past. We look at them, not only for an aesthetic enjoyment that proposes to be decontaminated, "suspending" other thoughts and reasons ... however, it almost always ends up relating the recognition (between the visa) with "something", making the image, at the same time time that the image is conceptualized - in the context of a private or corporate imaginary. Thus, this crescendo takes place, parallel to our life as a person; this accumulation that is an iconographic / iconological archive - because it is a matter of unveiling successive layers, of deciphering them, contributing to the improvement of an implicit aesthetic education.
Me: So, what are the reasons for the landscape? Why has it been agreed, with such vehemence, that it affects us nowadays? I can quote Bernardo Carvalho who wrote in Mongolia:
“The landscape in contemporary art is a memory of being in the world.” 1
Mountain man:… we always need to fill this memory stone. The landscape serves very well to give images to things that have been lost. It is easier to recognize the episodes of life, which took place in landscapes of the world.
“The landscape oscillates between an empathetic imaginary of the artist and the search for an objective reality of plants, animals, reliefs, cities and everything that constitutes the landscape.” 2
Concrete man: There you are, with that idea of Amiel saying that the landscape is a state of mind… 3
Me: I prefer the conviction of our Bernardo Soares - who imagined his rainy landscapes, through the window of his office ... are the best landscapes the ones we see through the window? Without being inside the landscapes, nature? Well, don't answer me… let me believe that: “Since the landscape is a landscape, it is no longer a state of mind.” How do I believe that ... that I don't.
[his voice can be heard without being seen in the landscape]
He said, "I don't like the landscape."
I don't believe in the landscape. Yes. I don't say it because I believe in Amiel's “landscape is a state of mind”, one of the good verbal moments of the most unbearable interiority. I say it because I don't believe it. ”4
Concrete man: Believe it or not in the landscape, there are days when: “… this is the landscape that belongs to me, and in which I enter as an extra in a comic tragedy.” 5
Mountain man: you have all the landscapes that exist for you to see. Okay, is it convenient for you to see them or want to build them out of thin air? As if every morning in the world - from Pascal Quignard - was always on the line - possible or impossible - at the door, ready to be stacked there. Each day, there would be a tower with a different landscape. But it was always landscape because in the word landscape you don't see anything ... or ... you see everything.
Me: Oh right! … (Lol) Look there, will it? How can you conclude something ... from the top of those ivory towers that you build? Everything is in there. Those quick moments of yours, impulses of landscapes ... red landscapes, the flesh of the landscape ... I walk around Gilles Deleuze.
“The most there is in the world is landscape, frames that fit our sensations, binding what we think.” 6
[pause to breathe in the idea of a landscape that is an incarnation]
Me: We are advancing ideas for other landscape bands. Does landscape really exist in the arguments of philosophers and in the practice of artists and poets? Because, decades ago, André Lhote (Traité du paysage, Floury, 1939) wrote about the “decay of the compound landscape”, mentioning Poussin and Claude Lorrain. What to do ...
[it is clear that they have caused an interruption and are not allowed to speak]
Concrete man:… idea of the composite landscape… maybe it will happen; because of this mass of looks that enter and see inside the soul, when the traveler stops and composes his synthesis image…
“The traveler, in his relentless movement, sees everything from a distance. Silhouettes cut out against the landscape. Architectural images standing out on the horizon. People and places you want to meet after the next turn. The trip is a production of simulacra, of a purely spectral world erected by the road. ” 7
Mountain man: I would say perhaps, and at my own risk, remembering this German painter who walked through South America ...
[the concrete man leaves the scene]
Me:… then, do you mean Rugendas?
Mountain man: don't be in a hurry to talk ... let me talk about the principle. Alexander von Humboldt understood his craft as implying the visual “appropriation” of nature, by means of an accumulation of images that was a privileged way, in terms of rigor for constituting his detailed knowledge. The isolated image was not used for the adherence of knowledge: it was necessary to ensure the images in a joint format, due to the completeness establishing the framework.
Me: Are you really going to say it all ... and for what?
