“MATÉRIA-TINTA” Paint-matter

Cyriaco Lopes2

Flow: a search for form.
Chameleon, its appearance is also its history; it is where it has been.
The changes generated in its visuality do not alter its integrity.
Its obstacles are episodes, matéria-tinta (paint-matter) is transience.
It is reinvention of itself through space, its nature is transformation.

Immobilization: material extension = temporal dimension of its creation.
The formal aspect is a result of the route that resists, frozen.
It is the making visible the several stages of the action, a Muybridge as continuum.
A whole: a body for time.

INVISIBILITY: a white substance on white walls, continuations.
The wall, from support is turned into continuity of the work: blurred boundaries.
The eye cannot apprehend at a distance, there must be physical proximity to untangle the surfaces.
The works, which subtly erupt white over white, are small apparitions (water bubbles).

The tension between the flow and the mold.

LETTERING GUIDES: verbal language that (does not) conform experience -experience as overflow.
A “so much”, and a “so big”, and a “so many things” that, if there were a name for this, it would be the name of all things.
The matéria-tinta goes through the letter-shaped holes of the lettering guide, but does not become letter.
It’s capable of crossing things, but it does not conform to them, it is transformed because of them.

Water (= the word): almost invisible, but filter.

Water (= thought): it involves, sustains, and infiltrates the lettering guides, but these, contained, seem clearer than that which contains them.

The mirrors: the possibilities of contact with our own appearance.
Only they copy a reversed world; we are fated to know ourselves through a non- trustworthy informant.
As we are fated to use words, knowing that they will betray us, that their nature is one of incapability.

MA’AM: the matéria-tinta comes from the wall towards the spectator, a gush, it runs over the object, the baby-bottle-nipple-of-the-pacifier.
Heights calculated by the parameters of the body.
It’s all invitation, a flow of self to feed the other, generous (the eternally prodigal Berninian breasts).

THE GLOVES: formerly the repressors of flesh, now they are the filling.
Their elasticity, which did not serve to comfort or ease, but to achieve maximum adherence, is tested ad absurdum.
They want to hold, to push, to tense up, and the effort seems to be consuming them, in the white trickling into which they are dissolved.
Others pray, silent and faithful (yet incongruent).

The norm, the mold, the order, undone.
The expansion, the flow.
The leaves that take over the geometrical trees of an abandoned garden.

Rio de Janeiro, August 1997

  1. Text written for the solo show at the São Paulo Cultural Center (1997).
  2. Cyriaco Lopes is an artist and a professor at the City University of New York; he holds M.F.A.s from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.