Rua Luiz de Camões 68
CURATOR Marcos Dana (BR)
ARTIST Eemil Karila (FIN)
“The exhibition Rua Luis de Camoes 68 started with an open invite for public to take part in the exhibition by posing for a painting, that would be shown in the exhibition. Everyone would pose at least 3 times, each time taking approximately 2 hours. I had a working space inside the museum and occasionally people would come and see the process. After 2 months of painting everyday except Sundays from 11- 17 I stopped and hanged the paintings.” -Eemil Karila, artist.
The portrait is defined as the representation of an individual or group and, in general, the focus falls on the face, almost always foregrounded. In the history of art, portraiture achieved autonomy as a genre in the fourteenth century and occupied a place of prominence in Europe, belonging to various schools and different “styles”.
The possibilities of representation and its expression within the limits of art became the subject of reflection in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the obvious sense, photography relativized pictorial representation. But also, much less obviously, the crisis of reason deprived the subject of authority and unequivocally shook the foundations of artistic production.
Modernism has witnessed since the nineteenth century an irreversible theoretical dismantling: the loss of the concept of the individual regarded as thinking and autonomous before the world as objectified predicate. Using the portraits as props for subjectivization, the aim of this exhibit is to search in art for something particular to the contemporary: What is posited as content for the portrait now that the Subject, its object, can no longer be represented?
Making use of the notion of time, Eemil Karila perhaps proposes this content. Having passed through the schools of Eastern Europe, the artist perceives that contemporaneity authorizes different temporalities. Thus the representation of the body, as object of the portrait, is no longer possible because without the object what is left to us is only the trauma of the instant. Karila develops his response to the fragility of the world, and offers a content to the taxonomy of portrait as “style”. His painting does not denote a subject, nor could it, but rather connotes a time freed of the modern scaled notion that predicts for each moment the position in space of a moving object. More than this, here, these images connote—they do not denote—a subjective time, common to all exposed to the artist who portrays time.
Karila, given the singular opportunity of living in both temporalities, the virtual in the West and the analogue in the East, finds an empirical proposition, giving value to the individual as spectator and participant in contemporaneity.
The exhibition took place at Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica.
Documentation of the exhibition: