segunda-feira, 8 de junho de 2020

LAURENS VANCREVEL | Artur Cruzeiro Seixas and the relationship between art and the world

I wonder why, while looking at the unique drawings and paintings of Artur Cruzeiro Seixas, I always think of the complex relationship between the creative work of an artist and the present reality of the world. This may be caused by a remark that Seixas once made himself, when he said that his relationship with his own work is complicated, desperate and inexplicable.
Seixas has once called his drawings, not without irony, the shape that matter has taken in the historical practice of a specific individual. Seixas's individual practice, aimed at transforming matter, shows his passion and the power of his poetic imagination (or should we call it his instinct to imagining?) by defying all risks. The most desperate risk of the creative mind is perceiving the world as it is but not accepting it as such. The imagination leads to the way of more light; this light is the absolute truth. Imagination is the shape of true life, while truth is its content.
Do people still seek the truth, like in ancient civilizations? Do people still know themselves, like the Snake-Poet of the Delphinian Oracle required from them? The answer may be: yes; some people have in fact discovered that the Self is the Other while the Other has become the symbol of Everyone. But the Oracle's statement, that this does not clarify nor hide its sense, has left the awakened Self without true civilization and without an inexhaustible environment. Just look at the desolate deserts behind the tender gestures of Seixas's creating hands! Truth is not stable anymore; it has become cloudy, it is resembles a blast.
The Self and the Other are loners in this world that exists beyond history and that is destitute of a workable language, occupied by the innumerables. The world is no more, observed Octavio Paz. Birds survive in the shape of poems. As far as the eye can see, abysses are opening, but greed is rampant everywhere. The present time seems to be the end of time and the world has turned ugly. However, a few people only are observing its ugliness. The innumerables are not aware of it; the disaster has no meaning to them.
Beyond the era of civilization, no useful theory of values is left except for the authority of the Self and for the risks that you are prepared to take. Beauty […] seems to be the clearest manifestation of perfection, and the best evidence of its possibility, said George Santayana once, and also: … perfection is, and it should be, the ultimate justification of being. However, very few people aim at perfection in order to justify their being. The artist who tries to realize such perfection is faced with a complicated relationship between himself and the world.
Beauty is an invitation to depart on adventure. Everyone who aims at justifying himself as a creative being will look passionately for beauty, in other words to truth and to meaning. Beauty is an invitation to love. We do not desire a thing because it is good, but it is good because we desire it, said Spinoza. This idea of beauty is the beauty that André Breton has specified as convulsive: beauty that is mobile and immobile at the same time, the convulsive beauty that must be served exclusively. Seixas's drawings do touch our sensitive eyes by their convulsive warmth.

 Signs of surrealism in works of art are no signs of beauty in themselves; they are expressions to bring about a convulsive beauty. Art is a form of communication that insinuates. said Nicolas Calas. This form of communication is nothing else than just an instrument, a technical aspect. Seixas remarked in this respect: If I am looking at a painting, its technique does not interest me at all, I look for its content, its meaning. The content of a work of art is being insinuated by its technique. The beauty that the work contains (corresponding to our deepest desires) is created by the almighty imagination of a vulnerable artist. Only imagination is able to bring about change, said Mário Cesariny. Mirages, earthquakes, escapes: they constitute the shocking dimensions of Seixas's work.
Art, if it is truly free, is testimony, is conscience. (Octavio Paz) Such a view may explain why the relationship between true art and the world is nearly always so complicated. The world of the innumerables is unconscious of a conscience and it is not aware of a testimony. Seixas may have hinted at that desperate situation when he wrote sarcastically: Painting should be a forbidden activity.
Free art: the shadow play of beauty, the shadow play of happiness. Seixas's drawings and paintings hint at an indomitable freedom, to an ever desirable truth. Their mystery is irresistible, irreversible. Moreover, they are mysteriously attractive.


Agulha Revista de Cultura
Número 152 | Abril de 2020
Artista convidado: Cruzeiro Seixas (Portugal, 1920)
editor geral | FLORIANO MARTINS |
editor assistente | MÁRCIO SIMÕES |
logo & design | FLORIANO MARTINS
revisão de textos & difusão | FLORIANO MARTINS | MÁRCIO SIMÕES
ARC Edições © 2020

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