segunda-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2009

António Sena



BL- T1, 1978


Before or also after the phrase
Jorge Silva Melo

Scrawl, excavation, erasure, memory, scribble, erosion, water-clock, bones, gash, palimpsest, slate, forgetfulness, tombstone, inconclusiveness, ruin, rust, trace, calligraphy, archaeology, deterioration, profundity, effacement, super-imposition, subterranean, scrape, scar, geology, burn, patch, line, structure, geometry, gesture - all words that, as an amateur graphologist, I have put together in an attempt to organise the memory that I have of Antonio Sena's work.
But the words will not settle down, they hide themselves, are erased, they escape and let others slip away, for they do not form themselves into any phrase whatsoever. I can't start from these same words, which may perhaps be the right ones, to write a phrase to accompany Sena's work in that extremely delicate terrain in which, from the very beginning, it was to establish itself. A labour incessantly re­-started, successively continued, exhaustively.
Year after year, I have been watching him, in his drawings or paintings, restarting the scrawl, scraping the paint off, covering over, erasing time: and at every one of his exhibitions the web of the past years is respun, les neiges d'antan, the snows of yesteryear, the web of tremendous monsters, of the deadly evil inscribed and dissolv­ing into the impavid material, its melody taking shape and fading in the arc of time.
What will a great retrospective exhibition of Antonio Sena's work be like, what will it be like to see time, a moving succession of steps and high winds, a geological stratification, stretching out, synchronous, into successive rooms, to see - in just one day - these forty years that I've been seeing, what will it be like to see once again, side by side, these chambers of so many echoes, a sponge of so much effacement, a permanently inverted mirror thereof, a recommenced movement that is so precarious and so poor, on the verge of ruin, perishing before the recommenced eagle of forgetfulness? What will it be like, room after room, to accompany this unstoppable declension, so jocular and so serious, with such limited means, with such a circumscribed field? What will the spatial succession be like of this light, chaotic, precise, unarmed, untidy, cantabile ball of yarn?
I look at works from the early period, probably from that first exhibition when, by mere chance, I discovered him in the very small 111 gallery, in the heady, youthful days of 1964, and I can already see declared there this delicate and firm transition between scribble and structure, between the line and the patch of shade or light, sometimes colour, an initial moment between recommenced rectangles, the canvas taken as a stage for an unlikely scenography, where the outline of the possible walls and the dance of the soft lines are interlaced, unfinished houses where movements are not exhausted, but rather touch each other and are released, a technical drawing and a scrawl joined together in a dual act of effacement, ghosts of the recommenced gesture, painting or drawing advancing, creating itself and cancelling itself out, collecting gestures and erasures, always drawing, drawing the drawing itself. And what here is drawing and what is painting, who can say? ...............................
António Sena
Pintura/Desenho Painting/drawing
Museu de Serralves


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