A small and fictional show to attenuate the solitude
on a self-isolated period in a bedroom in London
RR is not exactly an exhibition, it is not open to the public, nor is it, in a certain sense, a significant collection (in numerical terms) of works created over a long period of time, involving previously conceived poetic strategies and exhibition layout. On the contrary, the exhibition – I’ve decided to keep this term as a conscious statement – is an accident, a fluke, and the result of an affective leisure.
I am in an airbnb room locked in mandatory quarantine in the only European country that accepts Brazilians visitors at this time. Getting here involved risky planning with uncertain consequences. It was, however, the chance I had in order to continue with my urgent plans to complete an Italian citizenship process and comply with my commitment at the Villa Lena artists’ residency, scheduled since mid-2019.
After taking all the health care necessary, facing a hostile customs barrier, I finally managed to enter the country under the understanding that my next fifteen days would be marked by isolation. Talking about isolation six months after the WHO decreed an unprecedented pandemic is, at the very least, an obvious thing, but crossing the border and inhabiting a country with which language, culture, and affection one does not share, is new for me. Anyway, the following are some introductory and necessary paragraphs to contextualize RR.
I brought three pieces with me: an envelope containing two photographs printed on matte paper, an oil painting and a meteorite fragment with its certificate – elements that have driven my thinking and my interest during the last weeks. Added to this collection are: a drawing in two parts on lined paper and a set of newspaper clippings.
The two photographs are still lifes of dried flowers, seeds, leaves and honeycomb, without the panache of the saturated colours of pungent nature, contrasted with the wooden board onto which they are set. However, the receptacle of a centrally photographed flower implies a penis covered by its foreskin. In the other image, in the opposite direction, another phallus emerges – this one of flesh and muscle, semi-erect, counterpointing in colour and light, but completely integrated to the nature that surrounds it: organic forms complex in details, veins and textures. Both images placed side by side suggest a phallic, appetizing encounter. Nature with nature meets.
In its turn, the oil painting is an enigmatic landscape with a reddish sun in the corner, an incomplete circle of a lake, and upright trunks. The landscape is inspired by the paintings of Forrest Bess (1911-1971), a fascinating artist I discovered during the quarantine, whose relationship with sexuality – through Jung and the original mythologies – made him seek new understandings for his body and his life.
Beside it, a small fragment of stone in a box that could well be from a museum or a relic holder, rests on a paper certificate: I certify the authenticity of this sample, the same as in the photo, being the Avanhandava Meteorite of type H4. I guarantee the legitimacy of this sample.
The Avanhandava meteorite is one of four recorded cases of a bolide falling in the state of São Paulo. Occurring in 1952, a few kilometres from my hometown, the meteorite, weighing more than 9 kg, fell in a coffee plantation in the countryside and generated such wonder and curiosity that it was exhibited in the central pharmacy of the small countryside town until it was broken down into small parts and sent to the National Museum, in Rio de Janeiro, and to the Geological Museum of São Paulo.
My interest in the sidereal fragment is the same interest for a narrative, in confirming a story that, through the object, proves, recalls and ratifies a history of local and specific imagery, attracting a group of interested parties, scientists and collectors. The object per se personifies a desire and a mystery.
Clippings from The Daily Mail newspaper create phallic shapes, printed with news pieces and photographs also glued together, in a kind of articulated and rectilinear body. On the floor, another clipping restores the profile of the poet Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), taken from a caricature of him with a hat and long hair at the time of his stay in London. Here Rimbaud lived a notorious romance with the poet Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) in the years 1872 and 1873 amid fights and financial difficulties.
The two-part drawing is also an adulterated copy of that same caricature. One sees Rimbaud excited, with a gigantic hard dick, touching the edge of the lined paper. The historical character, geographically close to me, arouses fascination, and is transposed to a portrait of sexual fantasy, wide open, figurative and impossible.
Finally, the fragments all recall an unattainable totality, the engine of poetic, narrative sexual desire.
These are small oases in a private room.
RR - Matheus Chiaratti
during a self-isolated period
in an Airbnb bedroom. Wimbledon, Londres, UK
27 de Setembro - 10 de Outubro de 2020
©2020 by Matheus Chiaratti.