Contemporary art disseminates legacies: materials, arrangements, an ability to deal with concepts, categories, and narratives. In Renato Bezerra de Mello’s recent new works on view at the Galeria Inox, this expansion of mediums and materials is quite apparent. The exhibition is titled “Erratic, errant” and deals with the invention of trades in its environment of drawings, embroideries, video and installations. Renato remains linked to the subterfuges of memory and erasure. For this project, however, the artist has preferred to focus on ways of making, on possibilities of play and, therefore, of inhabiting the fissures of time, of intervals, of moments in which we believe in nothing, in which we cannot be startled. In the exhibition, we see small colored spheres that resemble marbles. This geometric image is presented in three-dimensional configurations upon the gallery floor as well as in drawings in notebooks and upon fine paper. What leads the artist to assume such figuration is, simply, the possibility of repeating it, no longer as a pattern but, rather, as a de-structuring, erratic, automated event. So much so that he is most deeply attracted to the recognition and modeling of such images in order to eclipse them in the pregnancy of information, exercising mechanisms of invisibility.
The ways in which Renato Bezerra de Mello deals with the images are errant, accepting of the nomadic quality of random positioning, stimulating opaqueness of vision in the juxtaposition of papers which barely change places. These characteristics permeate the artist’s activity in light of his materials and his staging of erratic utopias, pretending to repeat what is identical. On video, while one waits, the artist observes the bottom of a recipient for storing needles and pins, and toys with the magnetization of another material, reconfiguring the scene, offering up alternative arrangements and noises. In the meantime, the artist stimulates himself by revealing the texture of lace ribbons, the sparkles and scintillations of pins: fleeting beauties. And so links are established in lieu of fixed and inhabited worlds.
Renato draws against drawing, just as Rousseau did with writing. And, for this reason, he simplifies his task by increasing the complexity of not finding primary or secondary pathways; in fact, all of the chosen paths are secondary. In privileged visions, one plunges into a “wandering passion”, a term used by Maurice Blanchot to discuss the writer’s strategies. With this, the philosopher reiterates that “after being the innocent wanderer of youth, he becomes the glorious itinerant who goes from castle to castle, without ever managing to fix upon success, which casts him out and pursues him”. Renato’s artistic itineraries cast him in the role of wanderer – one who gazes into drawers in order to behold time, sequestering the last samples of materials in order to treat obsolescence, elaborating modes for storing or safekeeping, even if the contradiction existed much earlier, inhabiting the very physicality of the materials that are subject to disappearance.
The exhibition “erratic, errant” therefore reaffirms Renato Bezerra de Mello’s attitudes towards ways of drawing and embroidering and, above all, of dealing with time in art. The circular world is not infinite.
Marcelo Campos, April 2012