I am more of a water-drinker, says Henri Michaux in the afterword of “Miserable Miracle” [Misérable miracle], book of a trilogy where the French writer reports his experiences with mescaline – the other volumes are “L'infini turbulent ”and“ Paix dans les brisements ”. In these moments of hallucination, Michaux drew, inventing in this process a writing, which he called “visionary babbling” [balbutiement visionnaire]. It is the author himself who also makes known, in the epigraph of “Émergences-Résurgences”: “Born, raised and educated in an environment and in a culture only of ‘verbal'*, I paint to decondition myself.”
It is in “A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia”, that Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari write: “Kerouac's dream, and already Virginia Woolf’s, was for the writing to be like the line of a Chinese poem-drawing. She says that it is necessary to ‘saturate every atom’, and to do that it is necessary to eliminate, to eliminate all that is resemblance and analogy, but also ‘to put everything into it: eliminate everything that exceeds the moment, but put in everything that it includes – and the moment is not the instantaneous, it is the haecceity into which one slips and that slips into other haecceities by transparency. To be present at the dawn of the world. Such is the link between imperceptibility, indiscernibility, and impersonality – the three virtues.”
Coming from the medieval scholastic philosophy, haecceity is a concept coined by Duns Scotus to define the distinctive qualities, properties, or characteristics of a thing that make it a particular thing, the haecceity being the quality of an object or of a person “to be that”, that is, that individualizing difference between ”the concept of 'a man’ and the concept ‘Socrates’ (a specific person).“
The works of Pedro Sousa Vieira shown in ”Uma varanda à justa" [A Balcony under the wire] can be read from their haecceity, from their distinct essence from other things, from their particularity. The very nature of these creations is thus their desire to becoming – another notion developed by Deleuze and Guattari – imperceptible, indiscernible and impersonal. Its territory materializes in shades that lend images – heads, landscapes, words – a floating, liquefied dimension, difficult to grasp. Drawing, sculpture or digital printing, the declinations used by the artist to construct this body of work tend to reinforce that idea of deconditioning: there is no narrative, however, behind this appearance, everything tells us a unique, existential story.
There are, thus, images that seem to rotate, others that bring us the flickering of a river or a sea, a negative of a poodle – that in this inversion loses its docile look and turns into the figure of a nightmare –, ghostly characters and color, lots of color: blues, yellows, greens and reds. It is an exhibition made of sensations, sober, restrained, that needs to be read as a meditation on beauty and the sometimes bewildering forms in which beauty insinuates itself in the world. They are works in a liquid, gaseous state, never solidified. They move and we move with them through blocks: a continuous line, diptychs, a triptych. They left the archive and now, mounted on the wall, they demand our attention. It is by intuition that we come to its core: they are present at the dawn of the world, precise, like the clock that stopped telling time, but it’s still there pointing the direction of a dream.
Pedro Sousa Vieira was born in Porto (1963), where he lives and works. In 2015, he was awarded the prize 10º Prémio Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Museu de Amarante, Portugal. Among his recent solo exhibitions are “3,99º”, at Museu Nogueira da Silva (Braga, 2015); “A Gaze from the Back”, at Galeria Belo-Galsterer (Lisbon, 2014); “Preto no Branco”, at Espaço Chiado 8, curated by Bruno Marchand (Lisbon, 2012), “No dia anterior”, at Galeria Nuno Centeno (Porto, 2013) and at Centro Cultural Vilaflor, curated by Bruno Marchand (Guimarães, 2011). Some important group shows in which Sousa Vieria participated are: “Animália e Natureza na Colecção do CAM”, curated by Isabel Carlos for CAM/Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon, 2014); “À propos des lieux d’origine. Portugal agora”, curated by Clément Minighetti, Marie-Claude Beaud and Björn Dahlströml, at MUDAM – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, (Luxemburg, 2007); “Entre Linhas– Desenho na Colecção da Fundação Luso-Americana”, curated by João Silvério, at Culturgest (Lisbon, 2005), “Zoom 1986-2002 – Colecção de Arte Contemporânea Portuguesa da Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento: uma selecção”, curated by Manuel Castro Caldas, at Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, (Porto, 2002) and “Linhas de Sombra”, curated by João Miguel Fernandes Jorge and Helena de Freitas, at CAM / Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon, 1999).
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