…no princípio

2018, installation, corten steel, pine wood, water, red earth, ash, speaker, 110x110x40 cm (1x), 50x50x10 cm (2x); audio: single channel, 7´40”, loop.
Figueiredo Ribeiro Collection – Quartel da Arte Contemporânea de Abrantes

“…no princípio” (…) consists of three corten steel trays, one large and two smaller, each of them laid on four wooden feet. Each train contains a natural element.

In the Chinese tradition, the five elements that make up the Earth are water, earth, fire, wood and metal. The two smaller trays contain earth and ash. In this case, fire is represented by ash, a symbol of death, the leavings of something that was once alive, but also connected to the concept of Phoenix-like rebirth. The earth, considered the last of the planet’s ruling elements to take form, being a combination of fire, water and air, is here red, a colour that is synonymous with fertility and Man, since Adam was moulded out of red earth.

The larger tray contains water, the most important element in astrological terms and a sacred symbol of life in the religious realm. Water causes the corten steel to oxidise, and thus the tray develops an orangish-yellow patina that is echoed in some of the photographs displayed here. 

This installation also comprises a sound component. Under the larger tray, a speaker emits a vibrating sound, which causes the water to ripple, thus evoking the frequency of Earth, the vibration of the universal natural world. This trilogy assembles the materials at the source of creation, as well as the concepts of life, heaven, and death, in the dual convergence of science vs. spirituality. 

Adelaide Ginga