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Photos:Everton Ballardin

The Same Time Every Day

Felipe Cohen's production is developed based on a discussion concerning the updating of archetypes, traditional symbology, genres of art history and classical questions. The artist seeks new modes of representation for these themes in art, through small phenomena of daily life and the conjunction of classical materials of sculpture, such as marble and granite, with industrial materials of mundane use, like light bulbs, boxes and cups, where the noble material is submitted to the form of the industrial object, in such a way that this operation results in a harmonious whole that fits together precisely, making these diametrically opposed elements give rise to a cohesive set, which rests and lives in perfect conjunction, in nonconflicting adhesion. The artist is interested in a 'ghost material', where an object loses its physicality by an artifice of the work, or where a bodiless material like light or shadow gains mass, losing its lightness and mobility. In this inver-sion, a near absence is configured; this object or material never exists in its totality, there is always a loss.


In Poente [Setting], an installation developed for the Morumbi Chapel, Felipe covered a considerable part of the floor of the space with glass, on which a large segmented tree branch is po-sitioned, simulating a delving into this floor of glass. By means of this positioning, coupled with the reflection of the branch and the walls on the sheets of glass, the artist converts the interior of the chapel into a large pond, paralyzed at an uncertain mo-ment, on the verge between being liquid and being solid, frozen in the rhythm of a whiff of calm wind. A crepuscular light from outside the space filters through a window and bathes one of the interior walls. This illumination converts all the inner space of the chapel into a work of the artist and enhances the heavy atmosphere that the work imparts to the space, making it seem as though time has paused in this landscape submersed in constant twilight.


Felipe normally works with the scale of utensils; even his installations are made up of small-scale, household-use objects.

Poente [Setting] is the first work were the artist deals with the question of the landscape on a large scale. Even so, the entire space seems to have been treated like an oversized miniature.The junction of the rammed-earth walls with the white masonry walls configures a horizon, a topography that certainly recalls collages representing the landscape that the artist has made previ-ously. It is as though upon entering this space we also entered a cardboard box, those which Felipe often uses in his works, which receive cutouts and collages on the inner surfaces of their sides. A captured landscape, contained on a shelf, or in a display case, just like the exhibition devices that the artist incorporates in his objects.


The invitation to walk on the flooded landscape that occupies the interior of the chapel almost immediately alludes to the biblical passage were Christ walks on the water. The projection of this ghost reflection also bears the tone of the passage narrated by Matthew in the Bible. The mention of religion is repeated in Anunciação [Annunciation], a work from 2008, now presented in the room of the chapel's bap-tistery, where the artist stages the communion of a cup on the floor with a light bulb hanging from the ceiling of the space. The shapes of the objects and the brightness of the light bulb transform them into a single whole, as though the light gained weight and pulled the light bulb downward, as in the biblical passage where the immaterial is embodied.


Perhaps the installation is presented as the proposal of a mir-acle. Not Christ's walking on the water, or the materialization of something divine, as in the passage of the Annunciation, but the miracle of the conversion of one material to another, even if by an illusion that lasts only for an instant, or even the miracle of killing time, paralyzing it, in the attempt to make this illusory instant persist.



Douglas de Freitas

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