Spring

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By LAYMERT GARCIA DOS SANTOS*

Considerations about the plastic artist Rosilene Luduvico

Rosilene Luduvico is a Brazilian artist from Espírito Santo, based in Düsseldorf, Germany, since the days when she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in that city, in the early 2000s. Her painting is little known in Brazil, although she has done a important individual exhibition at Palácio Anchieta, in Vitória, in the second half of 2018, as well as being part of the group of artists in the exhibition Brazilianness Post-Modernism 1922-2022, at the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília and Belo Horizonte.

With several solo and group exhibitions in Europe and Japan, the artist now presents Spring, curated by León Kremple, at Kunsthalle Darmstadt, from March to November 2022. The text below is the Portuguese version of the essay published in the exhibition catalog, in German and English.

 

Rosilene Luduvico – the haecceity of painting

Rosilene Luduvico's painting has affected me since I saw her for the first time in 2005, in her solo show at Kunsthalle from Düsseldorf, during a trip by curators and directors of Brazilian museums to contemporary art centers in Germany. Since then, I have not forgotten the works on display, and particularly Blow, an immense aerial canvas whose intense blue made me wish I had it next to me, so I could see it again, and again... Later I lost contact with his work, but the memory remained, alive, in my memory. Until in 2016 I found his production again, now in a continuous and permanent way.

The first point to highlight in Rosilene Luduvico's painting is the coherence of her search and production. Impervious to fads, stereotypes and “novelties”, the artist, while closely following the contemporary international scene, remains rigorous in her line of conduct. Like one of those monks of classical Chinese painting, she continues, over the years, to deepen and refine her art, without compromise. An attentive eye clearly sees the transformations that took place along the way; but the evolution of this presents itself as a patient acquisition and accumulation of virtues.

The motives are few – landscapes, particularly trees and forests, men and women sleeping, abstract “scenes”, or almost. Under the sign of repetition and variation; but these do not occur in tension and opposition – quite the opposite, there is variation na repetition and repetition na variation. For this reason, the feeling of déjà vu, the freshness of an event, more precisely, of a haecceity.

I believe the concept of haecceity formulated by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari can effectively help us to outline the specificity of Rosilene Luduvico's art, its consistency and uniqueness. In a word: her painting “body”.

Let us see what the philosopher and the psychoanalyst say: “On the plane of consistency, a body is defined only by a longitude and a latitude: that is, by the set of material elements that belong to it under such relations of movement and rest, of speed and of slowness (longitude); by the set of intensive affects of which he is capable, under that power or degree of potency (latitude). Only local affects and movements, differential speeds. It was up to Spinoza to have highlighted these two dimensions of the Body and to have defined the plane of Nature as pure longitude and latitude. Latitude and longitude are the two elements of a cartography.

There is a very different mode of individuation from that of a person, a subject, a thing or a substance. We reserve the name of haecceity. A season, a winter, a summer, a time, a date has a perfect individuality that lacks nothing, although it cannot be confused with the individuality of a thing or a subject. They are hecceities, in the sense that everything there is a relationship of movement and rest between molecules or particles, the power to affect and be affected. (…) The tales must contain hecceities that are not simple arrangements, but concrete individuations valid for themselves and commanding the metamorphosis of things and subjects. In types of civilization, the East has many more individuations per haecceity than by subjectivity and substantiality: thus, the hai-ku it must necessarily include indicators such as floating lines constituting a complex individual. In Charlotte Brontë, everything is in terms of wind, things, people, faces, loves, words. (...) A degree of heat, an intensity of white are perfect individualities; and a degree of heat can combine in latitude with another degree to form a new individual, like a body that is cold here and hot there according to its longitude. Flamed ice cream with meringue. A degree of heat can be compounded with an intensity of white, as in certain white atmospheres of a hot summer. It is absolutely not an individuality for the instant, which would be opposed to the individuality of permanences or durations. (...) One can conceive of an equal abstract time between the hecceities and subjects or things. (…) Even when times are abstractly equal, the individuation of a life is not the same as the individuation of the subject who leads or endures it. And it is not the same Plan: plan of consistency or composition of hecceities in one case, which only knows speeds and affects; an entirely different plane of forms, substances and subjects, in the other case. And it is not the same time, the same temporality. Aion, which is the indefinite time of the event, the fluctuating line that only knows speeds, and at the same time keeps dividing what happens into an already-there and a not-yet-there, a simultaneous too-late and too-early-simultaneous , something that at the same time will happen and has just happened. AND Cronos, on the contrary, the time of measure, which fixes things and people, develops a form and determines a subject. (…) In short, the difference does not pass at all between the ephemeral and the lasting, not even between the regular and the irregular, but between two modes of individuation, two modes of temporality.”[I]

