Vítor Hugo Leal
Researcher in Contemporary Art History
In the contemporary art world vandanuno emerges as a unity of multiple forces, intensities and desires arranged in a consistency determined by artistic pulsions. The vital force of life itself is crucial in the potency of this union. Therefore we find vandanuno as a rizomatic artistic unity, a confluence of forces in creative intensities of two persons that have completion as one inseparable artistic identity. Vanda and Nuno are one in multiplicity, they are vandanuno.
vandanuno’s field of immanence, of work, is constructed in an equilibrium of connections between intuitive and reflexive thought, between techné and episteme, between art and life. These connections establish a rizomatic grid of multiple and varied coordinates, which are organized in a fertile field of consistent creative multidisciplinarity, that challenges and tease at a multisensory regime level.
As a name without a capital letter, vandanuno denounces the rejection of a supremacy of exterior determinations, of molar intermediations. That is, the conventional rules of language are subverted into a new creation, not rejected. The accepted elements of language are elements to mold and to use, removed from their conventional status as determinators. The molar elements that establish our lives in society are transformed in artistic instruments.
We see in vandanuno’s work an artistic laboratory managed by an epistemologist that is an artist. By removing the constraints of the conventional dictated by society, the molar.
“The immanence level is not concept thought or even thinkable, although the image of thought, the image that thought provides over what means to think, to make use of thought, to guide itself in thought …” (1) It’s the conditions of formation of this level of immanence that vandanuno establishes as his level of immanence, his field of work. There, he works in a pre-linguistic, pre-individual field, and there is where he captures us without safeguards. It’s the moment previous to our individuation, or denuded of individuation, that is his field of work and where the connections, conditions and happenings are the subject of his analysis and understanding. This analysis is guided by intuition. The intuition is taken has a mode of thinking in a subconscient and conscient subconscious and conscious balance, where connections from the matured experiences and thoughts and knowledge emerge without constraints.
It’s in this context that vandanuno establishes the vectors to damage of the desiring-machine. The reason is revealed by the necessity of man, as a desiring-machine, to be broken in order to be activated. It is as a damaged machine that man, as a desiring-machine, finds his correct working mode when a disturbance or rupture happens, as the ones created by vandanuno.
One of the technics is revealed by the paradoxical report of something exterior in the interior of the work, in the rupture of space by the elaboration of a rupture in the space of affective moderation, driving us from affect to affect, as in a process of unreachable relations, that suffer with the interruption. In the works of vandanuno there is a strange continuity, a prolonging of a relation with the object, with the object as a reality that we never reach. The art work is an unreachable and is the unreachability that establishes a tension between us and the works of art.
It is the unreachable and its unreachability that establishes a tension between us and vandanuno’s art. Something that creates the desirable by the affections through the conditions of knowledge. The possibility is what captures us. The possibilities of the conditions of liberation, of denuding, of understanding of the world in which we are thrown and with which we interact that enable the capture, the ultimate damaging of the desiring-machine.
The corpus of work of vandanuno is multidisciplinary, with a metrical diversity that creates a territory of coordinates that disturb and tease. This immanence level and coordinates allows vandanuno to create multiplicities to explore ways to understand and reveal the conditions of being and living, in its essence. It happens because “Men is an invention, and a recent invention, as the archaeology of our thought shows easily”(2) vandanuno doesn’t hesitate in trying to understand the processes of formation of Men, to reveal them in a capture.
The work of vandanuno deals with non-oedipal life, it deals with what resides in the subconscious, as a desiring-machine, and is disassembled as a nature. This disassembly of the construction process is what creates us as social beings, the conventions that determine us in society.
One agoraphobic with claustrophobia
The series of black paintings from vandanuno establish a field of dematerialization of space, a field were the saturation of the black in the back invests in a technique that captures the careless observer. The use of the black as a back support is a technic to enable the immersion of the senses. These paintings are simple paintings only in appearance, since it convoke the discipline of Installation-Art. The canvas is turned into a black hole with sulfurous openings in white, inaccessible, narrow that denounces a white wider space beyond, outside in a fullness striped of references.
This canvas exposes us to two spaces, in a relation of paradox and uncanny between claustrophobia and agoraphobia. The space of capture is made in the black, absorbing color, meanwhile on the top, any effective reference, one overture shreds the blackness, leaving the enunciation of an external space. Both spaces are characterized by the absence of spacial references, leaving only a space of total inscription. The opening is a floating element which materialization is uncertain. The opening is in itself a mystery, it’s part of the unknown of unknown reach and a passage to an unknown exterior space.
