(São Paulo, Brazil)
The Galeria Fortes Vilaça presents the exhibition “On the Object of 8th Degree” by José Damasceno. The artist displays his most recent installation that carries the name of the solo show, as well as a group of screen prints and a painting on the exhibition space wall.
“On the Object of 8th Degree” is a set of small obsidian sculptures distributed on two rectangular felt mantels on the floor, like recent discoveries of an archaeological site. Damasceno, who frequently uses different kinds of rocks in his sculptures, this time, chose obsidian, which sparked his interest during his trips to Guadalajara. It is a sort of volcanic glass, created by the rapid solidification of magma; found widely in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, it was used as a mirror as well as a weapon, and was frequently associated to occultism and Aztec rituals.
Contrasting with the opacity of the felt, the black reflective surface of each piece of obsidian reflects the surface of each of the other pieces in the exhibition, creating an interplay of mirrors that recalls the short text “La imagen de séptimo grado”, by Argentine writer Macedonio Fernández. In it, the author describes the trip of an image through different reflections (including the memory and pictorial representation) and sets forth the idea that in each reflection the image leaves its own inscription.
This situation is similar to that of “Estudos Paragráficos II”, a set of twelve silkscreens arranged linearly on the wall next to the installation. In these works, the word “paragráfico” reveals a mediation between the graphic inscription and its possibilities of materialization, underscoring the tension between the bi- and tridimensional, the virtual and the real. Damasceno’s work lies in the borderline zone where the imaginary is multiplied in various reflections of language, and the experience of the real is diluted in these reflections. The aim of Damasceno’s proposal is not, therefore, to present an object of the eighth degree, but to invite the observer to seek it.
“On the Object of 8th Degree, by José Damasceno
Opening: 17th May, from 2am to 5pm
On view until 14th June
Visiting from Tuesdays to Fridays, 10am to 7pm
Galeria Fortes Vilaça
Rua Fradique Coutinho, 1500
Vila Madalena – São Paulo