"Lançando mão de diferentes técnicas e linguagens, a artista cria um espaço de experimentação e liberdade no qual passa a formular suas questões, a partir do encontro com diferentes materiais. Disto resulta uma produção despretensiosamente heterogênea, que encerra mais a verdade de uma busca do que a fidelidade a uma poética pré-definida."
By Icaro Ferraz Vidal Junior
To present Celaine Refosco's production gathered in this Crisálida requires some clarification on the nature of the creative gesture and on the artist's transit through its different modalities. A necessary nuance, given the artist's trajectory in the textile industry, has to do with the difference between creativity and invention, which her recent foray into the visual arts makes evident. Creativity is a skill that can be developed by a large number of individuals. It has been studied by different areas of knowledge and has great prestige amidst the jargon of entrepreneurship that today invades not only the ways of organizing work, but also the ways in which contemporary subjects think about themselves and their presence in the world. But creativity is not to be confused with the inventive gesture of creation, because it consists in proposing answers to problems that have already been fully formulated. The creative can devise extremely original and counter-intuitive solutions, but he cannot create, because to create is to create the problem.
After a solid path in the textile industry and in the training of professionals for the creative industry, Celaine Refosco is now venturing into the field of invention. By making use of different techniques and languages, the artist creates a space of experimentation and freedom in which she starts to formulate her questions, from the encounter with different materials. This results in an unpretentiously heterogeneous production, which contains more the truth of a search than fidelity to a pre-defined poetics.
Thus, her drawings, paintings and textiles seem to rush into a solution in which the artist and her surroundings intermingle. Therefore, the space of the artist's house-studio, in the city of Pomerode, is not a detail that can be neglected in the exegesis of her artistic production. There, on top of a hill, we feel part of an expanded painting. The images created by the artist at the same time absorb and extend through the adjacent domestic environment and the surrounding landscape. We are faced with a most intriguing impossibility: that of defining watertight boundaries or stages that delimit the processes through which the artist, her home and her work acquire consistency. Which came first, the arrangement of fruit on the table or the still life we see next to it?
To think about this production, partially figurative as part of a processual and subjective poetics can present some challenges as figuration often triggers in us a representational expectation in the reading of the image. When we recognize a certain form in a painting or a drawing, we tend to leave the image to operate in the mental space of interpretation. But in Refosco's images the diversity of figurative themes works as a kind of trap because ultimately, the discursivity of representation matters less than the work as a residue of a process through which the artist produces herself, not like the egocentric romantics, but in an intimate relationship with the constant transformation of their surroundings, their images, and their subjectivity.
There is a passage in the history of contemporary art that despite its commercial success (or perhaps because of it) was object of quite harsh criticism due to a supposed formalism and the contemplative regime that, in theory, established with its bourgeois public. I am referring to the informalism that, in different parts of the world, brought about an important transition from the ambition of pure modernist painting to the conceptualisms of the 1960s and 1970s. If Refosco's images do not immediately refer to the informal, after all, her themes are often figurative and her creative processes are often more meticulous than gestural, there is something in Celaine's inventiveness that informalism helps us understand.
I refer to the idea, cleverly formulated by the Italian critic Maurizio Calvesi, that the informal work is a slice of life (une tranche de vie). The implications of this diagnosis are many, but the most important of them is that this idea represented the abandonment of a supposed autonomy of art and contributed to the strengthening of the relationship between art and life. There is no space in Celaine's poetics, as there isn’t in informalism, for the idea of a masterpiece. After all, when art infiltrates life, it abandons all predefined purpose. In creation, in its most potent – inventive – form, we do not know in advance where we want to go. There is something in Celaine's images that remind us of meditative practices, they testify to the impossibility of living outside the present time, a time in which creation flows like a river, detached from its source and without anxiety to reach the sea.
The meditative images of Celaine Refosco