Images of seven nude drawings belonging to the Art Collection of the City of São Paulo, found at the collection website, had their binary codes extracted and shown in bright LED displays. Next to each display, an identification tag with the technical specifications of the corresponding original drawing.
Collection (2007) was conceived for the Exhibitions Program of the São Paulo Cultural Center, the institution that preserves and exhibits the Art Collection of the City of São Paulo. I tried to research that public collection in the making of this work, but bureaucracy withheld the access to the works and files. At the end of exhibition, I received the acquisitive prize and today Collection (2007) is part of the same Art Collection of the City of São Paulo.
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ACCESSING THE WORLD THROUGH ZEROS AND ONES – BY LUISA DUARTE
In the other work on this show, the artist establishes a dialogue with the collection of the institution. On a wall, seven light panels show numerous zeros and ones in movement. By the side of each panel, there is a tag with a painting’s technical specifications. The light panels show binary codes which represent the paintings referred to in the tag or, in other words, the very image in digital language. Cama chose seven nude drawings from the collection digitally reproduced in the institution’s website. Right there, in front of us, works by famous artists such as Tarsila do Amaral, Milton Da Costa and Anita Malfatti. Instead of seeing the works, we get to see the codes that digitally constitute them.
Here the artist follows his research through the universe of digital images and questions the relationship between spectator and public collections, whose visibility in Brazil is almost nil. It’s a conceptual work in the early 21st century. In the 60s, J. Kosuth created the work that has become an icon for this trend, “One and Three Chars (1965)”, made out of a chair, the photo of this chair and the definition a dictionary offers for the word “chair”. Art has become less visual and more discourse. Today, making a comment of this nature requires different codes. Felipe Cama is aware of the new rules of the game, thinking critically about the place of art in this present time, that represents itself, aseptically, not by words anymore, but by zeros and ones.
Excerpt from the text originally published in the catalog of Felipe Cama’s exhibition at São Paulo Cultural Center, 2007
Below the pages of the Art Collection of the City of São Paulo website from where the images of the drawings represented by their binary codes in the work Collection (2007) were appropriated.
COLLECTION, Felipe Cama - Art Collection of the City of São Paulo Showcase
Since the foundation of the São Paulo Cultural Center in 1982, the was administered by this institution. From then on, the CCSP Exhibition Program has become an important reference for the acquisition of artworks for the collection, which now has about 2,800 works including drawings, paintings, engravings, videos, photos, objects and installations.
Collection (2007) by Felipe Cama is an example of such acquisitions. The artwork comments on the invisibility of art collections, whose works spend most of their time guarded in technical reserves. Each display corresponds to the digital image decoding of works belonging to the Art Collection of the City of São Paulo. Among them, works by Milton Dacosta, Quirino da Silva, Tarsila do Amaral and Anita Malfatti.
Wall text for the exhibition Collection, Felipe Cama – Art Collection of the City of São Paulo Showcase, São Paulo Cultural Center, 2009