DIPLOMATIC CONVERSATIONS – NOVEMBER 2020


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Diplomatic Conversations

Celma Albuquerque Galeria de Arte will present from November 16 the exhibition “Diplomatic Conversations” with the participation of the artists represented by the gallery: Alan Fontes, Alessandro Lima, Beth Jobim, Bruno Vilela, Daniel Bilac, Daniel Escobar, Flavia Bertinato, Isaura Pena, João Castilho, José Bechara, Laura Belém, Leda Catunda, Liliane Dardot, Manuel Carvalho, Marcelo Moscheta, Nazareno Rodrigues, Nuno Ramos, Pedro Motta, Roberto Bethônico, Rochelle Costi, Tatiana Blass and Vanderlei Lopes.

The show opens a series of group exhibitions that are based on the conversation between artists. The central idea of ​​the project is the approximation between the works, be it for similarities or differences, always in the search for dialectical reverberations. The show brings as a curatorial proposal the election of a specific work by one of the artists as a starting point to create a network of connections with the other works in the exhibition, recognizing the subtle possible conceptual ramifications.

For this first exhibition, the work “Diplomatic Conversations” by the artist Laura Belém was chosen. According to the artist, the work was born from the accumulation of coins collected during trips abroad. These coins were combined in pairs – face to face – and assembled in five diagrams of seven pairs each. “The work creates metaphorical dialogues between the historical characters printed on the coins, placing, side by side, personalities from different countries and times”. In doing so, the artist suggests dialogues based on these arbitrary “encounters”, which are not necessarily based on historical or economic exchanges between countries placed in pairs. As Canadian curator Earl Miller pointed out, “although the meaning of the work is interpreted as political, a stronger implication is the bridge of differences through random encounters between strangers.” There is thus a disposition to humor and a reframing of an element of everyday life, as in other works of the artist.

In this delicate and tense moment that we are all going through, it is necessary and urgent that we can promote meetings in which constructive dialogues can take place. In interpersonal relationships, in general, it is necessary to establish conversations really constituted by the two elements that propel it: speech and listening – and not only by the first. More than ever it is necessary to learn and to listen. Thus, we could think that in this exhibition the works not only “speak” of the questions proposed by the artists, but also “listen” to each other.

These are conversations between the works and the artists, and these discussions allow artists of several generations to provide a space for the exercise of thought.

Groups or “conversation circles” were created from the questions raised by the artists and their works. The exhibition is divided into 6 thematic groups with works dealing with language and communication; nature and the environment; private and public spaces; time and death. In all these conversations, both sides of the coin are present, that is, the dialectic that establishes itself and establishes and also any dialogue. In this way, when artists present works related to communication, they bring to the conversation/exhibition, both the ease and the difficulty and the inexistence of it. In this period in which our interpersonal relationships are suffering a significant change caused by social isolation, the difficulties of communication – as well as its ease and speed – go hand in hand with the emotional and subjective issues brought about by it. When communication – or lack of it – directly interferes in all other relationships, the exhibition also proposes a reflection on the truth, or rather, the truths; since this word can no longer be read in the singular.