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Photos: Everton Ballardin

Time over time

The oral tradition of certain stories drives us to an imaginative universe where not sure of what actually happened, and with no physical records to prove these facts, we are sent to other ways of thinking in order to complete these stories or to speculate others. An anecdote, a term popularly associated with a high content of irony, actually has its origins in the Greek anekdota, “unpublished”, consisting of an undocumented fact, which can even acquire fictional changes as it is transmitted. This is an important data to establish the understanding of Laura Belém’s production, in which stories, terms and even visual elements of the popular universe of ordinary everyday places or cities, are revisited to give life to her works, and they present these early stories and elements, often creating new symbolic images for them.

In Anekdota, an installation especially created by the artist for the Capela do Morumbi [Chapel of Morumbi], the work is guided by a number of questions about the original condition of the space, its use and its social purpose. What you see in the chapel is an overlap situation, where a new landscape consisting of vegetation and a cut out of the facade architecture are repositioned by the artist on the main nave, crossing the wall in a continuous movement, and extending to the garden. The new building of the facade is partial, only the masonry section is present, as if the archaic rammed-earth construction had finally collapsed and the intervention of Warchavchik turned into ruins.

This way Laura creates a situation of mirroring and entropy - to see the space within itself - and the sense of a cycle in the process of fulfilling. The earth returns to be the earth. On the other hand, the external structure of the tower becomes almost a parasite of the original architecture, a temporary and unfinished annex in dubious move, where no one knows for sure if the structure is still being built or if it is already in ruins.

In the end, maybe it even doesn’t matter much the certainties or uncertainties about the origin of the Chapel. Once the intervention has been accomplished, no matter the fact or fiction; what matters now is the new image in this space, the new designed landscape overlaid on the existing one, in a movement of almost touching, of being almost true and being a presence. Perhaps, future, present and past have met there in a time lapse. The point is this new situation and the speculation of a new narrative. It is glimpse through a crack in time a possible future, and at the same time being sent to the past; reestablish the sense of finding in the same space a new unknown architecture.

Douglas de Freitas

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