Nuno Ramos | fodasefoice 5 May – 5 June 2010
Foice, 2007 charcoal, plush and goldleaf on board | 242 x 170 cm photo: artistâ€™s archives
fodasefoice is the title of a group of works by Nuno Ramos. These pieces comprise a wide variety of media: sculpture, drawing and performance. Ramos has been working on this series for a number of years, and the exhibition at Gallery 32 includes a group of especially commissioned large-scale sculptures. Resulting from simple shapes that relate closely to Brazilian Constructivism, these works are infused with a symbolic charge (the sickle, a symbol of death) and yet retain their basic geometric structure. Bearing its origin in drawing, the shape of the sickle that inspired the series was reworked by the artist into glass sculptures, whilst the meaning of the noun ‘foice’ (sickle) came about in a performance that took place originally at FUNARTE, Belo Horizonte, in 2007. The performance involved two sound speakers, two actresses, and a large heap of hay. Thus, both of the elements that are always present in Ramos’ work in a variety of ways – the physical body, or matter (present in the sculptures), and meaning, or the name (which commands the performance) – seem to be tackled side by side in this exhibition. The sculptures, which are the central feature of this exhibition, are two giant glass sickles, leant on the wall and pierced by their own handles, which here take the shape of large glass tubes filled with liquids that are charged with an antagonic symbolism: petroleum and Coca-Cola. The liquids are circulated around the room by a pump, mixing them and dissolving their difference whilst they flow through the sickles. In the performance, which appears here as a video, two actresses stand on sound speakers and reap, in slow motion, a giant heap of hay that lays in front of them, while the words ‘foda-se’ (fuck you) and ‘foice’ (sickle) are sounded – ‘foice’ (sickle) and ‘foi-se’ (has gone) are homophones in Portuguese. The work, therefore, acquires a new meaning: the ridding of something which has gone, in an exorcising ritual of both death and the past.
fodasefoice 3, 2008 glass, tempered glass, stainless steel, saline solution, formaldehyde | 242 x 170 x 150 cm photo: EstĂşdio Eduardo Ortega, courtesy Galeria Fortes VilaĂ§a
fodasefoice, 2007 performance FUNARTE, Belo Horizonte photo: artistâ€™s archives
Lâmina 3, 2007 tempered glass, blown glass, stainless steel and liquid vaseline | 250 x 143 x 140 cm photo: Estúdio Ortega, courtesy Galeria Fortes Vilaça
fodasefoice é o título de um conjunto de obras de Nuno Ramos, que se alastra por diversos gêneros: escultura, desenho, performance. Ramos vem trabalhando nesta série por alguns anos, e a mostra na Gallery 32 inclui um grupo de esculturas construídas especialmente para a exposição. Resultado de formas simples, herdeiras do construtivismo brasileiro, o trabalho traz uma carga simbólica (a foice, signo da morte) sem perder de vista a estrutura geométrica. Originária do desenho, a forma foice foi transformada pelo artista em esculturas de vidro, enquanto o significado do substantivo foice foi trabalhado numa performance realizada na FUNARTE, Belo Horizonte, em 2007. A performance envolveu duas caixas de som, duas atrizes e um monte de feno. Assim, os dois aspectos sempre presentes, das formas mais diversas, na obra de Nuno Ramos – o corpo físico, a matéria (presente nas esculturas) e o significado, o nome (que comanda a performance) – parecem estar sendo trabalhados em paralelo aqui. As esculturas, a principal obra a ser exposta na Gallery 32, duas “foices” gigantes de vidro plano apoiadas na parede, são atravessadas por seus próprios cabos, que aqui se transformam em tubos de vidro. Esses tubos são preenchidos com líquidos que detêm carga simbólica antagônica: petróleo e Coca-Cola. Os líquidos circulam pela sala através de uma bomba, misturando-se um ao outro, diminuindo suas diferenças enquanto atravessam as foices. Na performance, presente na exposição através de um vídeo, duas atrizes montadas em caixas de som ceifam em câmera lenta um imenso monte de feno à sua frente, ligadas e desligadas pelas palavras “foda-se” e “foice” – a palavra foice é homófona à palavra foi-se. O significado do trabalho ganha, assim, um novo aspecto: o de livrar-se do que já foi, como um ritual de esconjuramento do passado e da morte.
