A naturalist in a ship of dreams
Diana Lichtenstein Corso
Porto Alegre, 30 de janeiro de 2009
There were times when it was not necessary to leave the planet to embark upon a fantastic voyage. In the past, when so many places were still unknown, it was enough to board a ship, and from there one could see unimaginable wonders. Nevertheless, we were never content with what reality presented us; it wasn’t enough. Dragons, hydras, giants, mermaids, fairies and a huge variety of monsters were described, painted and drawn, proving that our imagination is always hungry and it is hardly ever satisfied by what is presented to us by nature itself.
To explore imaginary worlds, it is necessary that there should be another type of naturalist, someone who is willing to embark upon a ship of dreams. Of course, this Darwinesque person, traveling on the Beagle sailing through fantastic oceans has to be an artist, a dreamer, with a sharp eye for detail with a touch of cold scientific approach.
There is one amongst us, and his name is Walmor Correa.
Walmor hás been recently awarded the prestigious Açorianos award for sculpture and most notable artist of the year. His award winning exhibit was named Memento Mori, at The Goethe Institute, in Porto Alegre, R.S., in the spring of 2007. For any who might have missed it, go to www.walmorcorrea.com.br
The work includes several musical boxes, and inside these boxes, standing like ballerinas, swirl delicate bird skeletons. At first glance they seem to be ordinary birds, but slowly our eyes perceive that they are the dissecated bonés of imaginary criations.
They are birds with a mouse’s tail with a trumpet for a beak, strange protusions in the bonés of heads and bodies that never existed. What would they have been like if they had flesh and feathers? We ask ourselves, forgetting that these dancing birds never existed! It is through the presentation of of this fantastic dissecated nature, post mortem, that, in paradoxal act, the artist legitimizes its life.
Musical boxes always remind me of something melancholic. Their music, so delicate, will be over when they unwind or stop when we close the lid. Different from a long and imponent symphony, the musical box song is always short, finite, intermitent, such as life that comes and góes.
Translating the the exhibit’s tile, “Memento Mori” the meaning is: remember you will die. Perhaps above all, death’s cruelty irritates us. We long to be the unending symphony; we look after our health, have cosmetic procedures performed on our bodies, we wind ourselves up and continue to wind…On the opposit side of that, art offers us another type of transcendence, we can go beyond, not beyond life but beyond reality.
With Walmor caring for these fantastic worlds, it is well worth enjoying all of the time that our winding mechanism allows us to have.