Residual taste, an effect that remains after consumption, which remains already as something else: aftertaste suggests simultaneously new and recalled perceptions, both original but reminiscent of the substance from which they stream; sensations capable of referring to one or several references – the aftertaste of wine, spice, aspirin, hallucinogens – but without being confused with them. The hybrid character of this taste faculty, as specific as it is evocative, lends its name to João GG's solo show, denouncing the displacement of meanings and the unfamiliarity of signs; the retro-taste that permeates the artist's recent research and work.
Aftertaste presents works in different languages and materials that explore and juxtapose antagonistic elements, conciliating the erosive treatments of materials with the artist's detailed and obsessive careful procedures. There are blocks of plaster pigmented in the classic fresco manner – which would look ruinously old, were they not expressly new (CAPVT series, 2018-2019); totem sculptures of styrofoam, a synthetic and industrial material, carved in the form of rendered mineral structures that echo godless altars (Altar in bump-mapping, 2019); a moon – a floating stone, a mirror of sunlight in space – taken as pure surface, arranged in basic but slightly irregular geometric shapes (Silver Bullet, 2017); a vivid and glistening representation of Vesuvius (Magic, 2019), whose topography – delineated in fine and long strokes – contrasts with the explosive effect of the eruption in short, profuse, swirling, millimetrically chaotic lines.
An asymmetrical arrangement of photographs sets the tone to the misleading nature of the works gathered in this exhibition. These are images of empty scenes captured in overcrowded cities and streets such as Tokyo and São Paulo; a remote Shinto cemetery that acts as post-industrial landscapes; snapshots of unsightly scenographic landscapes that emulate other landscapes; architectural details of Kyoto at night, inhabited only by different light situations; temples and religious objects de-signified from what their shapes, colours, and disposition in space might enunciate.
The meticulous ambiance, created by the relationships that the objects spill and interweave into the space, is a process dear to João GG's works, in which the deliberate production of cracks, wear and grooves (Wicked Game, 2019) equates to resin surfaces and energetic lighting experiments. Discontinuous excerpts from potentially familiar sounds, but unlikely to be recognized, reinforce the creation of a fictional environment, albeit referenced in retraceable origins, in a strong flirtation with the aesthetics of window dressing and advertising language.
Roughness and smoothness, figure and background, vertical and horizontal lines, heat and cold, and the juxtaposition of textures and colours, among other pairs of complementary opposites, bring out from João GG's objects dramatic and sensory effects. As if opposite poles, when brought together, attempted to define all possibilities of intermediate hues and retroactive tastes of matter.