“Since the actual nature is lost, everything can be nature.”
Since his early works, Ricardo Carioba has been developing his oeuvre under the sign of decomposition and the subtraction of expressive forms. Employing minimal elements only, such process of reduction is pervaded by a mistrust concerning language and the narratives it entails, and finds equivalence first in the loss of importance of the two-dimensional surface in favor of video, and later of music. It is as if one had to retreat to the immaterial nature of sound in order to build a legitimate artistic object, disembarrassed of constraints as far as possible.
For this site-specific artwork currently exhibited at Coletor, Carioba develops devices previously seen in earlier works (hypothetic fluid, dark horizon) to create some sort of audiovisual immersive sculpture, which overlaps the exhibition space and unfolds some of its features. In the contiguous rooms of a no longer inhabited house, two large natural light openings are covered by filters – one red, the other one green – and three videos are projected. At the center, the first one shows white ellipses moving and overlapping themselves according to the frequency variances of the sound composition. On the sides, projections oriented towards the ceiling follow the music’s grave and acute beats, thus fractioning time as tiny bursts. On the left, right next to the green light entry, two white squares of different dimensions switch positions and disappear; on the right, next to the red light entry, flashes a faint and also white line. Spread throughout the space, the music conducts and orders everything.
In this brand new spatial, hybrid unit and by using minimal formal elements (the square, the ellipse, the line), light, video, and sound define a sensorial experience that claims no thing, since its round time sets history aside. In such space, no works can reach out to an ending (work isn’t even possible), as if we were somewhere after the end of places, devoid of expectations or interlocutors.
The actual space gets dissolved in the empty house. Listeners-spectators submerge in a sound-light that seems to come from a no longer existing star, but whose light continues to reach out to us, simultaneously carrying both the beauty and the melancholy of something long gone. No construction or technical optimism manage to survive (as if the artwork itself ceased to be a work, something destitute of human spirituality and industriousness); the ellipsis in the central video, from its very name – élleipsis, Greek for ‘suppression’ –, points towards a pure experience (also numinous, in a certain way) that orients the work. On the other end, music is connected with the most basic degree of our
physical experience, with a corporality that is not animal, but rather issued from celestial bodies.
Here, neither is the lost nature replaced by a complaint or a nostalgic moan, nor is the abandonment of language and narrative felt as an absence. Instead, this distance is required, so as to allow some freedom to emerge from silence; the refusal of illusion and hope provides the thought with the ether of a new space. In our time barren of specialness – this spiritless era of ours –, we once again find the point of departure from which our word can resume. After all, it is like we are finally able to listen to the echoes of our own stuttering.