Ferns and Invertebrates

From the tropical-delirium blasphemy “Sun in the waterfall”, by Bruno Novelli

Determinately committed to partiality, irony and perversity; oppositional, utopic and not innocent at all. The binary polarity between public and private doesn’t structure it. With the cyborg, nature and culture, primordial modern duality, they are both reframed: one can no longer be the object of appropriation or incorporation by the other, this is about disobedience and manifest insubordination, it is a selfindicated mess by free entities.

Even though the works in this exhibition are categorized as paintings due to their language, it pleases us to understand them first by paying attention to where the paintings point to, to the trains of thought they follow: in a broad natural-cultural perspective, they aim at their own image status. Trusting confusion as a method and written language as a commitment of responsibility to the artist and its discursive domain, we propose not the mutation of the eye, because there aren’t implants, transplants, grafts or prosthesis, but a twist in perspective, at least in what concerns that which the paintings provoke. This is about a certain vision, typical of these beings, which proliferate, multiply. The cyborg-sex would re-establish, to some measure, the admirable replicative complexity of ferns and invertebrates, creatures that we accommodated as small monsters in the text’s title, as the series of carrancas, sketches, rocks, flowers and fruits that coexist in the screen habitat. They are signs of exuberance and allegorical pastiche that do not obey a linear narrative. They don’t constitute a scene.

If they don’t form a closed storyline, I ask you to look at the publication that joins this show with photographs of Bruno Novelli’s process in his studio. From an atlas of references, a digital file of images is printed, cut and hung on the walls, in a diagrammatic and cartographic writing and drawing process. The image is attached to painting vocabularies, which come from color investigations, gradient modulations, spatialization through a grid, in the rectangular shape similar to a A4 sheet. Through digital processes, the image becomes a superimposed layer, as if in an editing tool. After studies in drawings, photographs and prints, the image is then with acrylic on canvas.

Bruno Novelli’s color scrutinizing invests in its own indetermination – look at the pink, that Amazon-river-dolphin-pink, whose skin, depite being incredibly soft, the skin of this Amazon-river-dolphin, which I’m not making up bur describing (maybe it is the same one who swam between our thighs while I secretly wrote to you). See how there are pinks, not one pink, and they react to whites, and, in this moment, this isn’t about words in the plural, nor is it about color any more, but it is about all the possibilities color gives us. One must look at color as a field, feel it as a premonition that allows us to see a glimpse of a much broader field in the transitions, the gradients, the passages, the plasticized luminosities, the shades, the vigorous colors, the bright reflexes of the naturally incrusted gemstones by the actions that happen in the slowness of time, as water flowing in continuous jets and spurts. Energy, irradiation. A lot of sunlight. The sun is reflected, the light bounces on the water surface, which makes the sky reveal itself mirrored on the placidity of a river, interrupted by a boatmachine in the middle of the forest. They are breaths of color that carry within them the routes of the wind, which form airstreams, which move waters, ruled by scientific logics. The sea currents, different movements from the river flow, are intimately connected to the lunar calendar. The moonshine is the reflection of sunlight. Like the planets, it doesn’t have its own light. The terrestrial observer sees different parts of the moon illuminated by the sun, while the moon moves around Earth, but one must distrust that which the eye sees.

Let us think about a specific tradition: appropriating nature as matter for producing culture, which provokes a relation between organism and machine, in what is called a frontier war. A kind of mythical time – we are all chimeras, theoretical hybrids manufactured from machine and organism; we are, in short, cyborgs. The cyborg is our ontology; that is the interest in how this creature sees, in how we see images: being a cyborg determines our politics. Condensed image, from imagination, as well as from material reality: conceiving both centers together, they structure any possibility of historical transformation. How can the paintings provoke, from what we see, an even broader field? In plastic creation resides a possibility of imaginative resource.

In the utopic tradition of imagining a world without gender, it is noted that this “may be a world without genesis, but, maybe, also a world without end”. It is science fiction without radiant or shiny narratives of cosmogonies or apocalypses, obeying different logics of oppression. Would this be a repression from which, in the name our survival, we would need to understand everything? This essay echoes an argument in favor of the pleasure in confounding frontiers, as well as in favor of the responsibility in its construction.

Bruno Novelli’s paintings give us visual tools that can make us think about the surface of the canvas as a kind of computer interface through color. They offer a different visual order – and perhaps the brushstrokes reveal that they hide behind themselves thousands of pixels – based not on an object, but on a model and on its formal rules of manipulation.

Ulisses Carrilho