ZürichMarcia Pastore: Ut machina corpus
Kogan Amaro Gallery, the São Paulo based gallery with a Zurich branch, participates at Zurich Art Weekend for the first time with installations by awarded Brazilian artist Marcia Pastore
In the 1949 anti-epic poem “A máquina do mundo” [The Machine of the World] by Carlos Drummond de Andrade (*), the renowned Brazilian poet reveals the mechanism of the world while the individual remains an enigma. Like Drummond, the installation Peso-contrapeso [Weight-Counterweight] by São Paulo-born conceptual artist Marcia Pastore thrives in the Hellenic and Renaissance theory that the world is a machine. Weight-Counterweight lays bare a complex and perplexing mechanism created to perform an overwhelming play of tension by drawing lines with steel cables in the void architectural space, which is one of Pastore’s recurring issues along with experiments in civil engineering.
Along with the steel cables, pulleys, brass tubes and weights crisscross to create zigzagging lines that challenge the experience of modernist architecture by transforming the spatial structure into an indiscernible territorial experience of fullness and voids. Weight-Counterweight levitates and defies gravity while reflecting on the world around us and our relation to built space that so protects, puzzles and provokes us.
In 2012, Peso-contrapeso [Weight-Counterweight] was awarded the prize Funarte de Arte Contemporânea – Galerias Funarte de Artes Visuais, São Paulo. Funarte is Brazil’s National Foundation of the Arts.
Marcia Pastore, Peso-contrapeso [Weight-Counterweight], 2012/2019, brass tubes, iron rings, pulleys, steel cables, powdered marble, clamps and leather
There is a strong conceptual correspondence in the two works presented by Pastore. While Weight-Counterweight, above, investigates space and concludes in the viewer’s body that experiences an unconscious choreography to explore the installation’s environment from within by leaping over its complex zigzagged tensioned strings, Crevices and Machine, below, on the contrary, experiments with the human scale but follows the opposite trajectory: it begins on the body and moves out to space.
Experiments with her own body parts are at the foundation of the oeuvre of artist Marcia Pastore in the manner of anthropomorphic carvings that defy human form through experiments of concave/convex surfaces and positive/negative opposites. In Frestas em máquina [Crevices and Machine], the artist begins by employing a traditional staple in sculpture: the plaster cast. The crevices in question are hollow matrixes shaped in the voids of contorted bodily positions appropriated from Pastore herself that put in touch parts otherwise not in contact thus violating the anatomy of the female homo sapiens to provide a new physical equation in order to emphasize unexplored sensuous voids/crevices. After the plaster cast of the crevices is hardened, they are molded in two different materials: bronze and polyester resin. While the metallic matrix is polished to a jewel-like finish, the polyester resin renders translucency and purity to the set of body casts.
The molded, polished bronze crevices hover above a bed/platform made uniquely of powdered plaster. Directly under each bronze crevice, over the pure white “bed”, lies the equivalent crevice molded in translucent polyester resin. In this whitest of white environment there are also hollowed indentations, better said bas-reliefs, in the shape of the bronze/polyester resin crevices. However, these are filled with rosin, also known as colophony, a brittle semi-transparent resin with an amber-like color obtained from conifer trees. The rosin bas-reliefs “stains” the pristine landscape and give the viewer a feeling of absence.
The conceptual installation suggests Pastore borrows from the foundations of sculpture. However, it is important to emphasize, her work renders new equations to the millenary sculptural process while broadening the horizon of contemporary tridimensional art.
Marcia Pastore, Frestas em máquina [Crevices and Machine], 2003/2019, polished bronze, polyester resin, powdered plaster, rosin, steel cable, pulleys and hooks, variable dimensions.
Marcia Pastore (b. 1964) lives and works in São Paulo, where she was born. Along her three-decade career, some of Pastore’s solo exhibitions have occurred more than once in Brazil’s most relevant art institutions. Early in her trajectory the artist was awarded the 3rd Emille Eddé Visual Arts in 1990 at the MAC (Museu de Arte Contemporânea). Her main solo shows have been at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro (1993); as invited artist at Centro Cultural São Paulo (2000); Centro Universitário Maria Antônia, São Paulo (2002 and 2007); Dobros, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro (2010); Coagulatio, Museu da Saúde Pública Emílio Ribas, São Paulo (2010); and Impresssores, Caixa Cultural de Fortaleza, Ceará (2012). In the same year, the exhibition Peso-contrapeso was awarded the Prêmio Funarte de Arte Contemporânea 2012. Other solos are Tira-linhas, Biblioteca Mario de Andrade, São Paulo (2015), and Corpo de prova, MuBE (Museu Brasileiro da Escultura e Ecologia), São Paulo (2017). Presently Marcia Pastore exhibits Contrapeso at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, 2019/2020, and Transposição, 2019, a large in-situ permanent installation that inaugurated FAMA Campo dedicated solely for land-art projects.
(*) In 2012, curator Fernanda Pitta made this analogy between Drummond’s poem and Pastore’s conceptual oeuvre.
By Cynthia Garcia, Art Historian, São Paulo
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)