Questions of the contemporary world
— Alberto Saraiva

Foreword - orun
— Raquel Valadares

— Mari Fraga, Paula Scamparini

Paula Scamparini: in a continuous blind spot and restart
— Clarissa Diniz

ship on canvas   
— Fernanda Lopes

Restorations, returns and beginnings – critical iconography in Paula Scamparini
— Maria de Fátima Lambert

oca-oxalá: made in Portugal
— Lourenço Egreja, Clarisse Meirelles

— Heloísa Meireles Gesteira, Paula Scamparini

— Fernanda Lopes

About hoods and light in the work of Paula Scamparini
— Sônia Salcedo del Castillo

the 23 nights
— Sônia Salcedo del Castillo

Questions of the contemporary world

Alberto Saraiva

︎ project

Paula Scamparini’s work, here portrayed as a whole, unveils the artist’s uneasiness about life itself - life in its contemporary form and in Brazil – and her points of view as a Brazilian person living at this time. It is a critical view of history, politics, and the construction of ideas behind the social entirety of which she is part. The artist shows us paths that point towards the physical body as the core and shield that would withstand such impacts. Nonetheless, she redirects the focus of her actions to our awareness/unawareness of these events, gathering little tragedies, collective or individual, and bestowing a matter quality to them. It is where her research resides.

Her work demands openness to the other — in the realm of sensitiveness and affection — in an always changing approximation that goes from life in community in Brazil to its representation in museum environments. The video installation ORUN is a good example. It is the result of trips across Brazil in which, by means of conversations with different individuals and groups, they unveiled the meaning the sky has to each of them.

The artistic installation outcome works as the space-time field bridging consciousnesses and in which the characters play the main roles. The question she poses about the sky prompts a universal intricacy also in the video installation visual context. Well, as we know, sky and earth form a system in which a to-and-fro movement happens. Be it for their mythological or scientific aspects, sky and earth are intertwined as an operating body and form the collective and cosmic space we inhabit. And, being more definite than the astonishing scientific sky where Hubble lost himself, the sky we culturally concocted is something that goes deeper in ourselves and, inwardly, shapes us. The boundaries of a sacred sky are quite broader than those of the scientific one, which unfolds in atmospheric layers of chemical elements of assorted densities, which reach up
to a thousand kilometers towards the outer space. It is way more the sky of divine nature the one that embraces us; and each and every culture has translated its mysteries in their own way.

The broad question posed by Paula Scamparini unveils countless cultural views which are underlined by the dynamic pliability of the narratives. When put together, such narratives bespeak Brazilians’ cultural belonging that constitutes our star system; here, sky-gazing is magical and engages us in the exercise of existence and locating ourselves - not only physically, but rather spiritually - as the sky is something which invites us into the sublime. The sky has always had an effect on us, and its translation in the video installation by the most diverse peoples in Brazil bequeaths us a mythological, spiritual and scientific legacy that is deemed a keystone in the construction of meaning.

The relationships between the notion of heritage and museum may improve our understanding of Paula’s work. Drawing it near to the universe of contemporary museology is a way of thinking of these characteristics. The materiality of her work, for instance, mostly expels the nature of the objectual in things, to then mull over on that which the museologist Waldisia de Oliveira referred to as “museal fact,” meaning object dislocation to centering on the fact. Such characteristic is seen throughout the artist’s work. She devised a method based on the idea of digression and collection, in a transit that keeps on observing facts and establishing methodological relationships which tend to be substantiated in texts, objects, images, files or even in non-objectual tensions. So, let us think
of how other works are developed from such methodological approach. Oca-Oxalá, for instance, investigates the impacts of the Portuguese colonization in Brazil across time and Vermelhos materializes the tiles molded on the slaves’ thighs during the colonial period. Paula grounds her work on such strategy of passages and crossings through which she will put out a material result, even if it is not an object. It is in this vein that Oca-Oxalá and Vermelhos constitute her message.

Paula Scamparini’s choices are, for that matter, guided by a heritage experience, that is, the result of a historical reality from which the artist reverberates possible answers with the intention of spotting their sociocultural structures. In Oca-Oxalá, Orun, Vermelhos and other works, such as Nós-tukano, whose names allude to our clear mestizo heritage, she does not target at what we are, but rather at what has made us who we are.

Paula employs a notion of heritage departing from the artistic universe. Due to that, her work hints at the notions of object, collection, museum and visitors. In view of this, she faces the fact that we cannot fully grasp what is structuring, and that constructing is reconstructing. This suggests the reason why she addresses such relevant subjects for the Brazilians’ identity, and, for this reason, her work seeks a path that challenges the artistic object, stretching it towards the museological fields where discussing such issues may be possible.