By Fiona Hurrell, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Visual art and poetry, two very different medias, come together this month at the Oi Futuro Cultural Center in Ipanema as a joint display titled “Visual Poetry.” The exhibition showcases the work of Brazilian Poet Alberto Pucheu and visual artist Helena Trinidade and marks the fifth project of its kind. Curated by Alberto Saraiva, the display focuses primarily on the promotion of Brazilian prose and demonstrates the ability of both artists to cross the border of their respective medias.
Alberto Pucheu told of his excitement, both at being invited to display his work and of the challenge to feature a visual media concept. “I was thrilled to be involved, especially because I have never worked with visual methods before so this was all new to me.”
The idea behind his work, titled simply “Palavras” (words), stemmed from his time spent in Portugal, encountering sentences of graffiti as he walked through the streets of Lisbon. These randomly placed words interested Pucheu, who took photographs of the graffiti as he saw it, an activity that continued upon his return to Rio.
Pucheu explained: “I became more aware of these scattered sentences and their poetic connotations. I gathered them all together over time and now they feature in this exhibition. Anonymous words by anonymous people.”
Using a sound projector, Pucheu took to the streets of Rio on his bicycle, recording the everyday sounds of people going about their daily business. It is these sounds, along with the voice of his girlfriend, musician Gabriela Capper, that can be heard in his video sequence.
For Helena Trinidade, the task of incorporating words into her visual display was far from daunting. She explains: “Language has a visual element; the typewriter, for example, is one of the first visual displays of lettering that came to mind and with that, everything it has come to symbolize.”
Trinidade also developed a short film piece which blends a mixture of voice recordings, some of which are recognizable from the self-teaching language tapes of Rosetta Stone.
The title of Trinidades collection is “Letra” (letter), a word the artist believes sums up the display perfectly. “I chose the title because the letter is the first element of language, without letters, there would be no words.”
The inspiration for her work stems from her interest in psychological studies. Trinidade explains, “I have been very fond of psychoanalysis and my work is usually in touch with the different dimensions of language.” The words and phrases she uses do indeed have an air of mystery about them, such as one display on the outer wall which reads, “Opoderda Palavra Atravesda Videncia” (“the power of the word through seeing”).
Both artists showcased their work on the opening night by projecting their films on the walls of the Oi Futuro building. Trinidade said “It was spectacular, and to see pedestrians stop and look up in amazement was really pleasing.” For Pucheau, it was a symbolic moment, “It was as though we were projecting the voices of the city back to the city.”
The “Visual Poetry” exhibition will run until the July 31st and is free to all age groups. Opening times are 1PM until 9PM, Tuesday to Sunday.
Oi Futuro Ipanema, Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 54/3º andar.
Tel: (21) 3201-3010.
Full schedule of events at the website.