fodasefoice 5, 2008 granite, marble, glass, stainless steel, vinegar, liquid vaseline | 242 x 170 x 150 cm
fodasefoice 4, 2006 granite, glass, stainless steel, Coca-Cola, petroleum | 250 x 143 x 140 cm photos: EstĂşdio Eduardo Ortega, courtesy Galeria Fortes VilaĂ§a
SĂŠrie Entre (sinha e grapholita modesta), 2006 safety glass, blown glass, 2 water pumps, plastic hose, 2 glass bowls, vinegar and sea water | variable dimensions photo courtesy Galeria Fortes VilaĂ§a
Nuno Ramos was born in São Paulo in 1960, where he lives and works. In 1982, he graduated in Philosophy from USP (University of São Paulo). The artist has participated in various group exhibitions: the Venice, São Paulo, Havana and Mercosul Biennials; at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), New York; MAC-USP (Museum of Contemporary Art), São Paulo; MAM (Museum of Modern Art), São Paulo; MAM (Museum of Modern Art), Rio de Janeiro; Instituto Itaú Cultural, São Paulo; Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasília and Rio de Janeiro; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Fundação Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Ramos has had solo exhibitions in museums and art galleries in Brazil and abroad: MAM (Museum of Modern Art), Rio de Janeiro; Fundação Eva Klabin, Rio de Janeiro; Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro; MAM (Museum of Modern Art), São Paulo; Funarte, Belo Horizonte; Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo; Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo; Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasília and São Paulo; Centro Cultural São Paulo; Galeria Anita Schwartz, Rio de Janeiro; Galeria Matias Brotas, Vitória; Silvia Cintra Galeria de Arte, Rio de Janeiro; Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo; Galeria Camargo Vilaça, São Paulo; Galeria Bernardo Marques, Lisbon; Brooke Alexander Art Gallery, New York and Pulitzer Art Gallery, Amsterdam. In 2007, Ramos won the Grand Award from the Barnett Newton Foundation; he is also a writer and was awarded the Portugal Telecom prize in 2008 for his book Ó.
Ministry of External Relations
Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim Minister of External Relations
exhibition management & catalogue design João Guarantani
Antônio de Aguiar Patriota Secretary General of External Relations
printed by Aldgate Press, London
Ruy Nunes Pinto Nogueira Undersecretary General for Cooperation and Trade Promotion
Catalogue circulation: 1,500 copies
Eliana Zugaib Director of the Cultural Department
© texts: the artist and the Embassy of Brazil in London
Mariana Lima Moscardo de Souza Head of the Division for Cultural Promotion
© images: the artist, the photographer and Galeria Fortes Vilaça
Embassy of Brazil in London Carlos Augusto R. Santos-Neves Ambassador Carlos Pachá Head of the Cultural Section
Opened in 2001, Gallery 32 is an exhibition space maintained by the Embassy of Brazil in London. Hosting a varied programme of exhibitions, screenings and talks, Gallery 32’s main aim is to promote Brazilian culture in all its vibrancy, with a focus on modern and contemporary art, architecture and design.
gallery 32 32 Green Street | London | W1K 7AT +44(0)20 7399 9282 | www.gallery32.org.uk Tuesday to Friday, 11am-6pm | Saturday, 11am-5pm
Published by the Embassy of Brazil in London for the exhibition Nuno Ramos: fodasefoice 5 May – 5 June 2010
Lâmina 2, 2007 glass and stainless steel | 220 x 250 x 6 cm photo: Estúdio Eduardo Ortega, courtesy Galeria Fortes Vilaça
Nuno Ramos | fodasefoice exhibition catalogue. Gallery 32, London, UK