The morning will not be different from the nightView Info
La mañana no será diferente de la noche
Solo exhibition at Galería Silvestre, Madrid, Spain
February 5 - March 26 2022
All images © Paula Caballero
text accompanying the exhibition by Maria do Mar Fazenda
The morning will not be different from the night
That day, the boy was the first to get up. He went to play in the walled courtyard with light gray bricks, where there was a red fence, the ground had a cemented area and another area of sunburned grass, two windows inside the house overlooked the outside, the access was by two steps. Alone, the boy entertained himself defining spaces, naming places, imagining activities. That morning he invoked all the days he had lived so far. When the adult arrived, the child was riding the tricycle. In the photograph, the child is sitting on the tricycle with his feet on the ground and his hands apart. The space between the palms of his small hands is the focus of the child, of the conversation and of the photograph.
It is also from a black and white photograph that Agnés Varda made the film Ulysses (1982). In 1954, Varda photographed a friend and a child on a beach during a trip to Calais. In the making of the film, it is this photograph that motivates the encounters that follow. A diagonal in the photograph defines the film’s itinerary that begins with the encounter of the figures in the photograph and the memory each of them holds from that day. The film also records what each person constructs and projects from that image. As usual in her films, A. Varda progressively opens the game (of memory, of associations, of ideas) to other characters that appear in the film (and to us, who are outside), but also extrapolating the historical time of the image to other parallel contexts and even isolating elements of the photograph and bringing them closer to other imaginaries.
How do two photographs relate to the field of painting in which Luísa Jacinto moves? Ulisses is not a film about a photograph, but about what an image is (and the work of painting has no other motor than this). The invocation of the first photograph had as its motive the activation of the memory of a certain gesture and to relive the space and time that imagined it (idem). This last exercise around a personal memory arises from the description of a story that Luísa told me about one of her sons the day I went to her studio to see the works she was preparing to present in this exhibition. I am referring to the episode of the gesture her son made to translate a certain duration of time into a physical interval, she was interested in that movement: “its subjectivity and elastic interdependence between time and space, perhaps similar to the morning/early morning chromatic intervals I have been working with, which last a short time in space, but remain in us much longer”. The ambivalence and coexistence of such diverse sensibilities (formal and chromatic, poetic and relational, spiritual and earthly) run through Luísa Jacinto’s artistic trajectory.
In A manhã não vai ser diferente da noite (The morning will not be different from the night), the artist brings together two recent series of works produced in parallel during the pandemic period we are going through: Shade and Thin Air. Both works share the same production method. The surfaces are gradually and progressively generated in an almost blind process: through the diffuse application of color, in unstretched planes, with layers that create sediments of (re)velation, the incorporation of the ballast of detaching fragments or the recovery of abandoned paintings, making the painting’s atmosphere take time to stabilize. Once this process is finished, the painting is transformed again: it is when it becomes transparent and tinges our vision; when it is reconfigured and stretched, but also reframed, for example, on the back, and new limits and contours are defined. It is only from this moment that the artist becomes aware of the painting she has produced, which allows her to create temporal space relationships between the paintings. This is demonstrated by the two series, Shade and Thin Air, which she now presents, adopting different strategies to inhabit the exhibition space and, consequently, to be observed.
The gallery is divided into three zones, to which Luísa Jacinto added, in her distribution of the works, a fourth: the perspective of one who observes from the outside in. I propose to think of her works as characters in a certain mise-en-scène. Although human figures are not represented (as in previous works), the paintings propose the participation in a narra- tive. Also in the abstract paintings of previous series, the presence of the body was made through staged architecture. Here, I believe the strategy is different: the figures “painted” by the artist are, perhaps, ourselves, the observers of her painting, the visitors wandering through the space. However, it is exactly on the reverse side of the acceptance of her painting as theatrical, or of the understanding of her pieces as scenery, that we position ourselves.
The artist’s intuition of organizing and naming the atmospheres delimited and expanded by her painting is none other than that of summoning us to feel part of the theater of life. And of the possibility of measuring space and time through anthropological gestures that are cyclically retaken and reencountered between the flash and the opacity of our dawns and the twilights to come.
Arrábida and Lisbon, January 2022
Maria do Mar Fazenda