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Contrainte / Restraint

An exhibition produced by the Groupe Molior

Rodrigo Matheus, South Pole (2008)

Rodrigo Matheus, South Pole (2008)
South Pole begins with slowly changing abstract images and geometric shapes, which sometimes resemble the shape of an iris. Light and darkness oscillate on the screen, accompanied by a soundtrack that suggests a certain suspense, until a bright white light finally predominates. The hypnotic rhythm and the mystifying images linger on into about three quarters of the film.

From this point on, the camera starts to zoom out, revealing the outline of this white mass surrounded by vivid blue patches. But it is with the appearance of the earth’s outline at the end of the zoom that we realize what the film is about: the South Pole. This icy, desolate and largely uncharted territory is here depicted at the centre of the globe, as if it were closer, more accessible.

As part of Matheus’ Google Earth trilogy, this video also deals with how our voyeuristic urge is unleashed by the idea of a technology that brings distant, previously inaccessible geographical locations to our desktops. Following the program’s logic, we come to the conclusion that the camera started by closely scrutinizing the actual territory and showing us what the South Pole really looks like. However, satellites are unable to register this area of the globe, as it is covered in snow, reflecting white light. Therefore all that the artist shows us is moving shapes and colors that frustrate our desire to see the unseen.

Other works by Rodrigo Matheus in this exhibition: Grand Canyon and Tokyo.

Rodrigo Matheus was born in 1974, in São Paulo. He completed a B.A. in multimedia at the Faculty of Arts and Communication of the University of São Paulo. He has exhibited extensively in Brazil and abroad. In 2008, he had a solo exhibition at Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo and took part in several group shows including Looks Conceptual or How I Mistook a Carl Andre for a Pile of Bricks at Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo, and Images Festival at Art Gallery of York University, Toronto. Other recent group exhibitions include Arquivo Geral at Centro de Arte Hélio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro (2006) MAM na Oca at Oca, São Paulo (2006) and Paradoxos Brasil - Rumos Artes Visuais at Instituto Itaú Cultural, São Paulo, Centro Dragão do Mar Arte e Cultura, Fortaleza, Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Goiânia and at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro (2005/2006). The artist is represented by Galeria Fortes Vilaça in São Paulo.