Mountain man (without deigning to reply, he continues ...): Johan Moritz Rugendas8, similarly and motivated by the geographer, realized that he should proceed, in order to capture the “physiognomy” of the landscape. Thus, he traveled through Brazil, between 1822 and 1825.
Me and. César Aira, in An episode in the life of the traveling painter (2000), narrates exactly the effabulations of Reguendas, on his journey through the lands of South America. There is precision, my people. Let us be strict ... Come on, know who's listening to us!
[The concrete man enters the scene]
Concrete man: Sorry, I'm back. I join this conversation. There is that other… called Sandro Lanari who is the protagonist of Luiz Antonio de Assis Brasil's fiction, The portrait painter (2001). The writer tells the story of a photographer who progressively becomes a painter.
"... every artist should represent nature free from the need for pre-judgment, from anticipated representations, since nature does not suffer the distortion of the preconceived look, in other words, a virginal nature." 9
Me: Without wanting to appear doctrinal, but ... I cannot ignore that the already established pictorial and handicraft traditions were largely reinforced by the new experimental science and technology. It helped to confirm the importance of the images, in this journey, in this path towards what would be a new and inescapable knowledge of the world.10
[pause, look at the 3 on the scene]
Me: Don't they say anything? So, I continue ... In the century. In the 18th century, Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira undertook a journey through the Amazon, from which he undertook a detailed account - «Viagem Philosophica» (1783-1792) that, until today, entangles any reader and spectator.
Mountain man: In the times of the old world, the new world or this one we are in ... man has always shared this seduction of wandering, of drifting ... both in nature and in the city ... Herman Hesse said:
“The walker is, in many aspects, a primitive man, the same way that the nomad is more primitive than the peasantry. (…)
Concrete man: oh! …for right! But he says even more:
“Because I'm a nomad, in the peasantry. I am a lover of infidelity, change, fantasy. 11
And, my dear friends of this conversation, if you don't mind, I'm going to have a cup of coffee. I'll be back.
[In fact, they all leave the scene, making us blind to what is happening]
Me: I agree with Herman Hesse when, in Wanderer, he points out that “overcoming sedentary lifestyle and depreciating boundaries converts people in my class into signposts for the future.” 12
Mountain man:… why do you resume what I said? Um ... anyway. I understand. You like to say what you say ... so you don't get lost.
[the expectation of the pause is generated]
Me: In the West, the landscape is brief.
Concrete man: “I keep drawing fast while the landscape disappears.”
[they are all on the scene and there is a window in the background overlooking a street]
Me: (… what I read…)
“The landscape around me emptied of meaning, reflecting in my eyes, sprouted up inside me…” 13
Them: That means ... Bringing the landscape inside: it was looked at [that view] through photographs. Landscape that enters the house: the exterior becomes interior, settling in, residing, even if provisionally, “within”.
Concrete man: we are talking about the process of drawing drawings. The iconographic theme corresponds to the view through the large gallery window… and it was through mediation.
I was not here yet. You (addressing Me) sent me the images from here. You looked out the window and I, the artist (despite being a concrete man) drew these views, giving them a new identification and characteristics.
Me: you are not a concrete man (of concretism ...) but of concrete ...
Concrete man: Seriously. The work methodology: for the production of the drawings, I saw the photographs of the place: that is, the directed view (among the many possible ones), heading towards the street.
Me: Right. The place, the view were unknown to you, that is, you did not have the direct experience. The place, therefore, was “foreign” (anonymous) to you and you fixed it in the register.
Concrete man:… appropriating in an intermediate way - because the angle of view was not decided by him. Is that what you were going to talk about next?
Mountain Man: Think about how much a view of a specific place - "known" and / or "named" - configured in the photographic image is transported to something "chewed" and decided [... even if unguided ... (I muttered, between teeth)] by the artist's eye.
