Cezar Sperinde

by Julia Lima

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Cezar Sperinde's work begins with photography, but goes far beyond photographic support. The artist, born in Porto Alegre, studied visual arts at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, in Tel Aviv, Israel, before moving to London to attend a master's degree at Slade (School of Fine Arts, UCL). The artist soon expanded his field of action towards less precise territories, incorporating the language of sculpture, installation, video and performance in his projects.

Project, by the way, is a keyword to understand his research, not only because there is always a projectual, conceptual design, before anything else, but also because the rigorous, detailed and ambitious production of his works demands a different breath of execution – it is not in the studio itself that the work finally takes place, but in the assembly itself, in the making and concretizing of the work. Thus, his production is more linked to imagining and elaborating images and then discovering ways to realize them than to face the clash with the materials that chance brings. This does not mean, however, that there is no unpredictability in the materialization of his ideas. Due to the theoretical nature of the work, there is often a dependence on third parties to produce, install, operate or act when taking the “image” off paper (or the computer).

In many of his videos, we feel strange as perhaps being in front of static photographs, which sometimes show scenes in which little or nothing happens (but the eye perhaps ends up noticing some movement), sometimes they present an action that is performed by someone or staged by the person himself. artist. It's as if we have access to just a small part of a long story, a gesture that comes from much earlier and continues for a long time after.

Sperinde unfolds her research not only in digital images – static or moving. Objects and installations are inherent to her practice, and likewise follow the logic of development first as a project, then as a material. The solutions employed are, in general, the use of industrialized and ready-to-eat materials (such as adhesive tapes, inflatable buoys, ropes and readymade), or commissioned or custom-made for the work (because they did not exist on the market in the proportions, shapes, colors and compositions idealized by the artist). There is in these works a relationship of correspondence with the architecture of the place where they are installed. There is no desire for site specificity – talking in his studio, we even came to the conclusion that his interest is not in creating “site specific” works, but rather “context specific”, that is, that converse with the context as a whole. all. It is not only the architecture, therefore, that informs these objects and installations, but the geographical, political, social, economic, historical, artistic context and whatever else may concern the artist. that's why uA common thread throughout his body of work (but which is extremely subtle and probably goes unnoticed at first glance) is the biographical aspect that Sperinde imprints on his creations. There is recurrent attention, for example, to the ideas of displacement, frontier, belonging, territory, nationality and nationalism, directly echoing his experience as an expatriate; however, this interest is also inseparable from the social fabric stressed by these very urgent issues in this globalized world, where distances are radically shortened, at the same time that movement becomes equally easier and more problematic. The allusion to personal experiences is reduced in his projects, emerging more as an insinuation or as a background of an experience that can be shared, than as a literal mention and narrative of passages and events. Sperinde deals with existence, belonging, the path, identification and deviation as someone who speaks of the nature of life, and not as someone who speaks of himself.

Finally, there is an essential dimension for understanding Sperinde's works: their titles are mechanisms that unlock new layers of reading, or an unusual finish to the works, unusual for the viewer. They don't help us explain or solve the problem that stares us in the face, like a sphinx that never verbalizes its question, on the contrary. They can cause us more astonishment or confusion, or at least keep us groping, intrigued by what is not immediately revealed. Silly contradictions are essential to certain almost literary names chosen by the artist. “Tropical Sweden” or “Pillar Cloud” are some of the insurmountable, absolutely incompatible and irreconcilable paradoxes that designate his work, indicative of the various (im)possibilities of interpretation and games of meaning that cross Sperinde’s practice and that invite us to investigate the sphinx the question she never gets to ask us.

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