Sap, 2019-20

Part of the exhibition Noman's Land, at Galeria Leme, 2020

The paintings from the Sap series are sign-words, that brings natural elements: fire, gold and mercury. They are made by a specialized truck sign painter and represent a popular cultural side. Big, thick, slightly inclined letters write three words meant to be read in distance, by cars after trucks at the roads.

“Mercury”, as the messenger, travelled through São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul and Mato Grosso, entering the Amazon territory crossing the states of Rondônia and Acre all the way to the city of Cruzeiro do Sul, in the border with Peru and Bolivia. The main way of river contamination in the amazon forest, mercury is used to separate gold nuggets from dirt. In the process, it spreads in the waters and contaminates rivers, therefore damaging water supplies for people and animals.

“Gold” has left São Paulo, through the state of Minas Gerais, arriving at Salvador. In a sense, it rebuilt the same gold route from colonial period. This same gold still decorates colonial architecture churches, built at that time as a first european inscription in the brazilian symbolic arena.

“Fire, in its raging red letters, has left São Paulo with destination to argentinian Patagonia, arriving at Tierra del Fuego. The photographs registers were made by the truck driver, then mounted in wood plates. In one of them, it reads “polar”. “Polar fire”, an involuntary verse, casual meeting between two significants. Where else did the painting visited? Who has met it on its way on the roads? How many more involuntary verses, which we will never hace access to, did it produced? Back to the gallery, this fender-painting is exposed at the entrance, also setting a circuit with the other transport trucks that pass by. Exhibited like that, the work seems to find its place: nor inside, nor outside the art circuit, or, as said before, at the same time in and outside.

The text is a free translation excerpt from the curatorial text from Thaís Rivitti, curator of the No man's land exhibition.

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