A adoração de um estranho lobo chamado Júpiter 

Projeto Vênus 

de 03 de outubro a 19 de novembro de 2020

por Angélica Freitas

olhar muito para o marinheiro
para que o rosto não se perca
em sal, espuma

e ainda que pareça inútil
ancorá-lo à terra
com o que levanta voo

(ave em cujas entranhas
noutra ciência
leríamos augúrios

lira por tanger
onça domada
alcateia
dança furiosa)

um homem sob um astro
que é - espera, ajusta o foco -
um filhote de lobo

tudo uiva
para a lua, para júpiter
agora, aqui
noutro hemisfério

Angélica Freitas

 

Angélica Freitas nasceu em 1973, em Pelotas, no Rio Grande do Sul. Publicou Rilke shake, em 2007, e Um útero é do tamanho de um punho, em 2012 (Cosac Naify), reeditado pela Companhia das Letras em 2017. Sua obra já foi traduzida na Argentina, na Espanha, no México, nos Estados Unidos, na Alemanha e na França.

by Angélica Freitas

To look a lot at the sailor

so that the face is not lost

in salt, foam

 

and even if it seems useless

to anchor him to earth

with what takes flight

 

(a bird in whose guts

in another science

we might read omens

 

a lyre to be struck

a tame jaguar

a pack of wolves

some furious dance)

 

a man under a star

that is – wait, focus –

a wolf cub

 

everything howls

to the moon, to jupiter,

now, here,

in this other hemisphere

 

Angélica Freitas

 

Angélica Freitas was born in 1973, in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul. She published Rilke shake, in2007, and Um útero é do tamanho de um punho, in 2012 (Cosac Naify), reissued by Companhia das Letras in 2017. Her work has already it was translated in Argentina, Spain, Mexico, the United States,Germany and France.

by Patrícia Wagner

 

Projeto Vênus is proud to present artist Camile Sproesser’s second solo exhibition in São Paulo. In The adoration of a strange wolf called Jupiter, a repertoire drawn from various narrative sources is articulated in fantastic contemporary fabulations. Rich in a vigorously expressive tonality, Camille’s painting sometimes reaches a strident palette, as if chromatic composition emulated a desire for puncturing the real, overcoming two-dimensional space in a piercing array of color. Pictorial, vital energy moving in the form of pathos, concept and expression of ways of experiencing and expressing the world that give Camile’s work its distinct character. 

 

The notion of pathos bears the force of words that cross time and space, with its sense being altered or inverted according to the social dynamics of the moment. The approach in Camile’s poetics occurs through the quality of the indeterminations associated with pathos: the accumulation of meaning and its ambiguities. Occasionally on seemingly opposite poles, pathos, as the mark of the pathetic being, is moved as much by affect, passions, surprise and perplexity as by the notion of the pathological. To follow the etymological course of pathos, to delve far into the past in order to think about works whose surfaces exude the here-and-now, in its forms, in its generally uninhibited manner of talking about the world, may seem anachronistic. However, exploring this pathway into Camile Sproesser’s paintings allows for a connection that preserves the most interesting aspects of this young artist’s work. In the sublunar sphere where her works are situated, it is pathos and its passionate energy that rules over pictorial making. Pathos as passion, excess, motion and freedom in all its complexity. Far from common sense, which is incapable of recognizing in such drives a valid source of knowledge and articulation of thought, Camile’s paintings make use of the multiplicity of these crossings and symbolic strata in her compositions. 

 

“I believe everything we see, hear and feel becomes transformed in the unconscious and comes forth in the work. It’s alchemical.” This is how the artist exhibits her sources, referring to the personal and fabulous narratives that interest her in a non-hierarchical way. A system in which pagan gods, orixás, occultism, tarot, fantastic beasts and a substantial part of the symbolic wellspring of this repertoire inhabit her paintings. However, it would be wrong to state that this fictional multiplicity elides her interest in reality, as if the imagination as a force would promote the distancing or deconstruction of what we may understand of the real. The promoted movement is, actually, that of openings and creations of possibilities, most of all toward breaking with systems and codes that hang over us for many years. 

 

The paintings presented in The adoration of a strange wolf called Jupiter reflect this desire and express a system of forces and ambivalences that are at the archeology of this imaginary. These are works made throughout the last few months, but Jupiter, as well as Telepathy are blazing embers of this whole. Built from her own personal experience, that of being taken by a virtual passion in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, they speak according to desire and love and their associated  feelings such as loss, restlessness and madness. In the first, the artist constructs the object of her desire as the god Jupiter, a mixture between mythical character and young hipster. However, understanding the process of personifying Jupiter according to the “adoration” in the title, should produce more uncertainties than convictions. There is no reason to believe that the artist is naive in thinking of love as a harmonious ideal, or of adoration as an aspirational relationship.  A hypothesis would be that of thinking of the predominance of idolatry as the dark underside of contemporary visual culture, towards which the artist’s critique is directed. In Telepathy, against a melancholy dark blue sky, in a relatively concise chromatic composition, two ducks copulate under the light of the full moon, in a lagoon with haunted vegetation out of a delirious dream. Among ducks, as is frequently the case with birds, it is the female who chooses the male with which she will breed, according to purely aesthetic criteria, according to what Darwin called “sexual selection”.

 

Animals, by the way, are recurrent in most of Camile’s paintings, sometimes assuming a mythical figuration, sometimes devoid of all projection. In Head of Orpheus a tiger watches over Orpheus’ severed head, as if he could not avoid the tragedy from happening, having arrived too late. The feeling of failure before loss dominates the canvas: poetry will not save the world, the lover will not be reunited with his loved one and music will no longer play. In this harsh environment, night appears as redemption, as the hope that, after all, everything might have been just a dream. The night, always bearing an unpredictable latency, is both figure and background in Self-portrait as Nyx. Camile’s seductive face, prefigured as the Goddess of Night, daughter of Kaos, is one more allegory that places itself between the manifest and latent meanings in the composition. Simone de Beauvoir’s saying that “no one is born a woman, one becomes a woman” fits in here as one of the underlying (and not exclusive) possibilities in constructing this portrait, the thematics of which reverberate her own political positions regarding the construction of the identity of the female self, feminist activism and struggles.

 

In continuity with the self-portrait, Shrooming painters, a painting in which three half-naked women dance with total freedom and self-determination of their bodies, suggests a certain derision toward painting as a medium. A celebration of the domain of pleasure and of the right to enjoyment in a territory (painting) that is historically stereotypical and objectified through the male gaze. From the portraits to the delirious narratives, the daring of Camile Sproesser’s work is in the way the artist risks challenging the image, its paradigms and fragilities. The theatrical construction of the scene, the recourse to satire, humor and irony simultaneously remove painting from the pedestal on which art history has placed it while being generous portals inviting the spectator into her work. Even if this empathy soon becomes a hall of mirrors from which we cannot emerge unscathed. It is always worth remembering, even when playfully working with references and citations, or when reaching tremulous beauty in some of her best works, that no one can escape the desire for a closed dispute with a certain politics of gender in the gaze, breaking systems and codes, elaborating a production in which subjectivity is as much political as affective and passionate.

 

Patricia Wagner

 

Independent curator and Master in visual poetics by ECA-USP