text ENG / PT
The Reversal of the inside-out reversal [reversal] is the title of an exhibition that began a few months ago in the context of the PhD in Visual Arts program at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto. In Virose´ times, it took on a digital form and grew into an expanded collective body, bringing together the voices of artists who are re-thinking their own work in view of the restrictions imposed on social interaction and its’ encounter with art. Many of the artists gathered here usually work with some kind of materiality but at this moment, were predisposed and ready to clash with the immaterial1 - which highlights the experimental2 character of this project.
O avesso do avesso do avesso do avesso is also a verse by Caetano Veloso, a musician from Bahia who, in the seventies of the last century, had recently arrived in São Paulo. An immigrant in his own country, Caetano goes from the initial strangeness of the tough concrete poetry3 found in São Paulo's corners to the recognition of the place4 Sampa dissolving himself itself in each verse5. After all, the mind panics with that which is not even really old yet. And for us who are used to museums, to call an exhibition this foreign space [at least for some of us] into which we enter because of the virus, bears the look of strangeness.
The Reversal of the inside-out reversal relates also to this condition that was placed upon us in these in pandemic times6. The violent, scavenging forces that ripple through the air affect us with a gruesome intensity. Life turned inside out, the city inside the house, inside the body, the fear of the other, of itself, of death. A time of seismic shocks that tells us that the inside is outside and the outside is inside, that the before is the after7, that there is no thinking subject isolated from the collective body. We are learning to sustain this malaise, to resist painkillers, to deal with aches in the chest, in the throat, shortness of breath, in a resumption of the power and potential of creation, of this relational web that weaves metamorphoses in the times to come.
The Reversal of the inside-out reversal is all this and nothing too. It's a (fake) Aleph8 hidden in the middle of Pandora's white screens. It is a place and a non-place. It is also all the places contained in the screen-time suspended in your hands at this moment, dear sailor9.
1. Le saut dans le vide, photo-performance by Yves Klein, 1960: http://www.yvesklein.com/
3. Poesia é risco (poetry is risk), performance by Augusto de Campos, Cid Campos and Walter Silveira, 1996: http://site.videobrasil
4. Place is space permeated by memory, by crossings, the voices of those who opened the trails, “a portion of land / city / landscape seen from within”. To enter foreign territory requires temporality, the senses active and creating connections with what is still strange. Listening is radicalized in an attempt to absorb the recognizable sounds in the body-place that lives inside us. In the inner resonance of these voices, the possibility of speech germinates. Allocated in a nest-throat11, the words grow, take shape and take on a soul with the vibrating sound that protrudes from the mouth through the air. Being a foreigner in a algo-rithm place means wondering about the habitat, casting a suspicious look at what is unknown, unfamiliar. Being an ex-otic, looking through a strangeness lense, through the discomfort that reverberates in the body-skin and germinates, creating beings, words, larvae that now slide in this inhospitable numerical field.
5. Vertere, the same origin of the verse, the reverse, the adverse. The Latin translation would be something like turning or bending. It refers to the language practiced among farmers in a comparison with the act of plowing the land in stretches that, at the end of the land, turned and started over on a new line. It is said that in classical times, the Greeks wrote to the end of the line and then passed downwards, calling it a vertere, a verse. We can think that the Reversal of the inside-out reversal is a poem, a plowed field, a Möbius strip, "a topological surface where the end of one side restarts on the reverse of the other, which makes them indiscernible". (Rolnik, 2018)
6. “Convulsing times are always the most difficult to live in , but it is also in them that life screams the loudest and awakens those who have not yet succumbed to the condition of zombies - a condition that we are all destined for because of the pimp of the vital drive”. (Rolnik, 2018)
7. Caminhando (walking), by Lygia Clark, 1963:https://www.moma.org/
8. “On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realized that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph’s diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror’s face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I’d seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget; I saw her tangled hair, her tall figure, I saw the cancer in her breast; I saw a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree; I saw a summer house in Adrogué and a copy of the first English translation of Pliny — Philemon Holland’s — and all at the same time saw each letter on each page (as a boy, I used to marvel that the letters in a closed book did not get scrambled and lost overnight); I saw a sunset in Querétaro that seemed to reflect the colour of a rose in Bengal; I saw my empty bedroom; I saw in a closet in Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors that multiplied it endlessly; I saw horses with flowing manes on a shore of the Caspian Sea at dawn; I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out picture postcards; I saw in a showcase in Mirzapur a pack of Spanish playing cards; I saw the slanting shadows of ferns on a greenhouse floor; I saw tigers, pistons, bison, tides, and armies; I saw all the ants on the planet; I saw a Persian astrolabe; I saw in the drawer of a writing table (and the handwriting made me tremble) unbelievable, obscene, detailed letters, which Beatriz had written to Carlos Argentino; I saw a monument I worshipped in the Chacarita cemetery; I saw the rotted dust and bones that had once deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my own dark blood; I saw the coupling of love and the modification of death; I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon — the unimaginable universe. (in Aleph – Borges, 1949)
9. Agora (Now), video-poem by Arnaldo Antunes, 1993:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FROBNBoTgQ
10. Gabriela Carvalho (Brazil, 1988) is usually a curator, writer (an artist?), producer, teacher, cook, dancer and, currently, she is developing a research project at FBAUP's PhD in Visual Arts program in the field of curatorial language. She begins from the notion of writing as one that inscribes something in time, that marks the ruins of history, to think about the catalytic dimension (from the Greek kata + logos) of curatorial practice. Under this logos, an endogenous deconstruction movement is launched in order to dismantle the phallogocentric axis of the exhibitions in a decolonializing perspective of the arts and, consequently, of curatorial practices. That, in itself, consists of a necessary act of failure. As you can see, I keep trying.
11. Recipe for heating a sore throat
You will need:
- a small piece of ginger;
- a small piece of turmeric;
- a clove of garlic;
- a lemon (with green peel);
- a cinnamon stick;
- a spoon of honey;
- half a liter of water.
Chop the ginger, turmeric and garlic into smaller pieces. In a saucepan, heat these ingredients together with the water and cinnamon stick. After boiling, leave for another five minutes. At the end, squeeze the lemon and mix the cinnamon. Drink still warm. Keep your body warm.
It is infallible for a sore throat, there are people that even start singing. Grandma said it is also good for strengthening immunity. (Grandmother, 1996)