Rui Toscano, T For Tornado, 2007, Vídeo, Dv pal transferred to DVD, color, silent, 2:02 minutes (loop). Edition of 6 + 1 a.p.
T FOR TORNADO
a new series of works by Rui Toscano
opening reception: Tuesday, May 22, 22:00
exhibition: May 23 - June 23
Tuesdays - Fridays: 11:00 - 20:00
Saturdays: 12:00 - 20:00
Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art
Rua de Stº António à Estrela, 33
1350-291 Lisbon, Portugal
tel: +351 21 395 9559
fax: +351 21 395 9567
Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Rui Toscano, the artist's third one-man show at the gallery.
Titled T for Tornado, the selection of works on display result in a genealogy, not of replication, but of furtherance and reworking of the artist's sculptural vocabulary, where he willingly experiments with the lexicon of minimalism to employ some of his hallmark materials: boomboxes, antennas and sound.
The video installation which lends its title to the exhibition, encountered on entering the gallery, clearly evokes the memory of one of the artist's earlier sculptures, an elemental "self-portrait" from 1998, titled T. In this seminal piece, the letter T - the first to the artist's last name - was shaped by borrowing one of minimalism's forms: two large, black rectangular parallelepipeds. By calculating the sculpture to his exact height, Toscano seems to have been taking Michael Fried's criticism of literalist, i.e., minimal art word for word. Toscano's sculpture was intentionally anthropomorphic, it was hollow and foregrounded the space that both it and the viewer occupied; it persisted in time, coming from the fact that a radio, placed in the top horizontal section of the piece, emitted the artist's deadpan delivery of the letter T at intervals of 14 seconds, slowly yielding a presence, rather than the modernist presentness.
T for Tornado, one of the exhibition's central pieces, exhorts viewer complicity: the memory of the aforementioned piece, but also our capacity to stand in an indeterminate, open-ended and unexacting relation to the projection. The video presents two intersecting images of the artist rotating, one forming a vertical line, the other a horizontal line, which together form the shape of a T. In this piece, Toscano places the loop at the centre of the work's structure, the endless repetition of a same action that ultimately results in a sense of stasis. Two rhythms punctuate the piece: one of acceleration, where the artist's image becomes increasingly indistinct, one of deceleration, where the stiff figure progressively returns to view. The work thus uses circular motion that is without a destination, having no beginning or end, no narrative, no apparent outcome or telos. Like his sculpture, this video "occupies" physical space and involves the viewer in its ceaseless circularity, inducing what some may feel as a hypnotic, disconcerting effect.
The show includes Light Corner, 2006, an installation comprised of 9 boom boxes assembled in three lines from a right-angle corner, where each radio plays a tape recorded with the sound of matches being lit, and Wave Field, 2007, a sculpture comprised of various antennas, constructed, as always, as a tautology. A selection of drawings by the artist can be viewed on request. ND
The exhibition at Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art runs from May 23 to June 23, 2007. The artist will be present for the opening on Tuesday evening.
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