The perverted and generous nature of transitory species from the world and art Bianca Knaak* Porto Alegre
In Walmor Corrêa’s private universe we can find a myriad of elegant though bizarre animals which enable him to reveal all his creating joy. Bizarre creatures, hybrids,metamorphosis, hallucinations, witty illusions , all these words can be used to define and understand his work. Local public had already been introduced to his species at the former collective exhibition “Apropriações/Coleções (1).” Now in “Natureza Perversa”, an individual show (2) ,his works are generously displayed to the audience, seducing, charming and challenging ideas and smiles. There is no need to be an art expert to recognise this artist’s value as well as the multiple approaches his work allows us to have. Living in a time ruled by instituted contemporary art canons, when sometimes the hand of the artist is forbidden to touch his own piece, Walmor overcomes himself at drawing and painting technical skills. We can see through this heteroclite labour that the tradition of art systems structured from figurative painting is kept alive. Walmor creates his own work by using the most explicit tradition of art history: drawing, painting, canvas, naturalist representation, analytical description, academic legitimacy, geometric perspective and , literally optical illusion. Lots of optical illusion . The elegant precision of his gesture captivates us at first sight. Then this very figurative competence becomes a vigorous esthetical argument to set his poetic statement. There is to be found a certain appraisal of the hand through his masterful technique, which subordinates to the artistic purpose of creation in which beauty reigns as means and end of an illusionist project. Those animals, fusion of penguin and fish, beetle and deer, cat and paca, crab and spider and so many others , are so carefully made and finished that we end up admiring them as beautiful lies which seem to be true (3). Form leads the idea that is built-in so that it in-forms us. Walmor Corrêa’s work is design. Design of a restless fauna that uses its apparent beauty to question the philosophical imperative triad of truth, goodness and beauty as a harmonious and unified existence. Where do these creatures come from? From the demiurge artist’s wilful imagination? From the most sincere fear of the unimaginable and at the same time alarming effects of alienated consumption of transgenic food? Or maybe from research on post-dolly genetic engineering? It really doesn’t matter, what impacts us is the fact that even living times when biosecurity has become an international political issue , scientific progress inexorably advances making it inevitable for us to cope with genetically modified organisms and we can see ethics and genetics being discussed on both academic and governmental instances – the work of this artist does exist, inform, hold and heuristically compete with didactical biology. However, Walmor Corrêa is not an environmental warrior he is a man of his time trying to be an artist who is lucid and politically correct, not necessarily in this order. Even if within this context his approach might be taken as too shallow for some people, it can also be the root and main core of a problem which is self-managed by the non-solution, typical of contemporary scenario. The animals represented in “Dioramas Cartesianos” (4) are non-real creatures which are possible , though. It is not for us to say , considering our cultural background, that such beings are unreal or even surreal. Life teaches and art imitates, but not always in the same order. From mounting the exhibition by quoting old natural history museums to the notations and predictions about the origin and survival of the “discovered” species, everything has been thought and made so that a Cartesian model tradition was followed. It is also delicately glamorised the transgression of this very collapsing rationality .Even naming the species in invented Latin and German – the most conceptual and philosophical language ever! – was not aleatory. No aspect of this work is aleatory. It disturbingly questions historical present in its praxis. That is the reason why this exhibition has to be presented in art museums, for it has its museography borrowed from science and natural history museums through which the subtle irony of this game of appearances is made possible, silent and effective. We can also notice how important the texts that caption the creatures from Walmor Corrêa are: pure science fiction. By reading very short reports we can discover not only the origin of those transitory species but also a mythological spring to be explored. We can also feel a unique love for words mixed with a certain devoted curiosity about definitions and concepts and , above all, a respectful recognition toy the authority addressed to scientific knowledge methodologically written and published. His small hand-written notes in graphite are fictional narratives which post-modernly expose its creator’s subject and subjected history. An almost historiographical fiction that is lively and sometimes metafictional. By covering theoretical, historical, and literary narrative, these texts lead the audience to unveil the artist through its own theoretical self-awareness about history and fiction as men’s creation. The whole of his work demonstrates that everything there can taken as true, good and beautiful at the level of ideas and forms, without pointing to an ideal or despised reality because, as an aesthetic experience, the work of art only links itself to symbolic realities , where reality and imagination merge through a possible exchange which puts an end to the social notion of reality (5) . That also neutralizes the dichotomous concept that opposes real and imaginary categories, therefore everything is feasible through the artist trace , and it is also made possible by human imagination, inspired by the pervert post-modern simulacrum of a generous and technologically inexhaustible nature. Bianca Knaak is a Professor at IA/UFRGS ( Institute of Arts/ Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) M.A., History, Theory and Art Critique – IA/UFRGS (1) Exhibited from June 30th to September 29th , 2002 at Santander Cultural – Curator – Tadeu Chiarelli. (2) Initially held at Salas Negras at MARGS ( Museum of Art from Rio Grande do Sul) from august 12th to september 14th , 2003. This show is to be presented in many cities throughout the country. (3) Umberto Eco, Marisa Bonazzi. Mentiras que parecem Verdades. São Paulo: Summus, 1980. (4) Title of art pieces where animals are represented sharing their among the inhabitants of earth, water and sea. (5) Cf. Baudrillard, Jean in A Troca Simbólica e a Morte. São Paulo: Loyola,1996.