Friday, October 25, 2013

Mira Schendel: In a word, beauty

Accepting that life has no meaning leaves me relatively unfazed. What does make sense is beauty, sentiment, art. Beauty reveals whatever equilibrium is possible in this chaos we inhabit. I need just one word to write about Mira Schendel’s Ĺ“uvre, so close to my own view of things, a word that she drew with great emotion: beauty.
Having said it all, I could then move on, simply because that is what we do, until the end: move on. And even with the overwhelming amount written on art, there is always something lacking. Words, too, are missing, albeit being so many they are not enough. I like to write to develop my ideas in a different register, noncommittally. Writing about Mira Schendel could be a lovely and playful exercise, but I admit that I am feeling disconcerted; my only wish is to pay her tribute.
I could ramble on pointlessly about something that you have to see with your own eyes. It would be more coherent in handwriting. Inverted? Perhaps something more permeable: overlapping transparent pages. Mira drafts a writing that I apprehend in a natural way, a language that supplements what is missing without attempting to fill the blanks.
‘World’ is another word I feel vibrating in Mira’s poetry. Everything is fundamental, supplementary: simple and complex. Black lath on white field, surface and space. Opaque paint of sheer colour, and gold. Pondering the work is seeing it from memory. I retain details of things and my feelings there, so many years ago. It is part of my mental collection, in which I hold everything I cherish, intact and impregnated in my imagination.
Fernanda Gomes is an artist living and working in Brazil. Translated from the Portuguese by Izabel Murat Burbridge

From Tate London 2013