The objects without qualities (calendar – publication)

By June 25, 2018texts

Dalila Gonçalves has chosen for this publishing the format of a log book (implied in the Latin origin of the word – calendarium), in which a significant set of works is gathered, representative of her trajectory. Although it is entitled Calendário (Calendar), its purpose is not to detail, show and visualize the works, obeying a time line, in order to locate and help us understand the pieces. It is about the use of the concept for other purposes. With this appropriation, the artist has preferred to establish a cycle of seasons, which follow each other throughout the book, suggesting themes that provide a vision on different aspects of her practice, establishing conceptual possibilities of analysis of her work.

Even so, time is the biggest ally of the artistic and productive practice of Dalila Gonçalves. Her work is predominantly procedural. Many of her pieces of work show that special attention given to the flowing of time, as they come from a continuous collector activity: to gather, to pile up, to collect, to inventory, to lay out and to exhibit are some of the means and actions that articulate her work. One can say that her pieces of work lie in a double basis: the process of collecting objects and the process of installation used to give a new meaning and unprecedented condition to the set. Those are, for example, the major threads of Organic Time (2012-2013), work based on the process of gathering a set of white used pool balls and in the posterior setting of these found objects. Along the same lines is Playing with time (2102-2013), piece constituted by 840 chalk holders for pool cues that the artist has collected and gathered gradually, afterwards laying the set out in a geometrical configuration.

In a field of trivial objects, stolen, transferred or diverted from the daily life and from its value in use, and with similar characteristics in everything, there is, however, in each recollection, a request for attention to a slower observation. The issue is that if each installation is born from the composition and the alignment of equals, one is forced to understand the heterogeneity and the imprints inscribed by different levels of use, abrasion, handling and action of time over each one of the gathered multiples. In a subtle and quiet way, those variants are the ones that mobilize the aesthetic, poetical and affective qualities of the work.

In some cases, Dalila Gonçalves intervenes in a more obvious way in the combination of the parts. She lays out, creating scales, variations of use and abrasion, of the material’s colour, giving them a graphic and formal expression. These are also the guidelines that have pressed forward Amontoar em Carga e Descarga (2012), installation formed by Bic black pens that organizes and classifies according to the measure and the ink level of use in each pen. Deliminar (2012-2013) is also an installation formed by used graphite pencils, collected from schools. This one, just like other pieces of her work, summon, therefore, a sense of common economics, in this case driven from the processes of exchanging new objects for used ones.

These are representative ways of production of her work, that congregates a wider body of work, in which are included installations, but also photography, video-installations, public interventions, drawings, sculptures, made in various materials. In some pieces, she uses a support of fragile materiality, such as carbon paper, exploring simple games of language and possibilities, as well as the effects of ink transference and of the pigment by contact. The obvious essentiality in these works, as well as the shortage of resources are characteristics also shared in pieces of work such as A4 (2013), piece constituted only by agglutinated graphite and that, notwithstanding its density, has an aspect of extreme fragility.

Finally, it is still mentioned Tensor (2013), an installation formed by an illumination mechanism and wooden and paper elements. Installed in spaces where the natural light does not enter, this work of a very handmade aspect establishes a very dynamic relation between the object and the space, the effects of light and shadow, of visibility and invisibility, from the ascending and descending movement produced by the luminous device. Something that, either by symbolic context or by metaphorical aspiration, leads us to a space of confrontation with the ephemeral and transitory nature of the objects, but also to any other experience.

Sandra Vieira Jürgens