May 2, 2009
February 25, 2008, New York—Marepeʼs show entitled “Discompleto” works like a song: it captures body and soul before any meanings of words can penetrate our mind, before we discover the origin of the singer, before we analyze the instrumentation. For his second solo show at Anton Kern Gallery, Brazilian artist Marepe assembled a group of eight sculptures that are made of everyday materials and found objects, many inspired by popular music.
“Discompleto,” a word play on disc (disco) and complete (completo), is bound by no limits of origin or language. It speaks (or rather sings) – just like the materials the artist uses – of everyday life and love, celebrating and elevating the specific origin of the work to the general, the regional source to universal meanings. As the title suggests, “Discompleto” allows for a direct reading, and furthermore, perhaps most importantly leads towards a sensory experience, an intimacy of touch and interaction, equivalent to the immediate and deeply emotional experience of listening to music. Marepeʼs work has evolved from a deep connection with the local traditions, customs, and materials of Bahia, the Northeastern region of Brazil. He employs the specificities of his environmental milieu, and safeguards them as memory. While using everyday materials and activities, his work acquires a complex layering of references and meanings addressing the linkage between the individual and society. The appropriation, deployment, and dislocation of the object are the artistʼs points of departure as he searches for new modes of signification. Marepe overcomes the notion of periphery vs. center, of romanticism vs. poverty, to establish what he calls a “sensorial communication that leads to the understanding of the work.”