Good morning, Zé.
I send you this letter from Brussels, it rained a lot this summer. I remember us crossing Belgium along the coast. I still haven't managed to see the green ray, I looked for it all summer in Rio, but I didn’t see it. Only the green stains that come out in the pictures. I finally found it in the museum, here, in Brussels, your Raio Verde [Green Ray], floating on the wall, next to Duchamp.
This quest resonates, tracing circles like the so many drawings in the sand; from the Green Ray to the sunrise you portray. The title of your exhibit is like a poem, a metaphor, although I know that it is above all a testimony. A testimony of the state of grace that is the break of day. It is a moment of suspension. Like the flight of seagulls in the blue sky. It's a quality that exists in the way you see subtle things, things that go unnoticed by the eye of others. In the finesse of your gaze that lands on matter and defines new contours for the world, organizing it in a flow.
You took sand to the grass, planting a flagpole with no flag in the wind of your exhibit. A slender, discreet yet massive sculpture. I know it was heavy, although the displacement you operated made it seem light. I think it's beautiful how the sea comes and goes with you, like the tide, the undertow; how you take the sea for a walk in the city, providing shade for petrified statues in the summer sun, or recreating a cradle to welcome boats on the embankment. In your wanderings, do you feel the curling of the sea under the soles of your feet? This feeling seems to be found on the humps of your paintings-sculptures-installations: they are reminiscent of the ripples in Arpoador beach when the south-west wind blows and brings the surfers joy.
Today for the first time since I arrived, the sun is shining, the sky is entirely blue. It's a summer day at last. I quivered when I read your letter, I quiver even now, writing. It's a bit like the magic power of early mornings, low color saturation, and muffled city noise. The small subtleties of life, the exchanges of a good morning early in the morning when the world is still silent.
I'm here with Juan, preparing our exhibit, too. He says that every work is a love letter - all love letters are ridiculous, as [Fernando] Pessoa said - Even so, they are bottles thrown into the sea, they are attempts to communicate, to share a way of seeing the world, postcards of moments fleeting, mirrored rays of dawn.
You mentioned how much [José] Leonilson's exhibit impacted you, and how seeing [Arthur Bispo do Rosário] Bispo's work changed his language. I see affinities between you. The blue thread, Bispo's obsession, Leonilson's embroideries, his seams that mark the time spent in the studio. Sewing is a delicate activity, a way of defining narratives, of creating worlds between the lines, without coercion. I liked what you wrote about the listening in doing, the power of intuition. Intuition is the best guide, it's even the title of the most beautiful exhibit I've ever seen, a few years ago in Venice.
The emptiness: YES, exactly... bringing the emptiness, the silence of dawn into the exhibit... at least trying to! The idea of defining contours is beautiful, of showing things along the margins,
traversing the meanings. The emptiness also speaks of this place of absence of certainties, of looking within, of following your intuition and having the courage to tread new paths...
I'm happy, I changed my flight to arrive in Rio on the 12th, excited!