The black space becomes claustrophobic, it’s a space of unknown, although incorporates some familiarity that involves us, it’s a space of mediations. This space surrounds us in such a way that acquires a feeling of presence in the immediate limits of our body. The whiteness of the openness on the top presents as a passage unreachable without a material consistency, it’s a device that opens the possibilities of something beyond this black space. This black space works as a cave in the dark, with no visual references.
In a painting we guess the presence of steps, as a phantasmagoria of fluctuations of unknown distance and structural strength, elements that accentuate the warpped of the blackness that surrounds. These aspects accentuate the openings into the unknown exterior, through the openings to the white space, unfamiliar. Therefore, the white space is a space of promises and, also, of uncanny.
The observer, or the one who experiences, is caught in the molar mediations, the great mediations that determine the life in society, that mold our perception and way of living. These mediations are the structural guide lines were we live. The black space is a basement that evolve us, is the allegory to the life in the society where we live, that embraces us. We are merged in this place that escapes our control, we manage in life in a familiarity that is also uncertain.
The one that experiences the paintings of vandanuno is held in suspension by something that never happens and is in the virge to happen. The non-inscription is determined by what doesn’t happen. There is something that doesn’t happen because there is a black hole that absorbs the space and keeps the tension of the capture. The paintings of vandanuno establish a liberation in potency that doesn’t happen.
The paintings lead the eyes to a plane over the top of the head of the observer, to the white opening to one unknown white space. The black space creates a first effect of capture, that embraces us, in order to make the observer to deal in a multisensory way with the painting. The observer stands fallen in the black space of effective inscription, the space of the social mediations – molar – that conducts the eyes to the top, to the space of total overture, of empty inscription.
The black space is the world were we are in, a framed space that assumes itself as the space that evolves us. This space is a place of immersion that captures us by the warpped of the blackness.
The matter explored is the human condition, the man in a world in constant transformation, that catches speed. Unlike the allegory of the cave by Plato, the unknown is always present, knowledge doesn’t exist outside the world we are in, we build the knowledge in order to find a sensation of controlling the world. The knowledge of men about himself and about nature is always a construction, one attempt to feel in control of what is not in our control, life itself. Knowledge is a device of construction of perspectives on the World in order to promote the familiar notion of controlling what surround us.
The man who kidnapped itself and didn’t notice it
In the Installations of vandanuno, mirrors and seduction drive us to a kidnapping of our senses into a space that opens inside the space where we are in. The installations open a new space in continuity of the space the installation is in, made out of the borders of this one. The walls, the ceiling and the floors are restructures in another plane, in another space open inside the already existing space, the same space becoming another.
In the installations of vandanuno, the lacanian mirror stage presents a new role to understand our relation with these installations that subvert the space in order to subvert us. We are seduced by the folds to enter in the work, the mirrors execute the ultimate kidnapping.
In his installations vandanuno establishes a connection between used objects and black industrial plastics and mirrors.
The mirrors project us in a simulacral space, a space that absorbs us into caves, obliquitous divisions that trigger the unbalance of those who discover the image of reflection. This image is a virtual real that imposes through the specularity of a simulacra. This presents a fall in a virtual universe that becomes actual in the vertigo of the observer. The mirror plays demand from the observer an active presence.
The subversion of space and senses is made by the fall, in vertical or, in the horizontal.
In “untitled”, a set of two mirrors, one in the floor and one in the wall, with a plumb bob in a plastic medical bag, we are thrown into a fall through the wall. We are our double in the image far through the wall.
The difference between looking and seeing is essential to the ultimate capture in the interaction with the installations. The lacanian mirror state is the moment when the child recognizes the self in the reflection in the mirror, when there is no longer a baby in the mirror but himself. We, as that child, live the unification with our reflection in another space unified with our carnal space. We are seduced by the objects; a chair in the process of denuding, a plumb bob to guide points of equilibrium drives us in their materiality, as a support from the real to a virtual space.
There is a fall in this installations that defies the vertical fall.
The art emerges as a strong presence in a continuous challenge in critics to the determinations that characterize the contemporary society. There are considerations that remain timeless, as in classical philosophy, that vandanuno explores, despite artistic specificities that are usually resumed in materials and technics.
The challenge of the art of vandanuno, an art that reveals the symptoms of the present moment, of a moment that is characterized by the fall of an historical age paradigm. The appearances and the structures that support them are explored in a game of revelation by the insinuation of the denuding of the plastics that covers them.
Plastic is a material that dominated and still dominates the Postmodern Age, dominates the tactile, the visual, the audio and the sense of smell in our daily lives. The sensuality of plastic is part of the Post-modernity, defies the re-negation of it by Mailler as a material of indifference that would anesthetize the senses. Plastic has revealed itself as fundamental material to new sensations in the Post-Modern Age.
The installations of vandanuno explores the deterritorialization of the industrial black plastic, it acquires texture, movement and pleated of sensuousness.
