LUCAS SIMOES, WHITE LIES -
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exhibit from February 1 to March 10, 2018
Born in Catanduva, Brazil in 1980. Lives and works in Sao Paulo
The young Brazilan artist Lucas Simoes is nothing if not prolific. Trained as an architect, Simoes is fascinated with the Brutalist tradition that took hold in the middle of the last century and left a swell of concrete fortresses in international cities. His recent sculptures leaves us with his more human and humane idea of Brutalism. They return to the French term "brut" - the origin of the term Brutalism- meaning raw. Simoes' pillar-like constructions of concrete and paper abandon the familiar weight of Brutalism for something altogether more gutting.
The Portuguese phrase Corpos de Prova translates to “bodies of test or proof” – a technical term for testing the limits of strength and resistance in regards to architecture and in particular concrete building materials. Lucas Simoes’ practice explores the concepts of experimenting with balance, pressure and materiality- creating situations, which test the limits of a structure and its inevitable and eventual loss of stability.
This presentation by Simoes is a grouping of new sculptures, all sharing a dominant material focus, the use of concrete and paper. As a structure material, concrete serves a multi purpose function, serving as a base support for the foundation of a structure but also as the embodiment of strength and frame. However, within these works the concrete is in dialogue with the delicateness of paper and other materials, creating systems of unexpected dependence. The paper components serve as a strong hold for the concrete, leveling the materials’ importance in the overall sustain of the structure. There is a play between the paper and the concrete, where each materials symbolic weight and conventional function is challenged by its equal role in maintaining the shape of the compositions within the work. What we are presenting is a poetic equalizer of material, all components dependent on one another in order to collaboratively maintain the tension that keeps the form in place.
The paper is wedged and pinched, never bound or held in place by anything except the pressure and weight of the concrete.
Each sculpture seems like a story of encroaching instability versus familiar sturdiness, which feels something like a reflection of this moment in history.
The title of the show White Lies, is a toothsome metaphor, one that is particularly salient in this area of police brutality and mass incarceration. Inevitably, we confront the fact that as far as the stacks of paper embedded in concrete are, they are blank. Pages are upheld in spite of communicating nothing. History is protected, sheathed by the legacy of white men, even if the interior could easily be demolished and dismantled once infiltrated.
Lucas Simoes has exhibited in Brazil, Germany, Spain, England, United States, Venezuela, Norway, France, Russia and Argentina
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