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  • NO-REPLY DELIVERY SYSTEM.
    28.10.2021—31.10.2021
    OPENING: 27.10.2021
    Co-production UMA LULIK_e FLR – Fundação Leal Rios
    Curator:



    NO-REPLY DELIVERY SYSTEM.

    Exhibition view | © Bruno Lopes





    NO-REPLY DELIVERY SYSTEM.

    Exhibition view | © Bruno Lopes





    NO-REPLY DELIVERY SYSTEM.

    Exhibition view | © Bruno Lopes





    NO-REPLY DELIVERY SYSTEM.

    Exhibition view | © Bruno Lopes





    SALTO HORIZONTAL
    INSPIRA, SUSTÉM, SOPRA

    NO-REPLY DELIVERY SYSTEM.

    Should one ask, from this standpoint, how the Japanese Masters understand this contest of the archer with himself, and how they describe it, their answer would sound enigmatic in the extreme. For them the contest consists in the archer aiming at himself — and yet not at himself, in hitting himself — and yet not himself, and thus becoming simultaneously the aimer and the aim, the hitter and the hit. Or, to use some expressions which are nearest the heart of the Masters, it is necessary for the archer to become, in spite of himself, an unmoved centre. Then comes the supreme and ultimate miracle: art becomes “artless”, shooting becomes not−shooting, a shooting without bow and arrow; the teacher becomes a pupil again, the Master a beginner, the end a beginning, and the beginning perfection.
    Zen in the Art of Archery, Eugen Herrigel

    Mon dear friend, gentle Diogo,
    This little book you handed me — a pile of stapled photocopies, the most romantic of infractions — explains how archery, “once practised for the contest of life and death, has not survived even as a sport” is now, in Japan, a ritual practice. Rooted in spiritual exercises, it is a ritual that points towards an encounter, an attempt to be one with the surface / target, in which the archer aims at themselves, they are “the aimer and the aim, the hitter and the hit.”

    The first thing I noticed in the second moment of this triptych (three moments in time), in which we can hear the sound of several arrows being shot in rapid succession, was the lack of the sound that determines the success or failure of the exercise: the sound of the arrow hitting ground or target — the sound of friction between solid materials. Where is the target? Does this absence suggest defeat? What if the arrow goes on flying forever, resisting gravity, and launches itself into orbit? What if the archer, aiming at themselves, think of themselves everywhere? Do they become a fountain, aimlessly spewing arrows?

    Then I thought of the first of these pieces, the one you presented at Zaratan: a bottomless well — a black hole in a room and the sound of falling water. The relationship between these two works gave rise to two thoughts (I hope you don’t mind) about the action taking place in this Event Horizon1. The first circled the ideas of time and death. What if the arrows are being shot at this umbilical void, towards the bottom of the well, the place where the archer was imagining himself to be? Nobody knows what’s on the other side (A garden? A white man guarding pearl-white gates? Seventy-two virgins?). The arrows, just like water, become thousands of golden records searching for something, whatever, drifting aimlessly like a message in a bottle. A bit like words when we’re alone and lost faith in prayer. The second thought was about the beloved son of Venus and Mars, Cupid and his archery. The son of Love and War, he condenses them into one. In Lucretius’ text on the physiology of love, Cupid represents both human desire and animal instinct, but also the attraction of atoms, and the force that creates and binds matter. I thought of the furtive arrows, intentions that do not strike their object or time. Ever lonely, Cupid creates for others what he cannot have himself. (Who never? / Throw the first stone). Your aimless arrows become satellites — little moons — of the world.

    And this brings us to the Leal Rios Foundation, to the final moment, and to this battle that we witness today. Two contemporary goddesses, Venus and Serena, symbols of excellence in their respective talents, are face to face, somewhere, measuring strength. So much space for so much absence. “The dust is the annulment of the body’s shape, like reducing a plaster sculpture to dust”, you said. And also: “The field/space becomes the negative of the subject, its absence is the negative as in the mould. It is the inside of the empty mould”. This piece was only possible in this place, in this intimate arena.

    Sound and image are as out of phase as they could be — as in thunderstorms. Prophets, sages, scribes, and sorcerers saw this meteorological phenomenon as a divine manifestation, as the gods’ anger toward humans. We are denied access to part of the action, to what is happening on that distant hill, outside the allegorical cave. You give us the arena and the net, the skin of the mould, the mirror they cross over and over again. I am deeply touched by the emotional dimension of this piece in which, when these two forces act on each other, there is no dichotomy —good or bad, fair or unfair — they are two distinct sisters in a tour de force like the one we all have within us: each the passive spectator of our own duels, water against water. And you, Diogo, Zen master, you’ve bargained with the powers that be, to take us to the highest cliff, the horizon of that black hole, and peer deeply into ourselves.

    With friendship,
    Isabel Cordovil

    1. The ‘event horizon’ is the boundary defining the region of space around a black hole from which nothing (not even light) can escape. In other words, the escape velocity for an object within the event horizon exceeds the speed of light.



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