Le 27 mai 2007, par olive,
There is a gap between the work of the duo Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille and the one of Eduardo Srur. A vertical, horizontal world, a universe which lies from one page to another on glazed paper, a galaxy that spreads and invades the space of our towns. A consumer world that goes for seduction, glamour, desire and its layouts… Whereas it is the advertising value that points images at Eduardo Srur, both Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille are interested in the unreal beauty of overexposed models. For them no logos, no slogans : just plain images. The image of a young girl who is wearing the “values” of her trademark on her face (The Face) ; the image of a fop with a hairstyle too perfectly cool to be true and who, for the time of a shooting, seems to give the whole world a challenging look. London-Melody.
“Forget natural, Bingo, Didier says. Search the limit. (…)
I want something a little rough, Bingo. A little wicked. A bottled up anger. There must be bottled up anger. I want the aggressive side of this boy. I want something wild, Didier says. I want Red Hot Chilly Peppers. I want energy .”
Flash. And beauty spreads out. X-ray pulses of mockery. It becomes a stake. Then for Eduardo Srur, the charming bottom of a woman’s computerised avatar -chatting up in 4 by 3 the cable channel consumer- becomes a target. A representation worth marking to hoodwink. There are worlds that coexist and meet. It is at the intersection of these realities that the artists we are talking about can be found. Through the prism of their art, Tursic/Mille and Srur watch these parallel universes : through painting, gesture, and video, they take note, compose, and interfere.
Ida Tursic’s and Wilfried Mille’s art (let’s call them by their signature : I&W) has always had something to do with the ecstatic desire of images. Pornography. Anita Dark, Silvia Saint, Cicciolina or others less renowned, Alice, Suzana… compose their happy pantheon of pleasure out of shown-off, penetrated bodies. The actresses of genre films become the decadent models of an art that exacerbates the radicality of a sexuality ready to be consumated. The artists are careful not to judge the violence of the exchange, the face-to-face, they’d rather maintain a distance, a gap that forces the watcher to make his own choices regarding the works. Foremost, for I&W shape is challenging. I&W are demanding with painting ! “Art as [only] an idea, Clément Greenberg says peremptorily, is good for those who don’t expect enough from art, who don’t demand enough, who don’t look for a really aesthetic experience but more for something they can classify and identify as new, the new moment 
I&W recompose images precisely chosen on Internet, in porn, fashion or so-called fashion magazines (they too have received the vibrator with the special issue of Jalouse). They make art out of a random display, save, cut, paste and thus escape from the obviousness of a negligent pornography. When they paint in oils, their canvasses often have the huge dimensions of advertising posters (Sodomie 250x400 ; La grande éjac 250x300, The Wave, In Paradise with Silvia Saint, 300x… 700…). But these formats have nothing to assume (these paintings are not irreverences), they simply show their reality with class and elegance.
For the exhibition at Interface, the couple I&W offers a uniformly sensitive watercolour series of varied sizes and subjects. The formats of the paper works have nothing to do with those of the paintings previously mentioned. Here, you have to stand closer, sometimes even crane your neck to appreciate the details of a birds’ flight over brown soil (Black Birds, 46.5x55). The subjects are “appeased”, no more stretched penis, no more facial ejaculation or curvaceous bottom but a visual universe which verges on the infinite. The watercolours, as well as the oils, draw from the patiently collected photographs, but they don’t compromise : the pictures are by themselves -like torn-out pages, sign of a direct transfer from the source. At least, that is what it seems… Floating in the middle of a white page, the torn-out pages are painted with an acute sense of colour. Nuit étoilée and Chandra 47 are the paroxysmal examples of this coloured vibration which runs through all the watercolours. The last one is drawn from the snapshot of a star system called 47 Tuc W made by the Chandra X-RAY Observatory, Inside this system there is a super-dense star -a pulsar- which, according to specialists, may turn on itself 25 times within the blink of an eye. On the black background of a bottomless space, these stars -these instable pulsars which, with I&W’s paintings, seem to get back a kind of luminous fragility- are shining with an amazing light. The time it takes for an eye to blink, for a butterfly to flap its wings, it is all there, in the watercolours. Beautiful. Fragile. Calm. Suspended. Pollock, Morley, Manet, Koons, Picabia… and of course Andy : - “Baby, one day Andy said that beauty is the sign of intelligence. She turns slowly towards me to look at me. Who, Victor ? Andy who ? She coughs, blows her nose. Andy Kaufman ? Andy Griffith ? Who told you such a thing ? Andy Rooney ? Warhol, I whispered back, hurt. Baby…
She gets up from the bed and goes to the bathroom, sprays water on her face, then puts some Preparation H on her eyelids. The fashion world is dying anyway, Chloé yawns, stretches herself, walks towards one of her wardrobes, opens the door. What else can I say, really  ?” What else ? That the world -full stop- is dying while the consumer society is thriving.
