Temporal Maps of a Non-Sedimented Land, a solo exhibition of work by Thiago Rocha Pitta (b. 1980, Tiradentes) is on display at Boesky East, NY. This is Rocha Pitta’s first show at the gallery, organized in collaboration with curator Simon Watson.
Thiago Rocha Pitta’s temporal and sensitive art often depicts environments from his native Brazil. Through watercolor, photography, sculpture, and video, Rocha Pitta focuses on small, yet emotive elements of the natural world, whether ocean tide, rainclouds, or trails of sap. His work manages to decelerate the passage of time within a single frame or subject, requiring the viewer’s close attention and quiet introspection.
In this exhibition, Rocha Pitta develops his study of nature through an installation of five videos, each depicting a different desert terrain in Argentina. Referred to as “maps,” these videos capture a deceptively small physical alteration in the land that causes it to either fall, collapse, or become wet or dry. Although an organic process is not at play here (the alterations are the artist’s experiments), the videos still surge with activity and transformation which allude to universal forces like entropy and death. Enacting a cascade of sand like an hourglass, or a desiccation of a small stream of water, Rocha Pitta suggests that physical dynamism is not only the prerogative of living beings, and further, that maps cannot adequately represent the ongoing effects of time. Viewed together, Rocha Pitta’s videos are a meditation on the formation and deformation of geological processes. Individually, they act like monochrome digital frescoes, amplifying the sometimes small, but nonetheless destructive forces that act incrementally together on the bedrock of our planet.