Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, 12 March 2011


Two months ago I worked at the private view of Lucia Noguiera's exhibition at Kettle's Yard. While serving drinks to Noguiera's beautiful daughter, various essayists, curators and organisers of the exhibition and Cambridge's most cultured crowd I had a few minutes to tour the exhibition. As I left, clutching a copy of the exhibition catalogue, I promised myself that I would return to think about the exhibition properly away from the excitement of the evening. Today I finally followed the promise back to the gallery space of Kettle's Yard.

'My way of thinking is very much from Brazil: my way of picking up objects comes from there too. It is something connected with childhood and also with the Brazilian psyche. Our way of thinking is not as linear as it is in Europe ... In art you obviously have a background in art history that is very rich. We don't have that in Brazil at all ... We just do everything in a very empirical way, even art.'

The gallery has been filled with Mischief now for a long time but the trails of red cord have not lost their sense of play. Noguiera's work asks, what can we do with material? And more pertinently for the current curatorial climate, what can we do with sculpture? As I follow trains of carrier bags, fibres, salvaged furniture and wasted materials the answer continually evades me, disappearing in to a hole in the floorboards or fading in to white wall space. However this is Noguiera's strength. She can lead us on this sculptural dance, this trail of discovery, which leaves cupboard doors ajar and unsettled, but never need offer us that final release. She is the cruel parent who leaves her children hiding in the game of Hide & Seek. Left in the dark alone we begin to doubt our purpose, we forget the point of the game and eventually come out in to the light with only our questions reaffirmed. As Adrian Searle wrote with such precision 'Her work reveals, it does not explain.'

If there was one sculpture which came closest to lucidity, to elucidating, then it was this Untitled sculpture (1989) made from metal, glass lenses and gauze. Through the lens on the left we see nothing more than what is there. In the right lens a deep tunnel has been created, a small glimpse in to the creation of an otherworld. As people view the exhibition they creep up close to the gauze and wire and peer in to this limitless abyss held in the small, round eye of the lens. The two possibilities are juxtaposed; sculpture that means and sculpture that does not. But if we are led towards a clear judgement here how do we apply it to the rest of our experience? The answer is that we can not, there is no one formula for interpretation and comment.

The watercolours were poised in an expert tension with the brutal, barrenness of the sculpture. Bright, fluid shapes performing a dance of a different kind on the walls. Still a search for incidental and intentional forms persists, introducing a new means of mischief and continually stretching the capacity of its audience.

1 comment:

  1. As always I love the way you write about art, and that you appear to do it with no effort! How I would love to visit a gallery with you by my side Francesca. I do hope all is going well with your papers as year end approaches.