In “untitled”, a feminine curvilinear chair is semi-covered with black plastic in tensions and folds, standing on a mirror off-centered, obliquitous in its corners in relation to the legs of the chair. The chair insinuates through the black plastic, as a dress, in a game of seduction. The mirror presents the inferior space of the chair in a projection of depth to a new space that opens in the ground, a virtual basement that opens before us with the elements of the ceiling.
In “untitled”, a straight male chair, semi-covered, throw us into a state of suspension in a virtual space open by the game of a mirror in the ground. The seduction of the plastic folds contrasts with the direct capture of the mirror using the familiarity of an used chair to support the connection established by the observer and the installation.
The plea established by folds lead us to a relation of control and chance. It’s in the relation with the way that plastic deforms when submitted to intense heat and intuitive ways of controlling that flow of transformation that the plea is created in a tactile visuality of seduction. The pleated plastic open spaces of revelation in a dichotomy of revelation and seduction. The industrial black plastic, ordinary and without sensuous qualities acquires a new status in the artworks of vandanuno, becomes sensual and out of ordinary.
The black plastic is an element of denuding with a molar, social inscription subverted in pleated movements. It’s relation with the objects reveals a sensuality unknown in the ordinary, intensifying the presence and the shapes of the installations, causing a rupture in the desiring-machine, causing chaos. (3)
There is an exploration of the “machinic-mediation of the mixture, of the actions and of the passions, in a mixture of bodies reacting over each other” (3) in equilibrium with the deconstruction of the “collective mediation of the enunciation, of actions and incorporeal transformations attributed to the bodies”.
The fold in time it’s not in the road code
In the series “The Wrinkles of Time” we see drawings with thin traces of extreme strength, drawing our eyes into a field of connections. Modules of connection imposes in the whiteness of the paper sheet, structuring the world communication vectors . The whiteness of the sheet presents as a space of inscription totally empty. The white sheet is the abstract pre-linguistic space of communication of the world where we interact. The traces and lines inscribed in the whiteness are forms saturated with meaning articulated in a frame, delineated by the material limits of the white sheet.
In the drawings of vandanuno there is a de-negation of the previous models and maps that establishes the guiding lines in the territory. In vandanuno, the territory precedes the map, the white territory total emptied of inscriptions established by social determined references. The lines of strength are drawn in a space without references where the connections become the references of a rizomatic structure.
These drawings result of a refinement of life in time in which the white empty space in total opening to the inscription folds in the wrinkles of the drawing.
The real determines the representation in the drawings of vandanuno, there are no place to mimesis or substitution of the real by signs, in fact it’s the reverse of that. The real is experienced in time always, in connections, formed by wrinkles time in space. Time is always a determination in space, with different directions. To attribute spacial determinations is to create folds in the empty territory of the white sheet, the drawings of vandanuno are a temporal determination that occurs in the white sheet. The sign reveals in this presentation of time, doesn’t remit to an exterior element, it’s time itself materializing in space.
The correlations to effectuate, concerning the thin traces and thick shapes, are diversions from the real. The connection of the traces and shapes to cable and electricity lines are derivations, mere metaphors to the real. Because time can only be presented in space and it’s abstractness defies representation, the familiarity of electrical elements creates a mediation. Electricity moves, exists in space and the movement happens in time.
The materiality of time happens in every drawing of vandanuno because each drawing of vandanuno creates a wrinkle in time. Every drawing is a cut of time in its multiple connections, speed, direction and possibilities. In the space of every white sheet a time of it’s own happen, a time independent of the agreed time, the real time. In this time exist the possibilities of future times, present in the different connections and directions to take, to chose.
Every wrinkle is a time of it’s own that demands our adjustment to this wrinkle, that exists outside the agreed, outside the rules established by society as a construction, as the rules of the road code.
In the series “Wrinkles of Time” the possibility of existence of several systems that interact is demonstrated. vandanuno reveals the construction of time and history, of life and death. vandanuno explores not the accomplishment or the possibility of accomplishment but the conditions of accomplishment of the systems that determine the legitimation of the real and knowledge.
The white sheet is the pure space of inscription where the event happens. It’s the space of total openness to the vectors of time, of movement of intersections and curves that characterize temporality and are not written in the road code.
Wrinkling time is to create a project of possibilities for the future. It’s this white space that opens the possibilities. These drawings reveal a time-space that works for itself, not a mere sign for something outside.
Vítor Hugo Leal
Researcher in Contemporary Art History
1 Gilles Deleuze, What is Philosophy,
2 Michel Foucault, As Palavras e as Coisas, Edições 70,
3 Gilles Deleuze e Félix Guattari, Kafka, pour une littérature mineure, Paris, Minuit, 1975