The reader may forgive the long quote. But it is necessary to point out precisely on which plane Rosilene Luduvico's painting takes place, acquires consistency. Indeed, establishing a space-time of another order, a passage and a transformation, his paintings are constituted as events, as pure hacceities , if we consider, with François Zourabichvili that “haecceity is linked to an atmospheric change in nature or in the spirit ”.[ii] In the case of Rosilene Luduvico, both.

It is in these terms that we can safely say that we are facing a spiritual painting. Affected by hacceity in nature, co-moved by it, Rosilene Luduvico seeks and gives herself the means to re-create it on canvas, to, in Deleuze's terms, “erect an image”, “erecting Figures”, “erecting the event”. [iii] Contemplative par excellence, R. Luduvico's art is a spiritual exercise. Who makes it and who sees it.

Writing about the exhibition moment x moment, curated by her at the Kunstverein Münsterland eV, in November 2010, Jutta Meyer zu Riemsloh points out the spiritual and contemplative character of the painting by the two artists in the show – Antje Barnickel and Rosilene Luduvico. But in doing so, she links them to Romanticism. Thus, his landscapes would be “Romantic soulscapes, expressions of individual emotional states”. This would occur because there would be a specular relationship between the image of nature and the interiority of the artist, the painting serving, therefore, as a mirror.

“Both artists are characterized by a highly-developed receptiveness and sensibility in relation to nature; this condition results from a mutual relationship, in which the self is recognized in the contemplation of nature. The reflection of their own spiritual state and, with it, spiritual conditions typical for humanity in general take the form of an inner dialogue in their works. This state presents itself in a magical image that lies beyond the reach of real experience and empirical knowledge and takes on a wholly distinctive, specifically individual form. The moment of contemplating and experiencing nature becomes the transient interval between inward visions and the construction of reality – on the threshold between emotionality and aesthetic deliberation.”[iv]

Now, it seems to me that, despite pointing out with great sensitivity various qualities of Rosilene Luduvico's painting, zu Riemsloh, by inscribing it in the matrix of Romanticism, misses the essential. Namely: the haecceity. Because if the artist were romantic in the proposed terms, subject and nature would already be given before the encounter, just as the artist's inner image would already be given before the creation of the painting. In effect, everything would be nothing more than a relationship of recognition between established individualities, everything would be just a question of reflection, of mirroring.

But if that were the case, strictly speaking, there would be no event, there would be no singularity or individuation, both in the space-time of contemplating nature and in the space-time of contemplating painting. Therefore, painting would no longer be erecting a single image, but projecting onto nature a state of mind that was already given, and not constituted affectively and effectively in the encounter with it.

To make it more palpable how the pictorial event is produced in Rosilene Luduvico's paintings, nothing better than trying to contemplate one of them. In an email exchange with the artist, in March 2020, she mentions that “there are three “spiritual” paintings (although she adds: “I don't even know what to call them!!”). Its about Desert, painted in Düsseldorf in 2014; in pure heart, painted in Japan in 2017; it's from Gale, a series of three canvases painted in Brazil, in 2018.

