Tomie Ohtake, Vital Brasil

instituto tomie ohtakeGeração da Virada10+1 Os anos recentes da Arte Brasileira curated by Agnaldo Farias and Moacir dos Anjos, Institut Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, 2005

Thiago Bortolozzo works in various different fields such as installation, photography, sculpture and painting, always working through the intersection of mediums. His works always create a certain tension resulting in the viewer being compelled to question the possibilities and the limitations of language. Whilst the object is often camouflaged in the exhibition space, the construction of discourse emerges simultaneously, coming to the surface and evincing the process which generates it.

This operation is visible even in his two-dimensional pieces, where the game of incorporating and questioning the object in relation to the space happens – perhaps – more discretely. This is the case in the series Assolamentos (Devastation) and Toboaguas (Waterslides) where we see photographs disguised as paintings and vice-versa, creating a friction between the concepts and expectations around the image.

In the series Vital Brasil, the artist questions modernist constructions methods- namely, reinforced concrete architecture. He makes use of moulds employed to shape this type of concrete, which in turn, have their own construction method: they are almost shapeless, barely holding themselves together, but serve as basis for the building still to be erected. They seem precarious, indicating a transitory phase in which fences and laths put together with exposed nails are connected to the building as unusual extensions in a finished construction. Through this relationships between the artist’s work and the site where it is installed, a new space-time relation is established, where the transitory and the permanent create a sense of friction before the viewer. Architecture and sculpture seem to abdicate from their own conditions, destabilizing and challenging language as mere representation.

These works reflect the artist’s concern with questioning language as an instrument of transmitting information. For Bortolozzo, language expresses doubt in relation to representation and what is perceived as reality, dissolving the boundaries between artistic practice and a fundamental questioning of the nature of things.

Mauricio Fleury

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