[a voice is heard]
Voice off: Like a real landscape, an excerpt of nature directed by someone's determination, it starts to enjoy the condition of an imagined landscape, but not an imaginary one. It will deal with overlapping acts. The drawing materialized on paper and then the desire to spread across the side wall of the gallery: full of a sense of detachment, detachment ... let it stay, do without. And, imperceptibly, in the future, it will be another layer of palimpsest.
[the voice was so unexpected that those present decided to leave. coffee break and slice of chocolate cake - if there was…]
Me: We returned. I remembered that dialogue between Mondrian… between the naturalist painter and the abstract painter… (lol) we are imitating him… But be it.
Mountain Man: I built it.
Me: You believed.
Mountain Man: Every piece of wood and I believed it. Every design of the landscape invented and I believed.
Concrete man: And me, too. Every walk in the city, between what is today and tomorrow, is no longer seen. I believe in the landscape, perhaps. In its condition of not being dominated; but neither let it be dominated, that is not.
Mountain Man: So you see my home in the place of the heart. The city or whatever, is inside. I built the reality of the landscape inside me. Outside they see the meat of the landscape. So I travel.
Concrete man: Do you see the thickness of my landscape drawings? It is the skin that thickens on the walls because the days go by and land on trees and stones. It almost reached inside the walls, as if it were a sea of stone.
Mountain man: I almost got to the island, maybe Gilreu on the shore, in front of the horizon line - that Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira14 crossed…
Me: he traveled through the Amazon, on a philosophical expedition. It was the century. XVIII. In the University that, in 1772, had a reform, it was considered that the Natural Philosophy lacked, not only of theoretical foundation, but critical. Thus, naturalists undertook this expedition program, as it would today be called. And from there I brought images and things. He, too, was a scribe. So they called them, those who drew what was seen, seen.
“We believe that we have freed ourselves from the places we have left
behind us. But time is not space and it is past that it is
before us. ” 15
[everyone leaves the scene, without justifying absence. it is not known if they return]
* Text made during the curatorship of the exhibition, "He said:“ I don't like landscape. (Off we go.) "With Daniel Caballero and Pascal Ferreira, at Muito Galeria, Porto, Portugal - 2015.
Designing for collapse, designing for absence by Mario Gioia, 2014
On the outskirts of the quiet village where he lives, Daniel Caballero, daily, has visions of the post-apocalypse. A landscape that was designed with semi-detached houses, backyards with dubious landscapes, domestic environments with hearty sounds and odors, all of which falls, without return, turns to dust. The reddish-gray rubble, a kind of amalgam of concrete and bricks that previously erected single-family buildings, dominates the territory. Today, blocks from the adjoining neighborhoods of Vila Madalena, Vila Anglo, Pompeia and Vila Beatriz reveal traces of kitchen and laundry walls marked by white tiles, tiny trees that did not have time to prosper, slate stones currently only in irregular fragments, which used to decorate facades or to be part of entrance floors. An atmosphere that mixes Walking Dead, Mad Max and São Paulo S / A on the same plane.
The São Paulo artist then appropriates the arid landscape in order to trace paths of risk, with a high poetic burden. Sharing the subversive wanderings of contemporary key names such as Francis Alÿs, Caballero creates works that are difficult to label, such as the project he carried out especially for Paço das Artes, Picturesque Journey Through Space Around My House (2012). The installation had pieces of compacted grass in elevated disposition, structures that resemble scaffolding with beige banal stickers, drawings (numerous) made with the virtuosity of a traveling artist, only now cataloging and registering tree stumps, white painted trunks for resist pests, weeds, weeds. As an unfolding of the three-dimensional work, the artist now displays in the Central gallery corridor the series Lotes (2013), which works as an overview of drawings marked by the color of the earth and by an almost abstraction of the volumes and shapes of the ... bush. In other words, the cerrado.
Vegetation with importance always put in check _ the low, irregular and unattractive constitution helps in such depreciation, in contrast to the green density of the Atlantic Forest, for example _, the cerrado, in an almost miraculous way, still resists in very specific points of the Big Sao Paulo. In Franco da Rocha, on the edges of the old Juquery psychiatric complex, species such as lantana, tarumã, and jaguar ears still flourish. In what should be the Museum Square, in the University City, an original piece of the old Campos de Piratininga was saved on the verge of its complete disappearance. At the back of a hypermarket parking lot in Butantã, pieces of this 'thicket' so rich for the local fauna survive, surrounded by meters of wire and bars. And Caballero still maps and travels through other portions of these very particular biomes.
