Jan. 6, 2017

Raphael Moreira Gonçalves at Mohsen Gallery’s pasio
January 13 – February 10, 2017


Mohsen Gallery is delighted to announce “Saltwater”, as the next exhibition by Raphael Moreira Gonçalves for pasio, the 7m2 × 9m gallery courtyard exhibition space dedicated to newly realized art installations.


Raphael Moreira’s work, which hovers between cinema and sculpture, is “haunted by that tipping point where everything is suddenly prone to destruction and renewal in diverse mutations” – a moment of uncertainty to which he responds mainly through moving image and installations (video, sculpture and photography).
He likes telling stories by playing around, with a storyline that might, for example, grow out of an object, bounce back off a filmed scene and land again in a virtual environment. Instead of naturalism and the industrial approach inherited from the Lumière brothers, Raphael prefer, like Raoul Ruiz, the artificialness and hand-made style of Méliès, intimately linked to sorcery. Anything hinting at the dramatization of a duration resonates profoundly with me. Anything to do with rhythm, harmony, breaking-up and chaos.


What also intrigues him is the fascination someone might have for an object, an inanimate thing. As if a kind of contemporary romantic essence might emerge from their duality. Because the feeling of internal drowning depicted by 18th and 19th century romantics is no longer brought on by confronting complex, incomprehensible and overwhelming nature. These days it is channeled through the technological artifacts: smartphones, computers, tablets, etc., which we look at every day. Existential uneasiness is no longer provoked by our outside environment but by objects that make us forget about it, seen on screens. So today, screens have taken the place of raging oceans, craggy mountains and fiery skies. They are teleportation systems transporting us into a virtual world which takes up more and more space.


For his =asio piece, “Saltwater”, a 120 cm × 84 cm photograph is scanned using the Augment app on a smartphone and then the sculpture appears. The photographic print is the only object connected to the augmented-reality 3D sculpture. It is also the only “physical” object retaining the sculpture’s aura. But the photograph also exists as a virtual image, so the sculpture can be made to appear on other supports.