Eduardo Srur’s testimony is similar, since he’s interested in an advertising world full of all kinds of models and happiness recipes ready for sale. We don’t know whether the girls he shoots have applied the same weird eyecare as Ellis’s heroin before being photographed, edited, retouched, enlarged, printed, and stuck on the Sao Polo billboards. But what we do know is that the Brazilian artist inflicts something else to these oversized advertising representations. The fashion world is not really dying, but the advertising world is well under attack.
Eduardo Srur works in the public area, which he transforms into a theatre of operations. The economic reality of a town like Sao Polo is built on the violence of unbridled liberalism. The differences are more and more marked as the town gives in to an irrational capitalism. And while all kinds of promises for a life of pleasure are plastered everywhere (including the beaming smile, perfect skin and glossy hair of “becauseI’mworthit”), some people make their most to prevent the downtown poor populations from moving to the suburbs, and to negotiate a really undiscriminatory housing policy. And so, naturally, being a Sao Polo resident, Eduardo Srur chose the town as a ground for plastic arts experimentations, the way for him to cast a lucid eye on the iniquity of the situation.
Both poetic and committed, his project Acampamento dos Anjos (The Angels’ camp) shines over the Brazilian megalopolis but also in France (Metz, Paris), in Cuba (Havana) or in Switzerland (Fribourg). Tents have been put up vertically on façades of high-rise buildings or buildings of historical interest. They’re often bright-coloured, sometimes white, and arranged very carefully. After dark, the lights inside those precarious dwellings transform them into signals, making them even more apparent to people. With the same intensity, they then seem to watch over and warn. Fragile landscape clinging to stone, they also express “the possibility of an island”, of a distant world.
The video Attack, showed along I&W’s watercolours at Interface’s, shares The Angels’ Camp’s idea that the public area is an investigation field (a necessity) in a context like the one of Sao Polo. And yet the shape is different, because it is here a real act of “ pictorial guerrilla warfare”. The quiet contemplation of coloured lights is over, painting is a weapon. All is mixed in Attack. Of course the intervention is there, captured by the camera, but there is also something pictorial. Colour, matter. Brightness as a shape, running paint as a line. Wearing a shirt with “MIDIA” written on the back, the artist is going to war. A fight as vain as peaceful. He responds to the violence of the commercial propaganda by a pictorial gesture that makes balloons full of paint explode on the pictures of these venal promises of ideal. Their hairlocks twinkle, sometimes a spark of life shines in their eyes. Then the balloon, taped onto their faces, explodes like a star -nearly a dripping. The gesture has the violence of a symbol. A negation. But from this rejection a new picture is born, a work which will go on flowing, which will then dry until another billboard replaces it.
We don’t crave for a dress, Deleuze said, we crave for a set of things, layouts with their types of statement, their territory… which precisely modulate our states of desire. And that is what marketing professionals have understood for a long time -a picture is far worther than a product. It becomes then a life style that spreads into the public area, an incongruous lifestyle which requires an answer. And since Eduardo Srur is an artist, since he is also a citizen, he is striving to distort his models and create an area of temporary freedom, a breath for life. There is a whole world between Ida Tursic’s and Wilfried Mille’s work and the one of Eduardo Srur. A world of shapes and messages which, through art, is explored in order to question the intimate relationship which inevitably links us to it. For the time of an exhibition, the eyes meet and everyone can recognize themselves in the complexity of this union. For in the end that is what these plastic arts comparisons are all about : the fundamental ambiguity which links each of us to these “ubic” representations.
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