“If wandering practices are now important to the point of providing art with a model of composition, this occurs in response to the evolution of relations between the individual and the collectivity in the contemporary city” 1, explains French theorist Nicolas Bourriaud. Thus, Caballero's work-route is inseparable from what characterizes this new city, with conflicting relations between the public and the private, and marked by regions of difficult conceptualization _ not places, ghost zones, ghettos, besieged places. The selection of the cerrado is exemplary in the uniqueness of the São Paulo artist's poetics. From experiences of great physicality in these rare systems _ Caballero sometimes enters these loci clandestinely, with skill, but without the truculence of a former bandeirante, and, yes, with the attitude of an artist; in this sense, Smithson is a beacon, when swallowed by the swamp in the crucial film Swamp (1969) _, he renews the procedures of exponents of land art, earth art and environmental art. Certainly, the lack of control of such experiences activates processes that, visually, can generate intriguing pieces - in this case, the drawings made with acrylic and earth from the Lotes series.
Quick Drawing While the Landscape Disappears, title of the individual, also echoes chapters of the history of art in Brazil, especially the drawings and engravings by Evandro Carlos Jardim. In projects such as Balada da Cidade de São Paulo (1991) and A Noite, No Quarto de Cima, O Cruzeiro do Sul, ... (1973-2010), Jardim gathers fragments, sketches, sketches and incomplete figures that today would gain a name procedural work, artist sketchbook etc. High-voltage structures, falling horses, chimneys, wooden shacks, viewed from the peak of Jaraguá, all of this resulted in a set of works of vigorous force created from the prosaic, the surroundings, the path. Now, Caballero also repeats the melancholy of Jardim, but in a noisier way, almost poking us, bothering us. Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) also echoes, through drawings (underestimated part of his production), like Energy Tree (1970), and films and photographs of the underground of the French capital, like Sous-Sols de Paris: Bones and Bottles (1977). "Completeness through removal / Completeness through collapse / Completeness in emptiness", wrote the American artist, whose approach to Daniel Caballero's rugged, mobile, noisy and chromatically insignificant poetry cannot be omitted.
Fork for vacant land by Marcio Harum, 2012
Among the infinities of the world that is São Paulo, sequences and inconsequence of visions accumulate in relation to a small microcosm lived, traveled and recognized with intentions of adventure and botanical research in Picturesque Travel through the space around my house, project by Daniel Caballero for the 2012 Paço das Artes Project Season.
In his usual field trips of photography / observation and classification drawing, the artist explores the surroundings of his neighborhood, seeking to improve an urban landscape through dry techniques, with no apparent expressiveness, but circumscribed to a strong sense of perceptual environments. This work is first presented here as a set originally grouped by the combined use of Bic pens, markers and ink.
The presence of meaning, in his most recent artistic production, tries to describe and catalog the displaced samples of flora in situ throughout the city, in wanting to make him perhaps approach the craft of an ancestral bushman of Rugendas, but without the machete to open bites in the woods. In his study, Caballero incorporates and reproduces multiple images of unruly foliage, underbrush and weeds with the perfection and cleanliness of the traits of those who have really started their practices in the middle of the systematically professionalized universe of illustration.
The background structure for this collection of drawings has countless common occurrences of cities in any dimension; they are evidences of territories that disappear and are renewed in constant semi-archaeological devouring, delineated from the individual imagination or the forgetfulness that affects collective life. Caballero's installation has an inductive power and asks us: what sounds most naturally attractive? The lack of public spaces, cement, real estate speculation or the tree? The post, the grass (built field) or urban planning without planning? An abandoned and invisible wasteland or the financial market regulator?