Let's look at this series. In Gale, the event happens and “passes” in the field of vision. In this sense, what is seen is an instant in space-time – Aion's time, when the frame opens up for contemplation.

First of all, what you see is the serenity, calm, placidity of what would occupy the background. Serenity is imposed, and it is she who ensures the “generation” of the space. An indefinable space, because it belongs neither to the surface nor to the depth – a bottomless space. Thus, more than a construct, such a space is configured as an atmosphere.

tending more towards off-white than exactly white, and affected by very soft spots-shadows of a very pale pink, which give it an air of summer time (late afternoon), the space as if it just lets itself be. Living membrane of a mysterious way of being because unfathomable, more translucent than transparent. Enigmatic, because paradoxically luminous and opaque.

In this space opposites can meet and unite without opposition. Neither interior nor exterior, it is evidently neither subjective nor objective, for evading and escaping these categories. An intensive “between” space.

 

Since it is constituted as a space for contemplation, the atmosphere, being neither objective nor subjective, belongs to another order, to another plane, which is not that of the ordinary world. It is, literally, an extra-ordinary space, which perhaps echoes a first, primal perception of the world before the separation. Space that, captured in its uniqueness, raises astonishment. Because how was it possible to capture this atmosphere of contemplation of nature through the resources of painting?

This unique space-time is now presented at its maximum power on the screens of the series Gale. But it is possible to recognize (retrospectively) that his pictorial expression had been sought since the beginning, since the works of the early 2000s. Consider, for example, Blow, from 2005, and other paintings from those same years, such as rustling. Or else the atmosphere of various forests and trees. … Let us also consider the atmosphere that forms on the faces of sleeping people.

there, as in Gale, the contemplation space already emerged both as a vector of Rosilene's painting and as one of the key elements of her raison d'être. But now, the space of contemplation asserts itself, without a doubt, in its fullness, as a metaphysical space.

The creation of this space on the canvas is due to Rosilene's extensive mastery of the various painting techniques and their making, in addition to her intimate knowledge of the performance she can expect from the materials. Leon Krempel, Director of Kunsthalle de Darmstadt observes: “Already during her studies in Düsseldorf, a painting restorer made her aware of the possibilities of canvas preparation bases. Since then, she herself prepares her canvases, expensively, with chalk, which makes them translucent and, with its matte surface, increases the light intensity of her paintings. (…) The composition of the surface at the limit of abstraction and the suggestion of deep spatiality are not excluded in her work. The observer looks at the respective scene from a distance or from above. Rarely does it allow contours to be aligned in perspective, for example when drawing a tall palm tree very close to it. Color for her is not the local color, but an event, because, in principle, it is unpredictable to choose from a potentially infinite palette and with a tendency towards warm colors. Her way of painting is richly variable. Vigorous, broad brush strokes are visibly interspersed with short, unpretentious strokes. As in her drawing, she cannot correct her lines. They have to settle as they are.”[v]

Em Gale, it is, therefore, a primeval space in expansion – a space that aspires and breathes. In it, the colors are and are loose in the air. They are the ones that will affect you with power and intensity.

First of all, it is worth pointing out the contrast between the procedure of painting the bottomless and its diaphanous pink stains and the colored strokes that make up the whirlwind of Gale. If in the first the work enhances the ethereal and diffuse character of the brushstrokes, in the second, short and quick interventions, varied, free, but no less precise in their application on canvas, predominate. In the space of contemplation, the strong and turbulent passage of the wind is created, bringing disorder to harmony.

Matter shatters into particles of pure color, scattering in all directions. However, it is noted that this riot of colors and tones (which never manage to take shape) obeys a double movement – ​​at the same time centrifugal and centripetal –, tensioning the space and the composition of the painting, as a whole. Disoriented and enchanted, the spectator is suddenly attracted and carried away by the windstorm that approaches him, but it has already been blowing and will continue. In this sense, everything happens as if the present were a wonderful agitation, an ecstasy.

