From June 26 to July 21, 2012, Galeria Vermelho is presenting EXPANSIVO [Expansive], a group exhibition featuring works by Nicolás Bacal, Lia Chaia, Marcelo Cidade, Marilá Dardot, Marcius Galan, Carmela Gross, João Loureiro, Nicolás Robbio and Rosângela Rennó. Simultaneously, Tijuana is releasing the book Caminhando com Portinari by Alan Nielsen.
EXPANSIVO borrows its title from the work created by Carmela Gross, in 1988, for expressing the concept that pervades part of the works that are taking part in the show, which deal with questions such as how an idea can expand, propagate and spread out from a nucleus.
Besides a visual experience, EXPANSIVO features works that involve other senses besides sight, such as smell in the case of Per fumum (2010–2011) by Rosângela Rennó, and hearing in Expansão [Expansion] (2011–2012) by Marcius Galan.
EXPANSIVO proposes a reflection about the original and the unique, suggesting a wide-ranging involvement with the senses as a way of catalyzing the experience between the viewer and the work, as well as among the observers themselves. The exhibition seeks to create a unique collective experience that goes beyond the sense of sight.
Based on an original drawing, in Expansivo Carmela Gross implodes the field of the image. It is up to the viewer to decipher the magnitude of the original form based on the particles freed from its nucleus. Composed of dozens of small parts of reflective chromed brass, Expansivo resembles a constellation that gravitates in space, giving rise to an elastic space in transformation that reflects its surroundings. Gross’s Expansivo evokes a reflection on the limits of the image’s cohesion and division, exploring its forces of gravitation and concentration.
The Society of Friends and of the Neighborhood of Rua da Alfândega, also known popularly by its acronym Saara, the largest popular open-air market in Rio de Janeiro, served as the original stimulus and stage for the creation of the work Per fumum by Rosângela Rennó.
Made up of thuribles containing aromatic resins such as myrrh, frankincense, balsam, copal, colophony and benzoin from Siam and Sumatra, Per fumum arose as an urban intervention at Saara. Originally, the work suggests an approximation by way of incense among the various ethnic groups that occupy the area, such as Arabs, Jews, Korean Buddhists and Catholics. While walking through the exhibition spaces of EXPANSIVO, the observer will sense that the air is impregnated by different fragrances, derived from the burning of traditional resins, known and used by various peoples and cultures.
The installation Alices (2009), by Marilá Dardot, was created based on the classic of English literature Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. To produce it, Dardot appropriated an edition of the book in the original language available at the library of the Centro Brasileiro Britânico, in São Paulo. The work explores the character’s changes in size to reflect on the transformation that takes place within the reader/viewer throughout the reading of the work. The dimension of the images of passages of the book reproduced by Dardot in the work varies according to Alice’s size in the highlighted passage, as though the visitor to the exhibition grew or shrunk together with the character.
Nicolás Bacal (1985), an Argentinian artist who recently began to be represented by Vermelho, presents La gravedad de mi órbita alrededor tuyo (2009). Emotional life and systems of mediation, the enigma of music and the utopia of giving form to time as a sculptural object are some of the issues that characterize Nicolás Bacal’s work.
With La gravedad de mi órbita alrededor tuyo, Bacal reveals a refinement of the theory of the Big Bang, that is, a way of understanding and materializing the mechanisms by which the small reappears with enlarged dimensions. In the work, Bacal resorts to photography to simulate the explosion of a hypernova. To create it, the artist photographed interior scenes of the bedrooms of close friends where personal objects appear mixed with photographic flashes that burn the image and the viewer’s vision, illuminating the walls jam-packed with images and objects. The coincidence between time and place in these intimate environments and the simulacrum of astronomic phenomena are juxtaposed, creating two scales and two chains of meaning.
To create his Expansivo, Marcius Galan amplified the sound produced by the friction of a pencil moving across paper in a single linear movement. In this case, the drawing leaves the paper, assuming another materiality. In the work, the viewer witnesses the transformation of the paper’s bidimensionality into the tridimensionality of sound.
Finally, on Vermelho’s façade, Lia Chaia is presenting the installation Gato (2012), whose title is the colloquial term used to denote a jerry-rigged electrical connection for illicitly tapping into an electrical supply line, as often seen on the streets of cities such as São Paulo. From a fixed point in Vermelho’s patio, a highly complex system of cables and electrical wires connect the various constructions around the main building.