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T. L., or about the Rashomon effect

"After all, what are these 'copied drawings' from those artists already so clearly identifiable by their production, by the personalistic characteristics of their images, by their insertion in the history of art, particularly Brazilian art?"​

Time time time time

I enter into an agreement with you
Time time time time
For being so inventive
And continuous opinions
Time time time time

Time time time time
What will we use for this?
It is kept confidential
Time time time time
Just with you and me
Time time time time
And when I'm gone
Out of your circle
Time time time time
I will not be nor will you have been
Time time time time
Still I believe

Caetano Veloso​

T.L. structurally presents, and once again[1], the proposal to compare two series of works with the same conditions, the same intentions and the same investigations to which Gustavo von Ha has dedicated himself over the last four years, as part of his research which, only initially could it be broadly identified, or characterized by the notion of crossing. It is, basically, and explained in a simple way, the image production process: the image/mirror that produces a kind of fusion between the “two sides”, using crossfade; a strategy that allows the artist to materialize, on the surface of the paper, the image that arises from a first visual reference that was offered for the production of those that now become part of the world.



The new images, those produced by the artist, allow us to perceive a process of rebirth of that image that originally exists inserted in time and space, but in this new proposed game presents itself, to the observer's gaze, with a new body, with a subversion of its starting point: T. and L, as proposed by the title of the exhibition, in a small enigma, immediately decipherable when we enter the exhibition. As if hidden, the images resulting from the process gain their place in the world and then assert themselves, autonomously.



The artist's choice of referential universes – in the cut proposed for this exhibition – consisting of Tarsila do Amaral and José Leonilson, can be read in different ways, whether those explained by Gustavo von Ha, or those offered to our inquiring gaze. and researcher. After all, what are these ‘copied drawings’ from those artists already so clearly identifiable by their production, by the personalistic characteristics of their images, by their insertion in the history of art, particularly Brazilian art? What constitutes this process that, after apparently being identified, points to explicit references such as the history of Brazilian art, investigations into drawing and its potential in contemporary art, or even questions that are part of the questioning procedures of contemporary production, such as rereading, copying, appropriating, inverting, mirroring and other possible readings? And wouldn't it still be possible to point out the artist's explicit interest in other subjects such as memory, notions of beauty or nonsense? And what can also be glimpsed, but becomes inexorably present: time.



It is stated, through the operation of confrontation/dialogue naturally visible in the arrangement of the two sets of drawings that constitute the proposed arrangement in the exhibition space, the perspective of, contemporaneously, presenting images that refer to different moments of the past and that are mirrored in them to , making the present, near past and distant past coexist simultaneously. It is impossible to deny that the images point to the past, it is also impossible to deny that the images of the past are in the images of the present and, thus, simultaneous layers of references constitute the present time, that of the exhibition. Present as past and past as present? Or just an (a)illusion of time?


By mentioning the condition of mirroring - although a virtual reference to the process of constituting images - another perspective of approaching the process opens up, but even more concretely with the drawings, the explicit reference to the mirror[2] and, of this, as the place in which the image is not – from a physical/material perspective – and fades away. The images exist on their supports, the first that gives rise and the second, the result of the process, but the mirror is the place of the crossing and not of existence, or permanence. ​

The image is perfected, realized through the mirror and, it is important to emphasize here, also through the mirror. Therefore, a clear distinction must be made between the two terms, since the process presupposes this game of double meaning for them.


If the process of creating images started from their pre-existence, if assuming them individually as an image means merging all its elements, including what is 'signature' in the original, then how can we solve this without also going through the mirror, in search of the author's identity?


It is also necessary to mention that when articulating his interest in drawing, with the productions of other artists, his own character of irreverence and overcoming references, as is the case with Tarsila, or even, irony and provocation, as well as typical sarcasm and scathingness by Leonilson, which applies to the transgressive character – here not used in a banal way, as a mere exercise of iconoclasm towards consecrated names – of subverting the value 'applied' to the works of both, and which, here, are, in a 'way crossed' thrown into another dimension, by causing a certain 'misunderstanding' of the works, proposing images that are - if it weren't for the inversions, not always immediately apprehendable - 'equal' to those produced by the two artists.


This is another question, among those proposed by T.L, and if we want to enter the game proposed by Gustavo von Ha we will have to launch ourselves, in front of the drawings, to scrutinize the intentions, or provocations that he proposes to us. So, returning to the initial idea of crossing, could we try to understand it, here, as the act of leaving the observer to his own fate?


Would we be able to close the questions here, and so on? Or could we still have other instances of this nature to be explored? Of course yes, after all ‘on the other side of the mirror’ there is a lot that we can always not know, or understand, or even remember. When something is recorded in our memory there is a process of fragmentation of information, disintegration of its totality that spreads, so to speak, in our mind and, to recover this 'memory', we need to regroup the fragments to, in this process, reconstitute the facts and events to which we want to refer. The process is a reconstruction, and not a 'simple' reproduction, since it takes place through the insertion of elements that constitute the experience of the person who is now reconstructing it.


The process of constituting and, consequently, reading images cannot be thought of in any other way. It can, therefore, be inferred that producing and reading an image implies introducing into it expectations, prejudices, cultural references, articulations and mental schemes, emphasizing what is most significant to it, in addition to rationally rearticulating it to give meaning and intelligibility to the image. process of creation, as well as the reading and apprehension of the image, which may seem to want to deceive me due to the apparent immediate nature of apprehension. Memory can - in some way - betray us, or even betray everyone who allows themselves to be deceived only by memories, when what we propose here is to let ourselves be lulled by them, by their circularity and endless potential to provoke, to seduce , of producing relationships and rearticulations with what is seen.


Marcos Moraes

São Paulo, May 2012​

[1] It is necessary to mention that the exhibition continues and deepens an investigation already put into dialogue with the public, in the Double Crossing exhibition, presented by the artist in Tokyo, at the Project Gallery (Promo-Arte latin American).


[2] If the mirror as an instrument for research and production of images goes through history and the references to it are countless, in the same way Von Ha's research developed around investigations of this nature, throughout these years of work .​

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