There is a spontaneous approach of this work with the knowledge of some technical gardening procedures and the care with the plants. On the other hand, it reminds us of the remarkable records of historical naturalists that broke out in the interiors of Brazil, such as Florence, Langsdorff, Spix and Martius, and more. The instance put on this show is the opening of a debate on subjects that are not contained in the illustration or in the academy of botanical or scientific studies.
A given finding of the very interesting evidence that his investigation confirms in the region of “Campos de Piratininga” (São Paulo); is that the savannah is a little exuberant vegetation, with tall grass and thorny shrubs, to the layman's eyes these realistic characteristics of description form what must appear to be a wasteland. In one of the fragmented pieces of dirt floor behind a pericentric hypermarket, Caballero discovers a “terrenico” of unique vegetation, encroaching on endemic species in the city where he maps, when he invaded the building contractors' enclosure. These same areas, which seem to be only demarcated for the possible transformation of grass into bush, from bush to tree, from tree to woods, make us see them as unoccupied land and not as remnants of previous ecosystems. We live in the time of the concept of inverted values.
Remember that a tree or the lawns of the city has nothing to do with nature, it can generate conflicts with some of the notions and reasoning on the part of environmental activists. It is undeniable the difficulty of assimilating the subject by those who misunderstand the fragile concepts about such an order of artistic and urban mapping. If the Cerrado biome, which is found at USP, for example, has gone so long unnoticed, it is simple to imagine the reception of similar aspects by leaders in private and public power who are absolutely lay or opposed to the topics of conservation of the geographic public heritage , historical and cultural. Caballero's work gives us access to the most truly natural area within any city, with the right to a personal journey through time in the inner city, as we see that his rediscoveries value landscapes and extinct species. Certainly a great lack in this exhibition is the Guide to the Empty Lands of the City of São Paulo, by the Spanish artist Lara Almárcegui, who carried out such research and artistic work during the months of her artistic residency during the preparations for the 27th Bienal de São Paulo, in 2006.
Picturesque Journey through the space around my house, leaves us in the shadow of the dilemma and metaphor of subexisting in the midst of so much lack of ground floor: we only have to stick a concrete box in the head as a way to continue life without interruption (allusion Daniel Caballero's diorama piece, made of cardboard and displayed in the MASP showcase at the invitation of Regina Silveira at the Trianon-MASP subway station in the 1st quarter of 2012) or simply mount on a flying grass mat towards the reunion with nature lost.
From the Cerrado of the Piratininga Fields Marcio Harum interviews Daniel Caballero, 2012
MH: Your training is a direct result of your work with the illustration, Daniel. How do you explain this passage from illustration to the field of artistic production in your trajectory?
DC: My training is due to various interests, some of which are more difficult to associate with my production, such as gardening. I have always been interested in gardens, and I learned to draw from studies with plants.
Very young, I got to know the work of some of the famous naturalists: Rugendas, Frans Post, Debret, Albert Eckhout; I studied Margareth Mee's watercolors a lot, for example. Later, I went to work with illustration and design, and what interests me in this field is the recording of visual memory. You can understand a lot about the context of an era, just by looking at its drawings and objects, and that feeds my repertoire of possibilities as an artist.
Specifically in this work for the Paço das Artes, I appropriated the naturalist concept, to work with the design of an installation that has drawings that start from this information load, when debating subjects that are not contained in the botanical or scientific illustration.
MH: From urban routes, for your work at Paço das Artes, drawings and more drawings appear under your very particular eye, and form a set of absolutely unrecognizable and common views of the city. How do these wanderings take place?
DC: I look for exoticism in everyday life. I try to use strategies to get out of the familiar. I change my schedule in relation to the usual ones to observe the city, without participating. I leave, I go to some point in the city and I stand as if I were on a fishing trip, waiting to 'catch' something out of order. My usual routes, occupy a small area of the city, and I move to places I don't know trying to get lost. attempts at adventure, drifting and seeking novelties, although fun, prove to be non-essential.
In the end, all spaces in the city, from the center to the periphery, are also cut out and intended for some purpose along the route.
