Curated by Priscila Arantes, Sonia Guggisberg‘s first show at Galeria Rabieh comprises photographs and videos that document travel transits. Yet, they aren’t traditional travel records. The works on display are movements that blur the past into the present, absorbing the temporality of the memory – this place outside time, between what once was and what is now.
The show takes place in three different areas of the gallery. The first exhibition space is occupied by a video and a series of photos in cotton paper, both created with an iPhone whilst crossing the border from Switzerland to Germany in 2015. They are ethereal landscapes, covered in mist, where it seems to take place a sort of natural erasure of the world’s contours. In these photos, the horizon, the defining line of all landscapes, vanishes in shades of gray, reminding the nebulosity of memory itself.
The second exhibition space is merged with the gallery’s garden, which will be covered and occupied by the installation “Horizonte móvel” [Mobile horizon], 2012, composed of three large dimensions projections. We see here massive displacements of water, giant waves from Niagara Falls that never break, due to their great volume, keeping some sort of suspended mobility, a never ending tension.
The third exhibition space is occupied by two different works. The first is a photo and video installation, “Imagens cruzadas” [Crossing images], 2015, which creates a long line in the gallery’s larger axis. This work derives from her solo exhibit in New York, presented earlier this year at MediaNoche New Media Gallery and Digital Film Studio. In this piece, videos created from inside a moving train are merged with their own frozen frames, mounted in methacrylate, confounding the perception of what’s static and what’s in motion. The images blur temporalities by diluting themselves in the movement, acting both as records captured by the camera and as poetic cutouts and technologic manipulations. The image transcend its documental character when it’s placed between the raw fact and the representations conceived by the artist.
The last work is “Barco” [Boat], 2011, a diptych composed of two videos from the same vessel, always in the center of the screen. In the first one, the image is frozen, while in the second, despite having its engines on, the boat remains in the same position, as it’s fighting against a hard current, remaining in a kind of “still movement”. This powerful and hypnotic work can be seen as the synthesis of Guggisberg’s recent research about the tensions between movement and immobility, action and inaction.
Sonia Guggisberg (b. 1964, São Paulo) has been awarded with the Brazil Photography Prize (Porto Seguro), in the Essay category, and her works are part of important collections, such as Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de São Paulo, SESC SP, Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz and Museu Lasar Segal, among others.