02 Dec – 20 Dec 2019
Francisco Klinger Carvalho
Since 1999, multimedia artist Klinger Carvalho employs various materials and techniques to create his sculptures, which have been characterized by aesthetic experimentation. He’s the kind of artist who doesn’t resort to formulae in order to create. What he seeks through this diversity are means to communicate and express his work’s conceptual and visual needs.
For the exhibition Navigational Forms, his first solo show at Galeria Kogan Amaro, in São Paulo, the artist has put together a series of works based on his nautical memory and knowledge, turning basic navigational forms, skeletal boat hulls, into sculptural designs. They’re the actual materialization of his aesthetic thinking into unbroken round edged lines that are joined at the ends and expand over the room, bringing his ideas to life.
A river from within the artist streams towards us. Inside Klinger Carvalho streams a river that spills over the materiality of his memory. It’s no accident that “it has all started with a boat which, locked in a cage, serves as a metaphor to the strange encounter between himself and remoteness. On the one hand, there are the news from what he gets, on the other, experiences of what was found, in which he describes the new world’s uncommon space; where projections and ideologies intertwine in such a way that reality manifests itself as a construct of reciprocal inclusion and exclusion, depending on perception’s point of view.” (Karin Stempel, 2009). Navigational forms come from the memories of the riverine born on the banks of a great Amazonian river. His history bathes in an immense world of waters.
In Óbidos, bathed by the muddy waters of the Amazon River, which carry sediment from the forest and from all life on its banks, the city is built upon a hill from where the magnificence of the great river can be seen, since the opposite bank is forever lost in the horizon. White men stories, indigenous peoples stories and tales, stories of indigenous men mixed with white men tales make up the viscous broth which provides humanity with beauty. Klinger transforms this matter into sculptures and drawings.
For a long time, boats have been the only way to go back and forth the riverbanks. Little boats and canoes, like dust on the surface of the rivers, are the means of survival of communities who live by the banks of the land bathed by these waters. The sculptures are the skeletal hull of these railed boats, referencing the new way of inhabiting them, somehow reproducing the same limitations and fear imposed in urban life.
Klinger once said that railing the boats was the way these men have found to protect themselves against the attack of river Pirates who wander around the rivers, bringing fear into the simple life of riverine people. It seems nonsense, but from these histories (stories, maybe?) result the design of the boat structures that resemble the skeleton of vertebrate animals. Simple lined rigid hinges that are designed to support these movable bodies.
At first being made of wood and vines, Klinger’s sculptures have gained minimalistic sophistication, being exquisitely lathed and well finished – his way of aesthetically interpreting the different variants of what he envisions, aesthetically transforming them into simplified standing shapes, which brings visual refinement to artisanal pieces.
Between 1999 and 2002, the artist has lived with boat constructors in shipyards at the riverine city of Abaetetuba, in the Pará section of the Amazon, where he has studied carpentry techniques and naval engineering to then use his knowledge onto his rustically made sculptures and, with time, this rusticity has been gradually refined. It has acquired the refinement of skilled carpenter hands that build them based on Klinger’s sketches.
There’s a central solid shape in navigational forms which sometimes seem like the prototype of a canoe imprisoned by a skeletal circular shape, which is per se imprisoned by curvaceous shapes, creating tension. To create these navigational shapes, there’s a structure made for boat constructing, like the ribs from a human body that intertwine a range of curves and designs hanging in the air, thus setting the matter’s limits and potentiality.
Metaphoric forms that sediment real experiences which, even when lived, hold only geometric and constructive evidence of reality’s lines and shapes, sharing it with the fiction of life. Art is nothing more, or it shouldn’t be, than fiction deeply anchored in reality.
In a conversation with Francis Bacon, in London, in 1965, Giacometti said he believed the object of avant-garde art is to produce the remnants of reality. But he made it very clear he didn’t mean reproducing it, but creating a reality of the same intensity. Klinger Carvalho’s navigational forms seem to be what they are.
“The boat stands as an exotic bird in a cage. Like the bird, who enjoys flying, the boat likes navigating, yet it finds itself restrained from soaring freely across the cage”… (KS, 2009).
Francisco Klinger de Carvalho
Óbidos, Pará, 1966
Lives and works in Mannheim, Germany
Francisco Klinger Carvalho is a multimedia artist. It makes use of different materials and methods to compose sculptures, installations and works in public spaces. In 1997, he graduated in Arts Education from the Federal University of Pará, the same year he received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for postgraduate studies in Germany. Between 2001 and 2011 he lived between Germany, Brazil and Colombia. He currently lives between the cities of Mannheim, Germany and São Paulo, Brazil.