A neologism brings to a close Débora Bolsoni’s recent procedures, some of them gathered in this solo exhibition, many others not, as they remain in waiting. The title Descaracter (Mischaracter) does not lend its name to any of the works or pay tribute to verses of the popular chansonnier, although it could well do so. It’s a feeling that fills the chest, sometimes the stomach, and soon slips through the fingers. It manifests itself as intuition, will, searching and living in generous harmony with the unknown. It has an abstract and often inexplicable form, but emerges with force and urgency, leaving no doubts about the doing.
Between the artist’s body, the architecture and the other bodies with which it relates to exist, the word and everything that is made from it become Absent from the dictionaries and in debt to sensitive experience, they break away from language as convention to the extent that they take it as a laboratory for trials, errors, vestiges and suppositions. “Mischaracter” seems to have come from the verb “mischaracterize”. On the other hand, it might also result from a suspicion about the most assertive of human attributes, “character”, as it is combined with a negative prefix. Let us examine both these possible meanings and also the chance of there being other meanings or even none at all.
Débora Bolsoni’s production tends to stem from dealing with simple materials, such as paper, cloth, sand, wood, string and wax. Once in the form of a work, even when kept in sight of the public, they end up confusing people, primarily because their vocations are reshaped by the uses given by the artist. The fragile becomes enduring; the vulgar, monumental; structure (or sculpture), meanwhile, is investigated to bear softness and delicateness, to gain thin, organic and far from inert layers, risking its own ruin in the process.
2. Suspending character
Whereas the prefix “un” indicates negation by absence, “mis” negates by opposition. In other words, in “mischaracter” there is still character, but perhaps another one, willing to contradict the radical from which it stems. Between contrary and equivalent vectors, a game of forces is established, a polarized and dialectic form, instead of those that rest safe on unilateral certainties. This is how the act of suspending functions in this solo exhibition. Seeking a stability that is not on the ground, where it would be subject only to the imperative of gravity, Débora was filled with the desire to hang things. This, in truth, was her first desire, when there was still nothing of what is here now.
She decided to hang a net, and in it a box and some rolls of textiles. Attached to the wall by a single point, they gradually lose their ambiguity to adhere to figurative and morbid meanings. The box has the proportions of a coffin and, before being entitled Pendente, it was referred to by its nickname “The Hanged”. Therefore, even as a preliminary project, the installation already concatenated the scene, traces and victim of a crime of unknown authorship.
- Débora Bolsoni, Descaracter installation view. Courtesy of Galeria Jaqueline Martins.