Reverberating in the contemplation space, the delicacy of brushstrokes and colors imprints on Gale a rhythm, an almost musical poetic movement. In fact, we nearly heard the blowing of the wind, with its sudden changes in direction.

It is important to note, however, that, despite being energetic, the movement of air displacement does not compromise the harmony of the composition, ensured by the bottomless. There's a disturbance... but if she limits herself to moving the bottomless and transforming the atmosphere, it's because the composition is conducted with a master's hand: more than knowing what she wants, Rosilene knows what she can. And she gets what she wants, and she wants what she can. The artist masters her art. Hence the pictorial power of Gale.

Invited to participate in the issue of the magazine The Drawer, dedicated to color Verde, Rosilene Luduvico provides a synthetic verbal addendum to the details of Gale blowing through the pages of the publication:

“Green, vital? Temple.
What use? Wind
What properties? Air.
A favorite environment? Mountain.
From Nature or never? Nature.
Where to go? Amazon.”[vi]

His answers have something oriental. As, incidentally, his painting – not only because of his long relationship with the Japanese painter Takeshi Makishima and his stays in Japan, but also, and above all, his spirit open to philosophy and ethics zen. Although very discreet (and for good reason!), this presence leaves traces in his work, in his conduct and even in the titles of his works. In the ephemeral paintings he has done in recent years, this is evident: see, for example, his mural painting The spirit of beauty brakes her blossoms all about his chamber, from 2018, exhibited at Philara Collection, in Dusseldorf.

Let us also think about the apparitions of his trees – ethereal images that populate many of his paintings, reduced to the presential status of an impermanent reality, images erected as an event of nature And, finally, let us think about his insistence on painting the “ portrait” of the sleepers. In fact, such works are absolutely opposed to the portrait tradition, since its beginnings, in Fayum's naturalism. Because if the portrait seeks to be, par excellence, the expression of the personality of the portrayed, of his individuality as form and matter, the anti-portraits, or rather, the non-portraits that Rosilene Luduvico paints, seek to capture the haecceity, the secret spiritual transformation taking place on the face of the sleeper. That is, their other individuation, the involuntary one that affects them when presence is absent from the field of recognition and surrenders to intensities.

Immersed in the contemplation of atmospheric change in nature and spirit, the artist, like her “portraits”, seems to occupy this non-place, this non-point-of-view, this space-time between dream, sleep and wakefulness, that ineffable crack where the spiritual image is erected. hecceity of the painting.

*Laymert Garcia dos Santos he is a retired professor in the sociology department at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of Politicize new technologies (Publisher 34).

 

Notes


[I] Deleuze, G. & Guttari, F. Mille plateaux. Paris, Minuit, 1980, pp. 318-320. In the Brazilian translation, thousand plateaus, vol. 4, Sao Paulo, Ed. 34, 1997, pp. 47-49. Trans. By Suely Rolnik.

[ii] Zourabichvili, F. Deleuze – Une philosophie de l'événement. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1994, p. 118. In the Brazilian translation, Deleuze: A philosophy of the event. Sao Paulo, Ed. 34, 2016, p. 143. Translated by Luiz BL Orlandi.

[iii] Same, p. 128. In the translation, p. 148.

[iv] Meyer zu Riemsloh, J. “Moment x Moment”, in moment x moment – ​​Antje Barnickel & Rosilene Luduvico. Kunstverein Münsterland e. V., Bönen/Westfalen, Druckverlag Kettler GmbH, 2010.

[v] Krempel, L. “Colored Stones”. in Dawn – Rosilene Luduvico. Exhibition catalog curated by Ronaldo Barbosa at Espaço Cultural Palácio Anchieta, Vitória, Studio Ronaldo Barbosa, winter 2018, pp. 7-8.

[vi] The Drawer – Volume 16 – Vert. Paris, March 2019, p. 22.

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