No ouvido há labirintos e cristais (In the ear there are labyrinths and crystals) is the second solo exhibition of Dalila Gonçalves (Castelo de Paiva, Portugal, 1982) at the Rafael Ortiz Gallery in Seville. This exhibition explores the perceptive relations between the different pieces or devices shown, being the spectator, inevitably and necessarily, the main connection between them.
Since the beginning of human thought, numerous philosophical movements have attributed to the senses a fallacious, deceptive nature. Plato's ontological dualism, Descartes' persistent methodical doubt or Berkeley's subjective idealism are some of the abundant examples in which reality is rejected as that perceived through our senses. Another example could be Kantian transcendental aesthetics. However, with Kant there is a restructuring in these approaches. In Kantian phenomenology, what is relevant is not the veracity of what is perceived, but rather the subjective experience that resides in perceptual acts themselves.
These ontological reflections help us understand Gonçalves' work, since the artist plays with the way her pieces are revealed, with an evocative appearance that confronts the origin from which they emerge: materials that accumulate experience, materials that have become impregnated with her memory. Material memory metamorphosed into a new aesthetic aspect; the object transmuted into a work of art. A kind of objet trouvéwhere the experience accumulated in the object is evidenced in order to generate a narrative. To reflect this reminiscence, the artist refers to the elements that may go unnoticed in their usual state and transfers them to the focus of the viewer's attention. The object continues to accumulate experience through a new and impetuous appearance: the capacity to be perceived from a new prism.
Likewise, in 'No ouvido há labirintos e cristais', Dalila Gonçalves acts as a Cartesian malin génie, arousing poetic tension through the confusion between the apparent and the evident, between what is seen and what is heard. That is, the eye can see something which it expects to make a sound, but the ear does not hear anything. The sensory expectations of the subject are frustrated and forced to generate, over this tension, new connections. As if they formed a labyrinth or a spider's web, the different pieces of the exhibition are linked to each other and subjugated to this tension, to this poetry.
A cone made of wooden boards rises like a large gramophone, projecting into it a halo of light that reveals the fallen knots (longings of branches that never were).Despite its appearance, it does not emit any sound. In the same room, a "Sound Catcher" hangs from the ceiling, touching a crystal ball on a copper container covered with water. In the same way, an omen of sound flies over the articulation of the work, without being consummated (at least in this place). In order to elucidate the origin of the sound, one would have to go up to another space (as in Plato's myth of the cave), where the video creation 'Concert' is located. The sound of the rotation of some used sandpaper is accompanied by the improvisation of a double bass. This is not only a musical eurhythm, but also an aesthetic one, since there is a formal and material harmony between the elements that interact in it. In the last space, among other elements, there are some ceramic pieces that remind us of stones, but in spite of the robustness that is perceived by their forms, they show their fragility through the light that penetrates in its interior, showing a hollow where, perhaps, sound is lodged. Or silence.
In this way, Dalila Gonçalves gives form to 'No ouvido há labirintos e cristais', altering the perceptive relations and propitiating new experiences, both material and relational. From the accumulated experience of the object (which is raised to the condition of a work of art), to the connections between the different pieces in this exhibition generated by the perceptual experience of the viewer. An empirical, autarkic and poetic gear with which Dalila Gonçalves invites the spectator to be a subject, to generate their own connections within the exhibition and to give these pieces future memories.
Guillermo Amaya Brenes