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Gustavo Rezende

Felipe Chaimovich

In the photograph entitled “The Thompson Clark Paradox or Mark’s nightmare”, Gustavo Rezende depicts two self-portraits. He and his double face each other amongst the spoils of war. They are gripping trophies from a King-Kong night downed planes, mummified in black latex bands. The blue of the pilot overalls and
a white background lend balance to the bellicose figures.
Both figures are asymmetrical creating a dramatic relation amongsteach other. The one on the right and the one on the left differ by letters appearing on their caps
as emblems. “E” on one side and an “F” on the other side. They avoid each other’s eyes for they are wary. Skeptical, they halt declarations cocerning the purport of their encounter. Silent, they meditate on the existence of the external world and on unreceptive loves.
The artist sought advertising stylization both in his image composition and in the material characteristics of the object. The hieratic pose and the arrogant muteness of the pilots suggest a slogan of virile and contemporary products; the naturalistic dimensions of printing on paper and
the industrial assemblage, the impact of ephemeral posters.
Gustavo Rezende returns, in his manner, to the bipartite constructions that complete each other with an eloquent title — a characteristic of his previous works. In the sculptures and paintings of that period, duplicated abstract shapes were given poetic denominations indicating possible figurative associations: “The Emperor and his Dorsum”, “The Observer and the Vanishing Point”.
The titles meant to elucdate form are nevertheless abandoned in self-portraits. The name becomes hermetic, referring solely to the author’s privete experiences: Thompson Clark and his paradox, Mark and his nightmares. In this manner, the figures are contaminated by oddity of their denomination.
Finally, Gustavo Rezende explores the abyss in communication between the subjective meaning of titles and the public’s apprehension of the works of
art. Between paradox and nightmare, the work denies the viewer any discursive elucidation about the scene. Only tormented Mark seems to grasp what the aviators are announcing.


[Text published in Gustavo Rezende: Uma antologia por Tadeu Chiarelli. São Paulo: Editora WMF Martins Fontes, 2013.]

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