everything depends on what is said about the night.  by Elida Tesler 

Text writen for  the exhibition Azul Ftalocianina e Branco Titânio, Porto Alegre – RS, Brazil, 2006. Translated by Beatriz Fontana.


Everything depends on what is not said about the day[1]. This Samuel Beckett’s proposition vertiginously leads us to Clarissa Cestari’s current work, but it requires that one complements the assertion’s movement: everything depends on what is said about the night, as well. What inspires her production is the duality. The artist creates a dialogue with the spaces, associating the negative of the image to the positive of the canvas. This game is comprised by a daring throw, which depends on a shadow. Light rays are like life threads thrown out, stretching across a vertical surface, as they echo intermittences of death[2]. Each canvas is just a piece of wall, which has absorbed the bright projections, and now projects back towards the viewer the artist’s unfinished gestures.


Black is black. White is white. Gray is gray. But black is blue. And this is absolutely based on nothing[3]. That was Clarissa’s choice of how to introduce me her paintings. The elements unrestricted evidence display some nuances as she talks about them when we get close to her work process. The black and white paintings, stains on small paper fragments, are posted on the studio’s walls. Resulting from automated gestures, originated in subconscious incidences, they seem the expansion of a first gesture.


This is the origin of all the levels’ sequences: Clarissa transforms the doodles made out of brush bristles blots into a formal autonomous element of her work, constructed one by one, line by line, with an icing syringe. Line by line, as someone who writes a book, or draws a map; as someone who gives texture to the passing of time, before the drawing, and after the projected shadow. The overhead projector is all-important in this process: it puts behind what was the intention of a spontaneous trace, and projects the subversion of the gesture on the wall, obstinately pursued by Clarissa. The accumulation of horizontal, vertical, diagonal and curve lines, which she refers to as organic lines, is accomplished by means of pure colors such as Ftalo Blue and Titanium White, mixed with a glossy acrylic gel medium to preserve  the wet aspect of fresh paint (of recent times), and the three-dimensional features of the juxtaposed lines.


Dual: the mechanic and the manual, the bright and the dark, the light and the shadow, far and near, the line and the surface, the horizontal and the vertical, the day and the night, life and death in diptychs.


[1] BECKETT, Samuel. Como é. SP: Iluminuras, 2003, p.46

[2] SARAMAGO, José. As intermitências da morte. SP: Companhia das Letras, 2005.

[3] Interview with Clarissa Cestari, at her studio, on the evening of the 29th of August, 2006.



clarissa cestari ©