Alexandre Camarao and Maria Ana Vasco Costa, Espaço AZ, Lisbon
The word “consistent” derives from Latin com and sistere, meaning something in the line of “to be placed in a standing, firm position”.
The word “coherent”, on the other hand, stems from Latin com and haerere, meaning thus “to stick together”.
In one room, we see apparently simple sheets of paper nailed to the wall. All of them are describable as “drawings”. Some are figurative, others make up geometric patterns, some other are purely freeform, abstract shapes. You have line drawings and patches of color, you have carved silhouettes and economic, stylized doodles. They come in both bright and subdued colors, in smaller and bigger sheets, and there’s graphite on paper, or Indian ink on paper, gouache, watercolor, acrylic paint, applied whether as carefully as possible as an enraptured miniaturist or expressively slapdashed. There is no desire whatsoever to create a “series”, and even less so a “cycle” united by thematic, formal or narrative concerns. These drawings are coherent, but not consistent.
In one other room, we see a collection of glazed stoneware blocks. Their sizes shift, as do the colors, the textures and the way the glaze has been distributed. Some seem to have “tops”, like boxes; others are perhaps closer to the notion of brick. This one looks shy and remains close to the ground; this other seems to escape gravity and stretches up. One could perhaps mistake them for contemporary versions of Minimalist art but we couldn’t be further from that. Many of the pieces are filled with cracks and imperfections, the colors are not even, and although there is a concern about their distribution in the space, it follows no grounded, logic rule. They seem to struggle to diverge from one another. This is less Judd than Bosch’s central fountain from the central panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights (with pleasure and beauty, the cracks promise transition and fleetingness). These pieces are consistent, but not coherent.
It is necessary to walk back and forth not only between the works of each room but also in between both rooms, no matter what the order and direction and times, no matter what connections may arise. There is also a transitory space, where that dialog is made explicit through the co-habitation of the drawings and the filled shelves.
There is no definite explanatory power to the dialog that may emerge from these different pieces from two different people. But something does arise from the connection of coherence and consistence, as well as from incoherence and inconsistency, paper and stoneware, lightness and hardness, roughness and smoothness. There is something enthralling in this short voyage between two opposite spaces, one where we look up at the drawings on the walls, the other where we look down at the blocks on the floor.
And in that back and forth movement, that inner zigzag, we catch that ultimate glimpse when the artworks look back at us.
Pedro Vieira de Moura