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Photos: courtesy of the artist

The Logic of the Place

The tradition present in the History of Art has always been a subject of reflection in the production of artist Gustavo Rezende. The key materials he chooses to develop his works bear that heritage in their use. Also, the artist’s work conceptually addresses the History of Art, pays homage to it, deconstructs it and - simultaneously - reconstructs it into a fragmented universe in ruins, immersed in contemporaneity and restored with irony. 


Gustavo Rezende occupies the Casa do Bandeirante with a construction that crosses its central axis. Seventy tones of granite stones are distributed in a forty-meter long structure. The passage through the interior of the building is interrupted; one can only cross it with one’s eyes by means of the circulation axes that the architecture of the house proposes, through door and window gaps. The work, or the house, can only be seen from the outside area.


Both the outside and the inside are materialized in the work at Casa do Bandeirante and turn into a single element. The inside moves towards the outside and, consequently, it brings the outside in. Put out from the intimate space of the house by the stone construction, the body is also to be noticed. I must transit, be exposed to the sun or the rain. The work gains the status of something permanent in the space, like a ruin, and extends through a period that is no longer brief, as it gets denser and noticeable. It seems even prior to the construction of Casa do Bandeirante. 


Gustavo presented his “Squeeze ou Geografia negra” (Squeeze or Black Geography) in 2004 at the Mariantonia University Center. Here, a black structure was also a passage to the interior of a room converted into a sculpture, where “Not without a certain irony – and maybe some cruelty – that the artist takes from us the pleasure of seeing such a form and offers us just a space to walk through, (...) which again denies to reveal itself entirely”[1]. “The Logic of the Place” is built on a close yet opposite movement. The idea of transit is maintained here, as one needs to walk through the space. However, the work here is generous, as it can be seen and lets the surrounding architecture to be seen, as well. Neither a wall nor a bridge, Gustavo’s work does not provide visitors with access to it nor prevent them from beholding it. His work converts the Casa do Bandeirante into a sculpture. It prevents access to the Casa to grant it visibility.

Douglas de Freitas


[1] Fernando Oliva, in Squeeze ou Geografia Negra, the text that accompanied the exhibit, later compiled in Gustavo Rezende – São Paulo: Editora WMF Martins Fontes, 2013.

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