Gilbert and Ponce present a work that correlates the gallery’s exhibition space to the Museum Santa Casa de São Paulo located in the Central Hospital of the Brotherhood of Santa Casa de Misericórdia (Holy House of Mercy). The work creates a deep dialogue between the exhibition space of the gallery and a specific room of this museum, which houses the medical collection. In both spaces banal objects are combined with other elements whose meanings or functions are almost indecipherable. The two rooms are organized according to similar dispositional logics, and each of the objects exposed finds its formal, symbolic and/or semantic correspondent in the other room. This strategy of complementarity between the two spaces creates a sense of repetition or deja-vú when visiting one place after another, causing the visitor to mentally overlap both places in order to deduce some of the narratives implied to the work.
The work has as its starting point in an illustration from 1897 that portrays the attack on the then president of Brazil, Prudente de Moraes. The “dissection” of the illustration of this political attack is the motto for the installation that correlates the gallery’s exhibition space with the Museum’s medical collection. Through the connections between things of seemingly disconnected times and themes, the work revisits both the official history and the collective social imaginary; alludes to popular beliefs and myths as well as to the canons of art history; cites scientific rigor but also borders on the occult; exposes certain subjects while masking others.
1:1 explores the relationship between the gallery and its urban context through the connection among the exhibition space and other pre-existing places in its vicinity. In each of the project’s editions, an artist is invited to conceive a bipartite work, which occupies an exhibition room in the gallery and, simultaneously, a second space within the neighborhood. This other location, which already hosts its own uses and functions, is chosen by the artist and situated at a walkable distance from the gallery. Thus, to understand the totality of the works, the public will have to go from the exhibition room to a certain place in the neighborhood or vice versa.
These routes will take place in the region of Vila Buarque and surroundings, downtown São Paulo, an area where a great variety of local establishments, services, institutions and others, intersect with a diversity of classes and social dynamics. Such plurality produces a vast repertoire of forms of appropriation and experience of space ranging from the coexistence to the friction between its various agents, such as the civil initiative, the public policy, the private speculation or others. If these networks of relationships contribute to the unique character of the neighborhood, they are also symptomatic of broader social, economic, and political processes that structure the city at the macro-scale.
By creating a correspondence between the art gallery and a series of other locations within its surroundings, the project not only intends to potentiate an intersection between the artistic proposals and the socio-spatial dynamics of the place, but also to speculate about this correlation. If proposing a succession of works to the exterior of the exhibition space could enable a more effective performance beyond the codified structures of the art system, on the other hand, being outside the “white cube” has never been more within the artistic structure. If art is increasingly dissolving into social praxis, on the other hand, it is reaching unprecedented degrees of institutionalization and commercialization. Therefore, the reciprocity between the gallery and another space of the “real” will serve both as a precondition for the artists’ process and as a basis for a critical reflection on the specificities, potentialities and paradoxes of a state of art that, in its discourse and/or performance, is at 1:1 with “reality”.