02 julho 2012

Ludic Art Exercises, by Isabel Portella

Patricia Gouvêa’s photographs are self-contained. The artist refuses easy views, sights occupied only with what has been seen. One must “lose” time and look beyond it. 
The works in the series in progress Exercícios de Arte Lúdica [Ludic Art Exercises], which includes photographs and videos and began in 2005, are a development from the research the artist has been doing on the notion of Time in images.

Patricia is an artist without borders. Her lens captures playful actions and games usually performed and played outdoors by the residents of the many cities she has visited. It is these moments of rest and leisure in the everyday lives of urban spaces that the artist contemplates. Cities, therefore, stand as points of vantage. The idea is to find situations where the thrills and experiences provided by games, by sports, and simply by free time can emerge in each and every one of us. According to the artist herself, an ode to apparently “dead times”. A demand on the sensory experience every space can provide, not through the utopian pursuit of idyllic spots, but in the discovery of real ones. Passing time through relaxing activities as a moment for reflection. The escape from claustrophobic, sometimes unproductive routine as the only choice for sanity.

Patricia understands her relationship with space through the notion of time: she seeks out places where useful time can be lost by attempting to turn the concept into playfully constructive time. 

Francesco Careri, in his book “Walkscapes – Walking as an Aesthetic Practice”, emphasizes the proposal: “the city was a game that could be used for pleasure, a space where we could all live collectively and experience alternative behaviors.”

The strategy prevents life from becoming the realm of fixed identities, of attitudes ideologically committed to productivity alone. The proposal, however, is for this challenge to stand as a poetic gesture.

Exercises in Playful Art affords a view of the procedures adopted by the artists and instigates viewers to find their own playfully constructive time. And, by putting theses issues into play, it introduces poetic discourse as a space for intervention.

Isabel Sanson Portella, May 2011

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