{click on the image to enlarge}

Timeless as glass (CI), 2019
Inkjet print on cotton paper 320gr
73,4 x 101,4 cm

«Lippard and Chandler (1968) asserted that several artists were losing interest in the physical evolution of the work of art, a trend that seemed to be causing a profound dematerialization of art, especially art as an object. If this tendency were to continue, the object could become obsolete. AnaMary Bilbao’s work process challenges this view, as the artist convokes a set of issues pertaining the subjectivity and dynamism of the experience of memory. If until very recently Bilbao expunged, subjecting any support (object) to an almost total erasure, to an erosion — her series of paper and film works Quando um sol se apaga, quem lhe restitui a luz?, Renascimento por transformação and Todas as formas sublimes são transitórias are good examples; today the artist invokes the object, preserving its pure materiality without manipulation, enjoying the irony of the passing time, which obliterates her objects, the object of her research.  Archival memory is no longer partially erased, and contributes to a narrative, a new narrative that gives us part of the truth of “what has been” and becomes “what is.” We refer to her most recent work Como interromper a eternidade? (Intervalos para a dúvida), shown at the MAAT between May and September 2019, and to the series Timeless as Glass, of which the work Timeless as Glass (CI) (2019) is a part of, and that we can see in this exhibition. This piece recovers the pure truth of the negative, in this case a glass object (perhaps over one-hundred years old) found by the artist in London. Discovering that many of these negatives were destroyed during the Great World Wars, to melt and recover the silver for  military purposes, silver becomes one of the subjects of the work, if not the most important, because according to Bilbao “it carries the presence of destruction, which is imposed on the memory of the glass, as it becomes the only survivor.” To this subject, along with the glass, with the wear and tear of time, are also added the fungi, which progressively take over the truth of the image, oxidation and corrosion. These processes that result from the passage of time and subject the negative to all these trials, end up superimposing on the image, partially or completely cancelling it. This succession of events is the artist’s current focus of interest. If Bilbao’s practice used to refer to the process itself, the piece Como interromper a eternidade? (Intervalos para a dúvida) invites narrative into her body of work. The series Timeless as Glass hides this static narrative, captured in a fraction of second, behind the complete imperfection of unicellular creatures, of natural chemical processes and the colours produced by them. To look at Timeless as Glass (Cl) is to lose sight of everything that it contains; observing it is an encounter with the beautiful, not just because of the work itself but because one is allowed to enter in the artist’s mental process; seeing what has been discovered, it is like being behind the lens, in an archive, selecting a singular landscape of events taken over by time; it is to recreate the lost object that has been remitted to oblivion; it is recreating the obsolete.» (About the work Timeless as glass (CI); this is part of the essay that was written to the group exhibition Tomar a verdade, #1 para 4 (2019-20) at Uma Lulik__ Contemporary Art Gallery)

© 2022 AnaMary Bilbao – All Rights Reserved