Within these spaces, there are elements or situations superimposed at random, glued to the landscape. They are invisible and active in the daily routine of the local population. Then, at last, I end up exploring my surroundings, and use my gaze to enjoy what is in front of me.
MH: Please esmiúce your process of looking around, the editing of points in the city that will deserve the capture of images and the natural unfolding with the realization of the drawings.
DC: My work arises from the interest in understanding how we occupy spaces in the city. The moment when, for example, we determine how we want the walls of our houses or how we perceive how the streets transform, develop.
I started the observation process for this research, where I discovered different hierarchies between the elements of the landscape. As apparently nothing is built without reason, these same elements are present in my work, which are built with a clear purpose in their function and importance for collective life.
But there are other elements that are by-products of the city's movement due to the financial fluctuation of the real estate market, or resulting from overlapping antagonistic ideas. Many of these elements end up being lost, do not become one or the other, form a new species, or category of dysfunctional object.
In the development of the artificial environment, areas of vegetation in general are treated as secondary elements of the landscape, perhaps because in a way the city no longer needs these areas to develop.
As people living in cities need these areas, nature must be built. I use the drawings to register objects and sculptures that synthesize sequences of events, and with that I investigate the difference between what is natural (something independent of human intervention) and what is constructed nature, that is, what happens to meet the needs our urban needs.
MH: In your work, there is a reluctant historical perspective in the observatory line of nature drawing (Debret, Rugendas, and more), which begins to appear discreetly. How do you define this event in terms of your recent artistic production after long experience with illustration?
DC: See, the drawings emerged as an authentic practice of understanding the urban space. No pun intended, but it was a "natural" process and not an event, I always use drawing in my creative process. I tried to do the same as naturalistic travelers, but in an artificial environment and without constant and long journeys.
The act purposely contains irony and subversion, disrespectful in perspective the arrogant colonialist and his European gaze, which used artists for their mastery methodology in the systematic collection of information. Today, we know from historical distance how that look was unscientific, but mercantilist, certainly.
Therefore, it is a method with proprietary varnish, but proven to be flawed and which I use to show flawed things and acts. My drawings respect the procedures of naturalism, but they lend a visual memory of a hybridized period, which denounces that they are current drawings.
MH: What are the purposes of your work for editing and grouping images and drawings? How did you arrive at the need to have an installation and not simply a series of drawings as an exhibition project for the Paço Season? Don't you think that there may be some side effect of the culture of public notices included? What is your installation project really based on?
DC: I think I already answered those questions and I don't want to be redundant. I say that I am an artist who thinks primarily about installation, often site-specific. In fact the drawings can be autonomous, but I had already tried them that way and had other ideas in mind.
If we think of the set as perhaps a cabinet of curiosities, where sculptures, samples and drawings are part of the same unique theme of study, the proposition can be more easily visualized. Honestly, I don't know much about public notices, despite having already signed up for some, I only really took this one from Paço seriously, and some artist friends insisted on its importance with me. I thought the task was boring, having to fill out forms and documents, but I'm starting to think it's a good option to gain visibility, I don't know ... I'm enjoying it.
MH: Where do you assume the imagination of Picturesque Travel is through the space around my house, title of your project for the Season of Paço das Artes in 2012?
DC: Carrying out the work taking as a starting point the experience of the procedures of naturalist artists of centuries ago in the present day of the experience of the complex mesh of the urban difficulties of São Paulo today, already contains a good dose of imagination in itself. It's almost like playing Tim Tim, and the rest is just a consequence.
The picturesque lives next door by Raphael Fonseca, 2012
At Paço das Artes, in São Paulo, the exhibitions related to the 2nd and 3rd Season of Projects are open. Six artists with different visual research present their work. After passing by Paulo Almeida's paintings or Rodrigo Torres's collages with banknotes, there is the encounter with another series of images displayed on the wall.
