Remaining in time
The polysemy of the expression Return to Earth (Returning Home or in a wider sense Coming Back) delimits and expands the territory Rita GT is moving in, what is her first solo exhibition at Galeria Belo-Galsterer, in cooperation with Pipi Colonial. This semantic plurality integrates a kinetic idea – and praxis – substantial and productive, of travels and transitions between spaces and moments that however, contradict the dynamics of detachment, disinterest or superficial treatment of belonging. Thus, the return, in all its ontology (as well as in its axiology), is presented as a model of effective and affective belonging to, orienting the diverse artistic processes present in Return to Earth.
Earth (clay), as a recovered artistic material – from a history of art that has hierarchized decorative arts and fine arts, art and artisan –, insinuates itself as an element in which identity problems (e.g. gender, ethnicity, nationality, location, social class) articulate themselves organically through the procedures of inclusion, juxtaposition, togetherness and material friction. Thus, clay is a shapeable matter, an entity-identity of negotiation, which reveals the flexibility of the possibilities of return.
Returning implies, therefore, the return of politicizing the future in a solidary way – its possibility and quality – as of a present crossing the conscience that all temporalities are interdependent. Counteracting on the Modernist logic of progress, to return implies also not to project the future as a dynamic of self-love, totally emptied of social and political responsibility, but to generate progress from ethical and aesthetically empathic positions, with the certainty of what is uncertain in this concept. Rita GT’s oeuvre projects places in construction, that is to say a process of making that always implies the other, human beings or not, to remain in time. Her artistic praxis epitomizes the intersectional positioning in the world, questioning as recognizing the binary system of gender, ethnicity, and social class, its (in)human juxtaposition and consequences. GT returns to these binary positions, but she tries to dissolve and mold them through a uniting and familiar gesture.
Return to Earth, in Portuguese, refers equally to concepts like coming home, places of familiarity and (dis)comfort where the affections guide the daily complexity and amplify all of its possibilities. Return to Earth reveals the artist’s different biographic layers, her multiple subjectivities, as mother, woman, and artist and how these compete in achieving an artistic gesture that fights the binary and normative formulations. The travels Rita GT has realized, in diverse geographies (Angola and Portugal) as well as aesthetic technics, and which originated this exhibition, have enabled these distinct and difficult returns, always anchored in collaborative dynamics, which amplify the possibilities of an ethico-political experimentation and action.