THIAGO ROCHA PITTA
5 April – 20 July 2013
Not only a contemporary art gallery, Gluck50 is also a residency where international artists — both emerging and established — can concentrate on producing personal contemporary art projects.
Gluck50 gallery is very pleased to present a solo exhibition by Thiago Rocha Pitta, which the Brazilian artist (1980, Tiradentes, Brazil) has realized entirely during his Milan residency.
On the occasion of the exhibition Rocha Pitta has created the tent-shaped sculptural installation Il Campo Accampa. The work was on view in Milan in front of the church of Santa Maria Incoronata and is now displayed in the courtyard of the gallery. The tent represents a shelter, but also a prototype of human dwelling, which is transportable and temporary. Il Campo Accampa turns the conventional idea of mobility and settlement upside down: Rocha Pitta petrifies the fabric of the tent with cement and allows the structure to be inhabited by nature. Inside the tent, soil and plants spread out and transform the sculpture through their natural growth process. In contrast to its rigid shell, the tent seems alive and animated by nature, inducing the viewer to reflect on the relationship between architecture and nature, between stability and movement.
With the work titled L’Eremo, produced especially for the show, Rocha Pitta has created a tent in an interior space for the first time, further exploring the relationship between architecture and nature. The artist constructs, in a corner of the gallery, a tent under which a hole is dug. The phenomenon of the hole and the correlated evocation of death inspired various artists in the 1960s.
In this context, the hole under Rocha Pitta’s tent can be read as a reference to the natural cycle of life and death. Further elements allude to the idea of a natural setting and the passing of time: a rock located in front of the hole and the structure of the tent which itself resembles the skeleton of prehistoric animals. The space of the gallery transforms into a contemplative natural environment as a place of refuge from architecture.
Rocha Pitta’s sculptures are formally reminiscent of primitive, nomadic tents; his tents, however, possess a mystical content that radiates through the formal content to the surrounding area, penetrating the ground.
With an amazing, magical mastery of composition, Rocha Pitta lowers his sculptures from above into specific, “chosen” places, creating symbolic encampments: he demonstrates that camping in intimate, prehistoric dwelling typologies can reveal a possible path to finding inner balance.
The truly new innovation proposed in Milan can therefore be found in the sharp contrast given by a visually impressive impact: the work blends elements taken from the artist’s personal baggage of experience — consisting of memories and full of nature, wild and untouched — with new elements of contamination, taken from the chaos of contemporary urban jungles.
Rocha Pitta’s sculptures disrupt the tranquility of their surroundings and of our minds. But if on the one hand the installations, as inviting as ever, hold us magnetised within sculptural sites imbued with vital energy, on the other hand they inspire reverence and awe, appearing to be places of worship where entry forbidden. Rocha Pitta leaves a strong statement in the city, because through his “primitive sculptural settlements” he launches keenly up-to-date messages created with extremely original codes. Managing to wonder about a deeper sense of spirituality in danger of extinction, much-needed in our current troubled times.
Rocha Pitta has participated internationally in numerous personal and group shows, including the 30th São Paulo Biennial in 2012 and The Garden of Forking Paths at Zurich’s Migros Museum in 2011. His works are currently part of the exhibitions Ground. Materiality #2 (Earth) at the Sorø Kunstmuseum and Blind Field at the Krannert Art Museum in Champaign. Pitta lives and works in São Paulo.