(Hein Semke, Metamorphoses III, 1971, ceramic mask on hardboard and acrylic glass, donated by Teresa Balté, CAM Collection, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian)
Last year I visited an Art exhibition at Fundação Gulbenkian, and I discovered an artist: Hein Semke. This is another iteration concerning that interaction between this viewer and the artist.
I imagine that an art piece can be inspired by an idea, a story, a situation...It seems to me that it's a problem when artistic production are no more than a good idea, a joke. I don't have anything to do with that aesthetic of supermarket, television, video clip, or funny and noisy ideas:
(Patrick Raynaud, Red-Cupboard, 1979, Acrylic paint on cut-out and articulated wooden parts, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian)
They are artists who try to talk louder than others and I'm not at all interested in such matters: it's only noise and TV aesthetic, that has progressively been extended to all fields. Robert Bresson used to say that television is the school of distraction and I agree with him completely. I'm not the slightest bit interested in this rapid and superficial aesthetic filled with amusing and banal ideas: I need another notion of time, something slower, closer to silence, shadow, pain, beauty and the impossibility of beauty, of suspension of time, solitude, incommunicability. I've already been accused of having "strange tastes". I don't agree...I feel art should be close to man. That's its implicit meaning: art should enable man to become aware of his world, of his physical and mental space, his impotence and his strength, of the shadow of leaves on the wall, of the proximity between life and death. It's also a work of memory and emotion. I see art as a path steered towards human dignity and genuine understanding of my inner needs. I love art produced with reduced resources. Reduction is the path to transcendence, even when we want to remain very close to the real world. I like to talk about the image, form and space, but above all I like to talk about the human element, which is always the most important aspect, even in impossibility, absurdity and despair.
NB: Both pictures taken by me at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in December 2015 in Lisbon.