Yuri Firmeza: Turvações Estratigráficas at MAR

Museu de Arte do Rio
Aug 28, 2013 4:01PM
09/03/2013 – 12/08/2013  

Once, Jacques Derrida, when summoned to take stock of his life, defined himself merely as an heir; an heir of those with whom he had had a relationship of dialog and, often, contestation, in his work. To him, inheriting meant being faithful and, at the same time, unfaithful to those who preceded us, whose spoils we cannot choose, rather are bound to actively and, above all, freely. This because, in order for life to go on - no matter the direction -, contemporary folks should neither reject nor have a posture of contemplative submission to the constituted issue, albeit fragmentary, that reaches us. Rather, precisely the choice to keep it alive through its ongoing reappropriation so that it is not sentenced to elimination by oblivion. It has to do, therefore, with leaving to those who will come, even if entirely reconstituted by us, something that had already been left by those who had gone before. An attitude, according to Derrida, that neighbors abandonment, talent, and forgiveness.

An analogous attitude is that of Yuri Firmeza, in the "Turvações Estratigráficas" (Stratigraphic Turbidities) exhibit. The Ceará artist appropriates the archaeological remains found during the renovation of the D. João VI Chateau and of the Mariano Procópio Bus Terminal for the installation of MAR, as well as debris coming from removals made at Morro da Providência, located in the Rio de Janeiro port area. As a result, Yuri becomes a legatee of a dense, unruly matter, whose opacity forces us to ask: what existences, entirely buried there, continue clamoring for a voice and for room in such debris in disarray? What are the forms of life still in revulsion, whose echoes the forcible silencing of urban progress cannot avoid? How do we let live what lies in unrest right under our feet?

The connection with the gibberish of voices emanating from such spoils is made through videos that the artist superimposes on the archaeological material, especially the one in which the grandmother, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, incessantly repeats a few passages of her early childhood. The old lady and her grandson, in the Derrida style, find a unique reason to exist in the face of the inclemency of time and of its strength to drag everything with it: through fables, both recount a story they do not participate in, but which belongs to them more than to anyone else. Yuri becomes, thus, a passionate heir of his gift.

Julio Groppa Aquino

Museu de Arte do Rio