"Vedetes", 2017, latex mask, support, servomotor, arduino, projector, variable dimensions

“Closer to PIPA: the artist speaks in the Institute collection” featuring Ilê Sartuzi

Ilê Sartuzi is the eleventh guest of  “Closer to PIPA: the artist speaks in the Institute collection”. Periodically  we select an art piece that was acquired by the Institute and ask the artist to talk a little bit about the work: be it the creative process; the ideia behind the piece; how it connects with the artist’s production; or any other aspect the person would like to share. The goal is to bring the audience closer to the artist’s universe and to the “Displacement” collection from the PIPA Institute, which was established in 2010 to support, help document and promote the development of Brazilian contemporary art, and which has the Prize as one of its initiatives. This time, we chose the works “Untitled (videogame Glitch)”; “Queda”; “Vedetes” and “Worstward Ho!”, recently acquired by the Institute.

Ilê, an artist who graduated from Universidade de São Paulo (USP), was one of the Shortlisted Artists of PIPA 2021. He participated in an Online Takeover in September on the Prize’s websites and social media, for which he made an exclusive video, and Ilê also had some of his works presented in a tv screen displayed at Paço Imperial (Rio de Janeiro) between September 9 and November 21, while the Winners of PIPA 2020 and the Recent Acquisitions of PIPA Institute exhibitions were taking place.

Exhibition view at Paço Imperial, 2021, photo by Jaime Acioli

Sartuzi’s artistic practice combines hands-on experience of the material he uses and an extensive theory knowledge, as he mentioned in his interview with Camillo:

“Working in public and private institutions, the support and promotion of a critical debate around art and culture is a founding aspect of my education. In university research groups and at bars, a rigorous reading practice provided me with conceptual tools for direct confrontation with other artists’ works in interviews and studios, and, evidently, all that results in a critical view about my own production”.

His research involves sculptural objects, mapped video projections, installations and theatrical plays addressing issues related to the idealized image of the body, often fragmented or constructed from different parts; but also the absence of this figure in proto-architectural and digital spaces. The interest in the dramatic arts in recent years has given a kind of theatricality to his objects and installations that are animated by mechanical movements and interpret dramaturgies and choreographies.

“Dollhouse Gallery”, 2020
, tour virtual, www.dollhouse.gallery

Check out below the brief texts Ilê sent us about the 4 artworks that now integrate the “Displacement” collection:

  • “Worstward Ho!”

2020, 06’50”, text: Samuel Beckett, rendering: Miro Bersi, soundtrack: Bruno Palazzo

Commissioned by Instituto Moreira Salles, the video “Worstward Ho!” starts from the homonymous text by Samuel Beckett, published in 1983. Images, text and soundtrack overlap to create a continuous path inside an apartment reconstructed through the process of photogrammetry. The disembodied camera slides, in its slow and continuous movement, through space and out of it and back in again. With the rhythmic cadence typical of Beckett’s texts, the voice accompanies the video in this dilated and dynamic time, which confuses “real” and “digital” spaces or a possible mental place, closed in on itself.

This work, that was shown for the first time in the context of “Programa Convida” from Instituto Moreira Salles, will still integrate this year the 15ª Bienal de Artes Mediales de Santiago, in Chile. Now, the work is part of PIPA Institute’s collection.

  • “Queda”

2021, HD video, color, sound, 12’20’’

A video made with 3D animation in which a kind of skin falls on a surface. Repeating this same action from different positions, the impact calculation of these two materials generate different deformations on these skins. The work brings closer two distinct characteristics of the artist’s work: the latex skins and the research on digital simulations. The work was shown for the first time in the solo show “A. E A de novo.” at the auroras, in São Paulo. On that occasion, the video was installed inside the house’s fireplace, which occupies the center of the main exhibition space.

“Queda”, 2021, HD video, color, sound, 12’20’’

  • “Vedetes”

2017, latex mask, support, servomotor, arduino, projector, variable dimensions
– in partnership with the AMUDI group from USP’s Escola Politécnica

“Vedetes” is the first work in which Ilê Sartuzi uses microcontrollers to move objects. In the artwork, the mouth of a latex mask is articulated by a random mechanical movement out of sync in relation to the images projected on this same mouth. What is at stake are a series of surface logics – be it on the thin mask or on the projection that touches this skin, or even the content of these images. The mouths are from scenes of international and national cinema vedettes, and the seduction of the observer with the consumed images of these figures (of their lips and their charm in front of the cameras) is out of step with the deformations caused by the repetitive maquinal movement.

  • “Untitled (videogame Glitch)”

2018-2019, HD video, color and sound, 05’46’’

The video investigates the flaws (glitches) of videogames from images appropriated from the internet. Divided in two parts, the first one investigates flaws related to the structuring of bodies within the virtual world system. These glitches alter the stablished order and the normal functioning of things, transforming, in some cases, the apparent three-dimensionality that structures this world, revealing the flat two-dimensionality of the image. In this sense, research on the image of bodies continues to deepen in another representative field. The investigations that moved between the sculptural body and the painted image enter the digital world as a way to unravel the construction – and here the constructive aspect must be taken into account – of fragmented and sometimes monstrous bodies.

The second part of the video explores the possibilities of a player using a glitch for their advantage in a way that was not intended by the designers of the system, which is identified on videogames as an exploit. Therefore, the understanding of acting through loopholes is broadened (an idea so dear to some contemporary philosophers such as Alain Badiou). By understanding the mechanisms of the system and its failures, the subject can intervene more powerfully in complex structures through these openings.

Still of “Untitled (videogame_glitches)”, 2018-2019, HD video, color and sound, 05’46’’

On the occasion of Ilê being nominated for PIPA Prize 2021, the artist recorded a videointerview produced by Do Rio Filmes exclusively for the Prize. In his answers, he talks about the media that he uses, which goes from theatre to latex and computer generated images, and about one of his most emblematic works, the “hollow head doll’s foam”, from 2019. Watch the video below:

To visit the artist’s webpage on the Institute’s portal, click here.

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