By Fernando Ribeiro, The Typewriter
Photograph by Hick Duarte and Victor Nomoto
Monday, March 23 - 2015
One of the long durational performances presented at Terra Comunal - MAI is Fernando Ribeiro’s The Typewriter. Ribeiro wanders around SESC Pompeia, silently writing down everything he sees and feels on a typewriter for eight hours a day. He has written approximately 300 pages, three pages per hour on average, since the exhibition opened. The artist interprets this space activated by the energy of its occupants: SESC itself is renamed “Oasis,” the main Living Area is the “Complex,” the corridor lined with framed archival posters of Marina Abramovic's past exhibitions is “Poster Street.” The environment becomes a written story of an unparalleled universe, laced with fantastical realism.
Naturally, Ribeiro writes a lot about the other artists performing long durational works on a daily basis for the entirety of the exhibition. They are Paula Garcia, Mauricio Ianês, Rubiane Maia, and Grupo EmpreZa. In order to give a sense of how the performances have been translated onto the page, MAI has chosen fragments of Ribeiro's texts from the past 13 days, describing the work of these four artists and categorizing them by first, following, and current days.
FIRST DAYS: "Paula Garcia has a magnetized room. She's inside it, moving big iron objects, binding them to the walls and to the ceiling. I'm surprised to get here. Almost all the objects are stuck to the walls. Paula is a force of nature, she moves from one side to another carrying these heavy objects. Her actions and movements are full of a strong energy."
FOLLOWING DAYS: "Before, Paula was only noise. It was just falling iron, hanging iron here and there, heavy metal. Not today. Today she's taking more breaks. For each shrill metallic sound, a long silence takes over the room. The sound is not so aggressive anymore. Silence seems to take its place. During these quiet moments, the sound of my typewriter fills the place."
CURRENT DAYS: "Paula starts taking a lot of nails from the ground. She shoves her hands under the pile of nails, takes some, and turns to an iron and magnet installation she created. Paula remains still for a long time, staring at it. I wait for her to throw the nails. But she's there, still. Maybe she won't. I remain there, waiting. After a long time, she moves suddenly and throws them. Some nails stick to the installation, but most of them fall on the ground."
FIRST DAYS: "I came to visit Rubiane and her garden-laboratory. Right now she's studying, analyzing some of the beans she began to cultivate in cotton beds. It seems that one of her beans just sprouted. Yesterday she plowed the land. I see that part of the land is already open for the seeds."
FOLLOWING DAYS: "Rubiane is sitting in the center of her garden-laboratory, in her white chair, with her feet buried in a large amount of soil. She's bent forward. Hands above her knees and head resting on hands. For some moments she raises her head up. Rubiane seems really tired. The beans sprout but they also drain her strength. They are fed by her energy."
CURRENT DAYS: "There's a large group of people at Rubiane's garden. I go upstairs and find her rolling out some cotton. And then something stands out in my view. A lot of green points. There are already some high stems coming out of plastic cups. The beans sprouts decided to grow. Not all of them, but some. Will Rubiane take them to the soil today?."
FIRST DAYS: "I'm inside Maurício Ianês The Bond room, where people can interfere in the space and with him the way they want. It was empty until now, but now some people arrive. He starts a conversation and brings an electric coffee maker and some cushions for people to sit. I look to the side and notice that people already started to "pollock" one of his walls."
FOLLOWING DAYS: "Now I like to call Ianês space the Club, or the Playground. When I get here, I see he's co-opted by two kids, two girls. They're painting his body: arms, head, beard, all painted black. After that, the girls start to throw pepper at his arms and pour olive oil on his head and back. They're seasoning his body, and I'm worried if the idea is to eat him alive."
CURRENT DAYS: "I try to get inside Ianês room. As I said, I try. Some visitor is tying strings all over the room, making it hard to enter. I struggle to enter among the strings and try to sit somewhere, but my first attempt almost stains my clothes with fresh paint. So I decide to go behind the moveable walls and find a place to sit. As I sit, I'm hit by a phillips screwdriver."
FIRST DAYS: "Grupo EmpreZa is excited. They're having a meeting for saturday's Serão Performático, the first of the six performances they'll present, listening to regional music from their homeland, Goiás, a state in Brazil's midwest. They're a company and this is their office. In the middle of the room there's a stretched cowhide. Some cow bones are above it."
FOLLOWING DAYS: "Today is Serão day. Babidu, one of the performers of Grupo EmpreZa, has a catheter coming out of his arm. He's dripping blood, his vein is open. He draws a circle around him with the dripping blood and now moves his arm in vertical circular movements, making the blood spill at the white walls that give access to Paula Garcia's room. The Serão Performático is now open...They put a bone mask on me and give me cachaça. I'm one of them now. It'll be fun...Two performers, one in front of the other, also with open veins, hold hands above a hot stone that spent the day in an electric oven. They join their blood drops, that drip onto the hot stone and turn black immediately. The stone burns the blood...Another performer hammers a nail between his feet and a book...And then another one is drawing a long horizontal stroke with blood dripping from his forehead...Babidu is naked in front of a wall, with his back to the public. Another performer comes, João, and starts drawing a triangle in the wall with a nail. One of the triangle points passes through Babidu's back, so João draws it in his back until he bleeds. João turns Babidu to the front and prints the blood drawing on the wall [by pressing Babidu’s back to it], finishing the triangle...One performer shaves his head and moustache, takes off his clothes and sits naked on the cowhide in the middle of In Between room, holding a book…[The] other four performers give him a blood shower with catheters coming out of their veins. The sitting man spreads their blood all over his body with the book pages. The more blood spilled, the more the sitting man spreads it with the book pages. One of them comes and pours blood on these pages I'm writing. Suddenly they start leaving the room. Only the sitting man is left. He stands up and start delivering one page of the book to each spectator, with the blood of many EmpreZa's performers [on every page]. When he finishes doing that, he throws the book at the cowhide and leaves. I think the Serão is over. The meeting was a success."
CURRENT DAYS: "Grupo EmpreZa members are reviewing the Serão on video. They're very strict with the quality of it. One member lays on the cowhide used for the performance. Some pages of the book are still there. The blood stroke in the wall is darkened, but not as much as the blood circle made by Babidu on the floor."
Terra Comunal - MAI is free and open to the public until May 10, 2015 @SESC Pompeia, São Paulo - Brazil.