In a text about the atmosphere, Leonardo da Vinci brings together the line, the dot and the surface, which, for him, are names without substance. The surface is contact: it is the name given to that which separates the bodies from the air around them; it is the border between the things and the atmosphere; it has a name but it is bodiless. Diogo Pimentão’s œuvre seems to stand in this dynamic place of passage, using the language of the line, the dot and the surface. Therefore, and despite the understandable inclination to do so, Pimentão’s works cannot be distributed into the two categories of sculpture or drawing: everything is drawing (line, dot and surface) and body in his work. In fact, what determines each piece’s identity is the way drawing operates and “lives” in the space.
The artist’s modus operandi hinges on the way he deals with the physical space of the gallery, its walls, its perspectives - its floor. It is possible to say, without taking the discipline of choreography beyond its limits, that there is a conscious training of the fragile body of drawing, by suspending it over the floor or making it lean against the wall and find its own strength. That is why it is not unusual for Diogo Pimentão to start making the work in his studio only to complete it during the exhibition set up. The studio becomes a space for rehearsal whereas the gallery turns into a stage. His material is often paper, a medium whose fate is usually to symbolically loose its material status to become a surface. The two works Participle #1 (2015) and Participle #2 (2015) are made of thick paper covered with graphite lines akin to a metallic skin, that the artist folds or bends in order to shape them, in the present case, into modular fine and long cuboid shapes. Just like a choreographer with his group of dancers, the limitations and surprising outcomes of these bodies produce unexpected shapes. And like the performer’s body the paper is also a space in itself, and intense concentration of experiences and happenings. Disclosure (2015) is thus a shape that folds onto itself, without beginning or end.
In (visible) #1 and #2 (2015) are a more radical development of an ensemble of works that Diogo Pimentão has been creating for a decade. These stem from an understanding of the studio floor as an inverted drawing, a space accumulating residue from the movements and the materials of the drawings. Following this line of thought, the artist has removed, fragment by fragment, the plastic layer that protected the floor and had collected the graphite, the gesso, the dust and the footprints. He then proceeded to transfer each fragment onto the paper sheet. The inverted floor of the drawing was absorbed by the paper’s bonding material thus becoming one with it. It now reveals its hitherto hidden side, that had been compressed between the air and the object - a revealed surface.
Text by Joana Neves, Photography by Bruno Lopes.
Diogo Pimentão - Transitory Capture
Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, November 19 - January 9