Laura Belém - Celma Albuquerque Galeria de Arte Contemporânea


Celma Albuquerque Galeria de Arte presents the solo exhibition by visual artist Laura Belém, “Composition in retrospect 2011-2021″.

The exhibition revisits and groups together three works created by the artist in previous years and never shown together; they are: “Sky Notes” (2011), “Noites Carnavalescas” (Carnival Nights) (2015) and “Noturno” (Nocturnal) (2015).

In this context, the work “Sky Notes”, originally created for the exhibition “Quiet Attentions”, at the Art Tower Mito Contemporary Art Gallery, in Japan, in 2011, especially gains a new expography and reinterpretation.

The three works gathered in the exhibition are works on paper and a mix of photography, drawing and collage. They mention music, rhythm, chance, indeterminacy, movement, sound and silence.

“Sky Notes” emerged from an invitation for the artist to participate in a group exhibition in Japan, in 2011. During the Brazil-Japan flight, Laura photographed, from the airplane window, icebergs dissolving in the sea and the particles of ice that were released. On a selection of these printed images, the artist drew musical pentagrams with blue carbon paper. These, in turn, were combined with pentagrams also with blue carbon and collages with confetti on white sheets. The resulting compositions were arranged on 24 music stands, in front of the organ in the hall of the Art Tower Mito Contemporary Art Gallery. For the exhibition at Celma Albuquerque, the artist groups these works in a new way and presents them in three large groups on the wall, in a montage that may suggest ‘musical sketchbooks’.

“Carnival Nights” (2016) is a series of four collages with colored and folded confetti, creating reliefs and rhythms on black paper, in compositions that also suggest musicality and allude to the festivities of Carnival in Brazil.

“Nocturnal” (2015) is a black print based on mineral pigment on cotton paper, on which musical pentagrams can be seen in a white gradient, which gradually fades into the black background.

The exhibition’s title, “Composition in retrospect 2011-2021″, articulates a new look at the works exhibited and revisited here, as well as at concepts of design, photography, temporality, music, chance, sound and silence. At the same time, the title chosen refers to the artist and composer John Cage, more specifically to his publication “Composition in Retrospect”, from 1992. Written in “mesostic” (interconnected lines of prose poetry), “Composition in Retrospect” is a text in which John Cage exposes his work methodology and examines central issues of his work: indeterminacy, incomprehension, inconsistency, imitation, variable structure and contingency. Although Laura Belém’s work does not follow the same methodological procedures as John Cage, the artist finds resonances between some concepts of her creation process and that of the composer, and borrows the title for the exhibition from this manuscript, adding the period 2011-2021 that spans the year of creation of “Sky Notes” to the present day.