Inside the White Cube
24 June – 23 August 2014
White Cube São Paulo
White Cube São Paulo presented a solo exhibition by Daniel de Paula as part of the Inside the White Cube programme. The exhibition included sculptures and a group of triptychs all of which develop the ideas suggested by the show's title, ‘objetos de mobilidade, ações de permanência’ (objects of mobility, actions of permanence).
The first work encountered when entering Gallery II, was Crux (2014), a public lamppost laid across the gallery floor. Unexpected and playfully incongruous, it has been removed from its urban context, brought inside into the gallery and set on its side, like a felled tree. The lamppost’s light is controlled by a photosensitive cell, so that it fades to nothing when the natural light disappears, in a witty subversion of its original function. This waning of light, which is dictated by external conditions, invests the sculpture with animate characteristics as if, like the natural world, it is controlled by the cycle of night and day.
The sentence ‘objetos de mobilidade, ações de permanência’, from which the show takes its title, was written out in neon, installed in the gallery alongside the lamppost. Both sculptures use light – harnessing its allure of warmth and security – to draw the viewer into the space and work to subvert the functions commonly associated to each object. Neon signs are mostly associated with adverting, whereas here the sign is brought inside and controlled by a motion sensor which responds to any detectable movement. The neon switches off with movement and only comes on again once the movement has stopped, thereby demanding that the viewer stands stationary, contemplative, in order to illuminate the work.
De Paula’s series of nine triptychs each comprised of a book or magazine, a photograph of the artist reading the aforementioned publication, and a typewritten text on graph paper, collectively function as a record of a solitary and private activity, here undertaken by the artist in a public area. Described by the artist as ‘readings’, the first one took place in February 2013, when the artist read Hélio Oiticica’s ‘Aspiro ao Grande Labirinto’, from cover to cover while walking the streets of Paris. De Paula thereby created a situation where two very different cultures intersected; through the actions of the artist, the medium of literature, the geographical constraints of the city and the passage of time. All of which was recorded through a single photograph and very short explanatory text. For this exhibition de Paula has selected a varied group of locations and reading matter, such as in Towards dialogue, through fire (2014), which records his reading of ‘Letters 1964-74’ by Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, whilst sitting by an open fire, and Towards Dematerialization (2014), which involved de Paula reading ‘Six Years. The Dematerialization of the Art Object’ by Lucy Lippard, once he was out at sea, out of sight of land.
Daniel de Paula was born in 1987 to Brazilian immigrants in Boston, USA. The family relocated to Brazil where de Paula was educated. He currently lives and works between São Paulo and Itapevi.
De Paula graduated from Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado [FAAP] with a BA in Art (2012), and his work has been exhibited at Maisterravalbuena Gallery, Madrid (2014); ‘Onsite’, Temporary Arts Project, Southend-on-Sea (2014); ‘Open Cube’, White Cube Mason’s Yard, London (2013); Pivô Gallery, São Paulo (2012); Paço das Artes, São Paulo (2012); Centro Cultural São Paulo (2011); and Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo (2010). De Paula was recipient of a scholarship at the Programa Independente da Escola São Paulo (2014); resident at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2013) and at Casa Tomada, São Paulo (2012). He won the acquisition award at the Programa de Exposições do Centro Cultural São Paulo (2011), awarded at the exhibition EDP nas Artes at Instituto Tomie Ohtake curated by Agnaldo Farias, São Paulo (2010).
Inside the White Cube provides a platform for exploring new developments in international contemporary art, across a range of practices and media. This will be the first Inside the White Cube exhibition at White Cube São Paulo.
Daniel de Paula and White Cube would like to thank:
The team from AES Eletropaulo:
Élia do Santos
Julio Cesar de Mello
Valdemar de Araújo