GALERIA LEME PRESENTS “TERRA DE NINGUÉM” BY FREDERICO FILIPPI
Curated by Thais Rivitti. No-Man's-Land, title of the solo exhibition by Frederico Filippi at Galeria Leme, enounces the territory it tries to capture. We could call it Brazil, but the use of a proper name gives an impression of accuracy and distinction, as if we were talking about a delimited, already established and agreed on unit.
Many images follow one another in the exhibition, and in the transit between them, what was taken for granted is now expanded. Frederico Filippi works with polarities: the living and the dead, the past and the present, the organic and the industrial, nature and the built, what moves and what lurks. But in his work the two poles coexist, challenging. There is no room for appeasement; the invitation is to be constantly restless. As if one could only find meaning in those successive paths and alternating positions.
Filippi’s artworks evoke categories like coincidence, synchrony and encounter, and ponder on the small subtleties that set similar but definitely different things apart. Geographical boundaries, almost by definition, join and separate at the same time, allowing one to be both inside and outside. The expression “no-man’s-land” originated in World War I, designating the area that separated the enemy trenches. It refers to a territory that is both unoccupied and disputed. And nowadays, to an area which is both abandoned and highly subjected to all sorts of predatory actions. “No-man’s-land” could mean, but it does not, that the land belongs to everyone, a common good for the community to enjoy and preserve. It is more associated, however, with a “dog eat dog” situation, with the absence of a State capable of mediating conflicts. Part of the imagination put in motion by the works presented here, includes allusions to indigenous reserves, illegal mining, environmental protection areas, and more.
That’s how certain images of Brazil appear in the pieces on display. In counterpoints, in movement, in relationship (however never absolutely). They materialize at a distance from one point to another, as an extension of ranged land, visual records of the roadside, destroyed landscapes that come apart, dissolve or collapse. As a merging between modernity and traditional ways of life, between urban environment and nature, between the explorers of the "Brazil of travelers" and the explorers of cheap labor and tax benefits in the global automobile industry.
The exhibition comprises three sets of pieces that, although independent, reference each other, complement each other and assign meaning to the whole. The starting point for Frederico Filippi to apprehend this escaping object—the lines of force that converge in this abstraction we call Brazil—is to turn to the landscape, the land occupation, the changes in the environment. The pieces also make known other layers— economics, sociability, collective memory—through a geography converted into forms, images and symbols. Each painting is a collection of landscapes: small windows appearing as cutouts on a black background. Night panoramas, slopes, overflowing rivers, skies with clouds at sunset. Landscapes built on impermanence, on the verge of falling apart. Small paintings spread on the same support, such as photos placed on a table or on the page of a design software on a computer screen. They are still for now, but they may move after a while.
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