Balangandã

Carolina Ponte

01/Mar/2018 – 07/Apr/2018

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Press Release

A sobreposição de imagens, referências, suportes e técnicas é o pilar central da nova individual da artista Carolina Ponte na Zipper. Os trabalhos miscigenam colagem e pintura, em papel ou tela, a partir de padronagens e ornamentações emprestadas de diferentes culturas. Daí o título “Balangandã”, um ornamento afro-brasileiro típico da Bahia – também terra natal da artista – que, preso a outros semelhantes, forma um amuleto complexo, em que os elementos se acumulam e mantém relações mútuas. Com texto crítico assinado por Shannon Botelho, a mostra inaugura no dia 1º de março.


Fortemente ligado às práticas populares, o trabalho de Carolina Ponte combina padronizações para que, juntas, formem algo singular. “A sobreposição de etapas e técnicas são mais evidentes nos novos trabalhos. Nossa miscigenação está impregnada, como os objetos que carregamos no corpo: ornamentos, amuletos, guias e terços”, diz a artista.


O processo que resultou nos novos trabalhos teve início em duas residências artísticas realizadas pela artista durante 2017 na Europa. Algo como o ato de olhar para fora para sedimentar sua própria identidade. Na primeira, na Cité des Arts, em Paris, Carolina pesquisou sobre a arquitetura da capital francesa e a ornamentação da joalheria vitoriana. Na segunda, em Viborg, na Dinamarca, a artista tomou o caminho da xilogravura, tendo produzido as impressões que, de volta ao Brasil, deram origem às colagens acrescidas de pintura.


Além dos trabalhos em papel e tela, a artista mostra também obras em crochê. “Balangadã” fica em cartaz na Zipper até 7 de abril.


Sobre a artista


O trabalho de Carolina Ponte (Salvador, Brasil, 1981) tem como referência principal a integração de práticas populares ornamentais à produção contemporânea. O crochê e o desenho são os principais suportes utilizados pela artista, que explora também a combinação entre distintas padronagens, cores e ritmos em obras com forte inclinação instalativa. A artista vive e trabalha em Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro. Principais exposições individuais: “Carolina Ponte” MDM Gallery, Paris (2016), “E o silêncio?”, Galeria Enrique Guerrero, Cidade do México (2016), “Dusk to dawn… Threads of infinity”, Anima Gallery, Doha (2014), “Filigranas” Zipper Galeria, São Paulo (2013). Principais exposições coletivas: “Aquilo que nos une”, Caixa Cultural Rio de Janeiro (2016), “Watercolour”, Textile Museum of Canada (2015), “Lugar Comum”, SESC Quitandinha, Petrópolis (2012), “Pontos de Encontro: Pedro Varela e Carolina Ponte”, Espaço Cultural da Caixa, Salvador, Brasil (2011).


Texto crítico: Shannon Botelho


Shannon Botelho é doutorando em História e Crítica da Arte pelo Programa de Pós-Graduação em Artes Visuais da Escola de Belas Artes/UFRJ. Mestre em Artes Visuais, na linha de História e Crítica da Arte, pelo PPGAV - EBA/UFRJ, possui Bacharelado em História da Arte (EBA/UFRJ) e Licenciatura Plena em Artes Visuais (Centro Universitário Metodista Bennett). Pesquisa a Arte Brasileira e suas instituições no século XX, com ênfase na década de 1950. Atua ainda como pesquisador, curador e professor. É Professor efetivo no Departamento de Desenho e Artes Visuais do Colégio Pedro II.

Critical essay

The visual magic of Carolina Ponte’s balangandãs (nt)


Balangandãs is, above all, a resounding word. They possess magical attributes that protect the person who wears it; it’s a seductive object. The magic symbol, which Carolina Ponte currently chose as her research focus, inhabits her collages and become a new feature in her crochet works. It exerts a certain fascination on the observer, in a mix of sensuality and celebration, protection and attraction.


During the past year, with the experience of exploring these ornaments and the interest in the handmade, Carolina began to venture in new paths, led by the mystic calling of the balangandãs. An ancestral amulet, the balangandã has the power to attract similar energies and to repel any negativity. In her production, the artist moved forward in her research and got carried away, producing her own amulets.


The pieces that Carolina Ponte presents in Balangandã are the result of two artistic residencies she participated in during 2017 – one in France, where she investigated Victorian ornamental jewelry; and another in Denmark, where she developed the patterns that defined her prints. At this point in her research, the artist began exploring new directions, in which her crochets are more affected by gravity, and the collages reveal new experiments with transparencies, pattern overlapping and colors.


These popular objects, originally produced in silver, become malleable and light in her crochet sculptures. The wool threads take on a new role: being the chain for the balangandãs. Bindings and pendants are more opulent in these pieces, allowing the amulets to be fixed in bunches while still swinging.


Just as the balangandãs that gain a unique meaning when incorporating elements from our culture, the works in this exhibition bear elements from Carolina Ponte’s repertoire – her experiences, memories, and knowledges.


Her collages, now more synthetic, construct a lighter ambivalence. Their colors have a sensorial appeal and are intimately associated with the opulent moving and proliferating shapes. The dangling elements attached to the multicolored chains dance in the space emitting festive sounds, just like the clinking and tinkling of the balangandãs around Bonfim’s hillsides. Carolina’s balangandãs reverberate sound and movement, while hanging down in a sensuous and calm groove.


As amulets, the smaller collages realize an idea of mobility. The pendant shapes are strengthened in these works, emerging from the patters that compose the background and have a tactile appeal. These works are the heirs of folk traditions, and carry an identity trait that can update the discussion on valuing Brazilian cultural elements. Just as Djanira celebrated our folk festivities and votive objects, Carolina Ponte validates these magical symbols. In Djanira’s celebrations, the color that glows without obfuscating is project out of the works, covering the surroundings with a joyous atmosphere. The scenario emits festive sounds. The tinkling of Carolina Ponte’s balangandãs is also festive, magical, contagious.


Due to the efforts they demand, each piece follows the peculiar logic of doing for redoing, building for rebuilding. In choosing to produce her works from meticulously finished and watercolored prints, the artist emphasizes her choice of compulsorily fulfilling the stages of building, production, rebuilding, and post-production. For each collage or crochet, there is a double process. Carolina handles all works in two different times: the first, for the confection; the second, for the reordering and final conformation.


Ultimately, we could assert that Carolina Ponte is today a worker of her own making. She seems to answer William Morris’ call – the leader of the Arts and Crafts movement – in rejecting the industrial logic in his creations and reiterating the “irreplaceability of art as an experience process” (1). Thus, etching, printing, cutting, and gluing become the only means of transforming her ideas into multiple shapes and objects, capable of holding a magical meaning, just like the balangandãs.


Shannon Botelho


(nt) Balangandãs, part of African-Brazilian culture and folklore, are bunches or clusters of amulets and ornaments used around necks and wrists, customarily in festive and religious occasions.


(1) Argan, G. Carlo. Arte Moderna. São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1992. p. 182

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