Fasteners hold sheets of paper of various sizes that subtly overlap and suggest the shape of an irregular mosaic. At first glance, they are “detailed drawings of nature”. With a close eye, it is clear that no image is given directly. A tree appears in the center of the paper, in a configuration similar to the scientific illustration. Its role, however, is partial; a pole, a son of the “hominid nature”, is surrounded by its branches. There is the crossing of different elements: the tree that spreads horizontally and pictorially through its leaves and the electric column that intervenes linearly with its cables that escape from the margins. Both bases of these different metropolitan columns are painted white; what makes man try to visually approach tree and lamppost? What is the use of homogenizing your "feet" if it will be necessary to tear part of the tree so that the electricity spreads?
A grouping of objects in the exhibition space increases the tension found in these drawings. An asymmetrical structure built with pieces of wood and duct tape turns into an altar for fragments of forests - there is no space for trees, but for models of the landscape, small potted plants. Pipes intersect and create a noise in the apprehension of this fictional greenhouse: the line that dictated ambiences on paper, gains an expressive character in the space and makes it impossible for the public to dominate. There is a visual reminder of Franz Weissmann in addition to the awareness that contemporary winds are different. How to account for the multiple directions of this installation in one look or photograph?
“Picturesque journey through the space around my house” is the title of this work by Daniel Caballero. It is no longer possible to speak of a “Brazil”, just as Rugendas did in his image album in 1835, just as it is not possible to account for the landscape diversity of São Paulo. On the other hand, it is possible to share the apprehension of what is around our nest and encode it in visuality. To transform your gambiarras into art is to illuminate not only the precariousness of other cities around the globe, but to make us reflect on the fragile and provisional between and within ourselves. The picturesque lives next door.
About Change, in Latin America and the Caribbean by Váleria González, 2011
"Daniel Caballero belongs to a new generation of Brazilian artists who, alone or collectively, seek, with their work, to open alternative spaces outside museums and art galleries, not as a way of criticizing the current art system - as the Avant generally did -gardes- but really seeking or creating non-institutional spaces where other forms of engagement with viewers may be possible.
This is the case with Arcádia, an intervention that was part of a collective appropriation of an old house. Daniel Caballero chose the bathroom and, without trying to conceive it as its functional structure, transformed it into a magical space. He covered each surface of the bathroom with planted grass, texts and his typical mural painting made by lines that look like strange water pipes or snakes, freely scaling the walls, as if they were completely indifferent to the rational logic of architecture.
For Caballero, the limits of architectural space represent the social order, which generally plays a repressive role in the individual's creative forces. What he does is not done to decorate these limits, or even to deny them, but to engage them with the space they define in a new type of dialogue. "
Text from the catalog of the "About Change" exhibition in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in 2011 in Washington DC by the World Bank.
The exhibition presents a snapshot of the new Latin American art.
Atelier Fidalga at Paço das Artes by Mário Gioia, 2010
"In the corridor behind Mariz, Daniel Caballero, next to one of the building's support columns, erects a mix of installation and sculpture, Heavier Than Heaven, which acts as an unfolding of his successful participation in the collective Aluga-Se There, in a huge bathroom in the house, lined with light blue tiles, Caballero created a universe of his own, a mixture of embodied graffiti, earth art, povera art from the Third World, entitled Don't Step on the Grass. Previously used for personal hygiene , the bathroom was completely transmuted into a living environment, where plants and weeds grew, drawings were spread over walls, objects and floors (this one now filled with kilos and kilos of earth). At Paço das Artes, Caballero continues to address impermanence , instability, the main characteristic of his work, and created a structure based on the precarious - cardboard boxes, scaffolding wood, pieces of discarded furniture, among other materials -, a kind of failed constructive utopia. The uncoordinated structure aims to go beyond the ceiling, but fails and has a conflict with the modernist architecture, somewhat dated from space, with lots of concrete, glass and plumbing on display. For those who used their own home as the center of their works and then created interventions such as Good Manners: Educated Geophages Don't Believe in Imaginary Lines, at Casa do Olhar, in Santo André, Caballero now deals more skillfully with the limitations of exhibition spaces, but without leaving behind vigor, irony and extroversion. "
Excerpt from the publication about the collective, "Ateliê Fidalga no Paço das Artes",
About Don't step on the grass or Árcadia by José Bento Ferreira, 2010
Design and architecture interact, but, conversely, the free improvisation of drawing results in the thick and continuous line that runs through the winding and blue space of the bathroom without violating it, but courting it. Perhaps the intrinsic value of the free form is nothing more than a metaphysical illusion and the drawing can admire the solidity of things and their worldly purposes. It is not for nothing that we are in the bathroom, a place of physical needs, nudity and also cleanliness, vanity, purification.
