“Poente”, site-specific installation by Felipe Cohen

(São Paulo, Brazil)

Felipe Cohen currently presents “Poente” [“Sundown”], an installation made for the Morumbi Chapel, a site-specific consisting of a great tree branch cut in sections, related to glass plaques that cover part of the floor in an attempt to “transmute” the glass floor into water. In complement to the installation is the 2008 piece “Anunciação” [“Annunciation”], assembled in the baptistry and consisting of a lamp and a crystal glass.

Translated from the original text by Douglas de Freitas:
In “Poente”, Felipe has covered a considerable part of the floor space with glass, over which a great sectioned tree branch is placed simulating a dive into this glass floor. It is through this placement and the branch’s reflection and the glass walls that the artist converts the Chapel interior into a great flooded area, paralysed in a dubious moment between liquid and solid states, frozen in the rhythm of a calm gust of wind. A twilight comes from outside the space, crosses the window and washes one of the interior walls. This lighting converts the whole internal Chapel space in the artist’s work, potentiating the heavy atmosphere the piece confers to the space, and the feeling of paused time this submerse landscape in a constant twilight.

Cohen usually works with the objects scale. even his installations are made with small-scale objects, of domestic use. “Poente” is the first work where the artist addresses the issue of landscape in large scale. Even so, the whole space seems to be treated like an enlarged miniature. The combination of rammed earth with white concrete walls draw a horizon, a topography that certainly suggests representation collages of landscape made by the artist. It is like, when entering the space, we are also entering a cardboard box, the kind Felipe uses in his works, that has been cut and stuck together in the internal sides. A captured landscape, contained and kept in a shelf, window, like in the exhibition devices the artists incorporates in his objects.

The invitation into walking over the flooded landscape that occupies the Chapel interior almost immediately refers to the biblical passage where Christ walks on water. This ghost reflection also brings up the passage narrated by Matthew in the Bible. The religion theme is reppeated in the 2008 piece “Anunciação”, now presented in the Chapel Baptistry where the artist enacts communion with a glass placed on the floor, with a lamp hanging from the ceiling. The objects shapes and the lamp luminosity make the place unique, as if a light gained weight and pulled the lamp down, as in the biblical story where the immaterial gains a body.

Perhaps the installation is presented like a miracle. Not Christ’s walking on water, or the materialization of something divine, like in the annunciation passage, but as a miracle of conversion of a matter into another, even if it is through an instant illusion or even a miracle of killing time, paralysing it, in an attempt of making this illusion last.

“Poente”, instalação de Felipe Cohen
On view through 31st July

Capela do Morumbi
Avenida Morumbi, 5387, Morumbi
T: 11 3772.4301
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm
Free admission

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