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Perverted seducing nature Blanca Brites Porto Alegre, no sol do inverno de 2003

When our undisturbed eyes examine the images revealed in this “Perverted Nature”, the unexpected surprises us. Even though prevented by the title Walmor Corrêa gave to his show, we’re imperceptibly caught in the trap he’s set for the ones who venture into this curiosity laboratory. By playing with trompe l’oeil species, he fools our look and also our senses and also allows art to transversely transport us to unapproachable and indecipherable territories. Art in everyday life is linked to contemporaneity demands so it does accept the construction of inventories which rescue the loss of memory through individual mythologies or records from a natural world which is currently under the threat of forgetting its own origin. This is the domain where Walmor works are to be found. His work has radically changed from earlier stages but he has been keeping his masterful and secure motion at drawing and painting skills as a personal trademark throughout his career. Now we have panels with animals which are apparently familiar or known from zoological compendiums. However, somehow we are not at ease. A doubt is to be found. Something is not in its usual place and runs out of our control. Minute details catch our glance causing a strange feeling. Little by little these details become more vivid thus making it clear that there is a fauna unfolding itself to us in a hybrid complexity which invites us to infer the merge of the species. As an example , we can see a hermaphrodite fish with feathers and wings , a rodent turtle, a bird with a monkey head, a cat-bird, a bird with crab claws and several combinations of insects that could have resulted from genetic evolution , which is currently offering new possibilities for creating a new nature. There is also a certain degree of denunciation to be noticed by the endangered state these species are in , even though they do not exist…yet. Moreover we have the “ Besouro em Ação – Programado para Não Voar” (1) – with eyes under its wings, this insect challenges the scientific statement about its own impossibility to fly, once it does fly. Quite similar to art itself which allows us to enjoy its impossible flights so that it proves the need of its own existence. In “Catalogações” (2) his species are named with uncommon German names – “Möve mit Krallem “( Seagull with Claws) ; “Wirbelterspinne” ( Vertebrate Spider); “Amphibiem mit Schnabel” (Amphibian with a Beak) – German being chosen for it offers the possibility of an unusual joint of words. Some species get their names from fake Latin designations, such as “Apterigiformes Aco II”, which follows an academic tradition. As we go deeper into this artist’s ironic game we come across titles such as “Diorama Cartesiano IV and V” (3), which are subtle references to the rationality sense inherited from Cartesian philosophy. Walmor’s realist language, preciosity, finishing and expertness do fit into the demands of his own goals as well as contemporary art scene; his animals are so convincingly true that one can hardly doubt their real existence. The greatest impact, though , is to be felt when we realise we have just been caught in a glance-trap set by our lack of attention. We saw but we didn’t view. Every time the observer pays close attention to the pieces, he answers back to what he sees and therefore follows the artist’s intention of establishing a dialogue with his audience. Such a dialogue can be considered quite dubious, to say the least, for perversity itself is not only addressed to the freaks of nature we see but also to the whole situation the artist has prepared for us. By taking us as his hostages he enjoys himself by looking at our mesmerised faces facing the exotic fauna he’s offered. Conversely, then ,our reactions become the artist’s main focus.. There’s also a lot of discipline in his work, which follows its own path but also reminds us of entomologist studies, mainly the entomological gabinet with its drawers full of insects orderly painted side by side and pinned to the canvas with real pins. Such a careful organisation suggests the collector’s will to carefully display his findings much as to leave room for conquers yet to be made and even the ones which may never be found and remain as an object of desire. The pleasure of the collector is to feel rewarded by observing other people admiring his achievements. Walmor has developed this extraordinary universe by joining two dimensions in its pictorial structure : visual and narrative . The notations are hand-written in graphite so that even though it is possible to read, they do not aim to facilitate its full understanding but to encourage us to complete each story by ourselves. We can learn about eating habits, internal organ functions, reproductive system, growth steps, compared anatomy and also an evolutionary prospection of each specie. As we focus on each one of these classified identities we tend to believe even more in their concrete existence. Such veracity , even knowing it is false, is reinforced by detailed description in the stories created for each imaginary animal that thus become an autonomous being full of peculiar data, such as the “Wirbeltespienne” and its bite which injects a toxic substance into the victim’s body through thin ducts located inside of his upper teeth , reddening the skin and causing huge laughter spasms that can literally make the person die laughing. By getting support from methodological accuracy Walmor shows us his animals through different perspectives from transversal sections where it is easy to see the physical completion of each animal , its skeleton and its physiology. These section-cuts are aseptic , which may lead to either a pseudo-neutral scientific approach or a remaining trace from the artist’s former career as an architect. Walmor does not sail surreal oceans. His images unsettles our look in a gradual way. There is no emotional exploitation . His animals are not aggressive either physically or in terms of their inner nature or formal expression. Alternatively , in some cases there is an almost playful attraction which reminds us of children illustrated books. In contrast with all the exciting information in the stories , there is some passivity present in the soft colours of these animals. This utopical nature has animals wandering in a silent and tranquil space of canvases with white-acrylic painted background. It is possible to trace the path followed by the artist, initially with “Dioramas IV and V” , those big screens with several animals surrounded by an ethereal environment where they stand individually, each one having its own highlight. These Dioramas remind us of informational zoology posters from the 19th century. The “Catalogações” series has animals selected by the artist to precisely demonstrate their evolution, environment and physical structure. Then we have the large monochromatic skeletons which could perfectly connect us to dinosaurs from jurassic times or, on the contrary, only the enlargement of small animals .These skeletons take the obsessive descriptive aim to its extreme by naming all bones in a didactical way. It looks as if the artist wanted to undress his species from any additional enchantment . Those are skeletons in all their essence, purity, strength and roughness, which resemble like a death fate or even the remains of an nonexisting life with no morbidity for we still have the clinical eye intention, unemotional but still involving. Walmor involves us in this pervert nature because the looks that can fool us, can also attract because of its simple way of inventing a seductive nature that can wonder our everyday look. (1) Beetle in action – programmed not to fly. (2) Catalogues (3) Cartesian Diorama IV and V