Space is the territory where being is realized by Douglas de Souza Leão, 2009
As individuals, we build walls and decorate them as we please. As a society, we are subject to the coercion of other people's walls.
Social ordering often represses the individual's potency.
Daniel Caballero expresses through the lines and forms the subject's eternal struggle against the normative space.
The same space that allows us to weave the will, on the other hand, is the element that castrates us, as it adds the suffocating weight of the whole. The passive individual is silent in his own despair, and lives an existence full of unspoken words.
Geophages is the expression of the active subject devouring arbitrary limits and building its own history.
Text of the exhibition Good Manners: Educated geophages do not believe in imaginary lines at Casa do Olhar in St André
Post-Conceptual by Saulo di Tarso, 2008
I never forget the plasmatic silence caused by the statements made by Robert Kudielka, at Centro Universitário Maria Antônia, when he spoke about international contemporary art. At the end of his speech, he said something in the sense that we had to get off the wagon symbolized by Duchamp, Beuys and Kabakov and invent something else, because until then we were an imitative branch of what the three deans brought to the reality of Art.
The audience was composed, in its majority, by artists and critics descending or affirmative of the three. As Kudielka spoke, the set of languages established by at least two generations (80 and 90) represented there emerged. I never heard anyone talk about it again. But, in fact, that day was a watershed, at the very least, because it defined very well that there was a need for the “end” of three pregnancies in art considered global: conceptualism, neoformalism and that of the proactive ecological-visual problems existing in Europe. Kabakov art.
Daniel Caballero is a kind of autophagous of the visual arts: when you least expect it, a refined harmony emerges from within the chaos and the predictable added in its language. Harmony that he creates by combining calligraphy with the symbology that brings a universality of illustration, a universe in which he is inserted as the original creator. The human figure that forms buildings transcends the obvious and reaffirms that from the urban, multiple realities are born. The image is born from the word.
Its visual action results from a non-pre-deterministic use of graphic, digital and spatial techniques. Skeletons and shacks, life and death, poetry and cacographs. Do you see a wall in your painting? This is the reverse of graffiti. Anyone who thinks that Caballero is a kind of neo-anthropophagus is mistaken, because in the same way that Anthropophagy inaugurated interaction in the arts, interaction is transforming Anthropophagy into something faded in time. What's going to happen? Honestly, I don't know. But this “end of the world” that Caballero tells us aligns him with Daniel Melim, Marcos Garutti, Nunca, Mangue beat, Funk carioca, Re: combo, Cordel do Fogo Encinado ... Is that Pop? No, it's something else. It is something that came from the streets where Nina acted as an actress and from the urban sertanities scattered around.
Cities made up of multicultural and multiconflective people. A fourth way, perhaps, post-everything collectives made by artists who do not need to get off the car, as they have never been in it.
According to what can be seen in “the beginning 0.2”, Caballero is making the classic contemporary beauty burn in the fire of hell: here, another iconoclasm: one that puts an end to the logic of the institutions that hover over everyone as an entity of absorption, passage and issuing mandatory visual knowledge. It is a free visual situation, which from ink to the Macintosh, and from there to the streets apprehended by his gaze, adds to graffiti, webart and the media, musicals, prints, without incurring his posture as a unique figure of visual arts stigmatized by a circuit. On the contrary, it is part of a collective plot, a legacy of the contemporary generation, with no age limit or delimitation of schools: end. And they will live happily ever after: chaos and Kudielka.