• 2002
  • Iron
  • A definir
  • Inv. 02E1226

Rui Chafes

Durante o Sono

When Rui Chafes says that his work is almost baroque, because it is based on the principle of the illusion, he says it with regard to this ball of painted iron, which he considers to be the culmination of many years of work. Iron has been the material of choice for his sculptures, painted in black or grey «so that the material can be hidden».*


In Durante o Sono (During Sleep), as in many of his other works, the artist explores a false sense of lightness, a quality of potential transmutation that must stem from that continuous line, which he wishes to make perceptible, between the organic forms of nature and the mechanical devices which, to our eyes, could be machines of war or torture; between a state of mind and an understanding of the world that suspects that there is something beyond the visible; between the pain or the awareness of death and the Romantic exaltation of beauty. «Death is what keeps us awake», the artist would say.


As in other works belonging to this series, a heavy black ball is raised up. A black point on matter. Its suspension/elevation/support represents a derivation, filaments, a draining of that matter. It suggests mobility and rootedness. There is an excess of this dark, dense matter: it leaves a trail; or it acquires roots, legs, tentacles, and begins to take on an organic character. And, in the area of these supports, it allows the void to be part of this volume, to outlined and to make part of the lifting force; and it allows the edge of the work, and the fate of the sphere also, to open up to something undefined. The equilibrium is presented as being solid, but unexpected; the ratio of the image of weight to that of fragility is inverted, the question of gravity is raised. Might the title, Durante o Sono, refer to a nightmare moment? Does this organism represent the dream itself? Or a frightening perception of its strangeness?


Among the series of black balls on filaments that he created between 1998 and 2001, elucidatory titles abound such as Suave medo escuro [Soft dark fear], Amanhecer [Dawn], Respiração [Breathing], A Alma [The Soul], prisão do corpo [prison of the body], A tua sombra… [Your shadow…]. Chafes’s belief in the mobilising capacity of art and its catalytic function in the understanding of the hidden forces that inhabit both us and nature, led him to state: «For me, the important thing is radiation, the energy that an object possesses; that is where my work resides. That is why I do not make multiple copies. I am interested in the soul of an object». Later, he says: «If art does not awaken us, there is no reason to make it. And anyone who contemplates it will be wasting his time».**



Leonor Nazaré

May 2010



* In «Conversa entre Rui Chafes e Doris Von Drathen, Guincho, 19 October 2001», in Rui Chafes, Um Sopro (esculturas 1998-2002), Porto, Galeria Graça Brandão, 2003, p. 244.  

** Idem, pp. 246 and 247.


Drawing: Drawings and a Sculpture/ Desenho: Desenhos e uma Escultura
Lisboa, CAMJAP/ FCG, 2007
Catálogo de exposição
Densidade Relativa
Lisboa, CAM/FCG, 2005
Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão: Roteiro da colecção
Lisboa, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 2004
Rui Chafes
Lisboa, Editorial Caminho, 2006
Ash Flowers
Esbjerg / Copenhaga, Esbjerg Kunstmusum / Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, 2003
Rui Chafes: Um Sopro (Esculturas 1998- 2002)
Porto, Galeria Graça Brandão, 2003
Comer o Coração. Rui Chafes. Vera Mantero
Lisboa, Instituto das Artes, 2004
Densidade Relativa
Leonor Nazaré
Curator: Leonor Nazaré
27 de Outubro de 2005 a 22 de Janeiro de 2006
HALL de entrada e Piso 1 no CAMJAP
12-8-2006 a 26-11-2006
Centro Cultural Emmerico Nunes e Centro das Artes de Sines
A ideia de trabalhar o conceito de densidade das obras começou por surgir com a constatação de que a palavra é muito frequente nos textos de crítica de arte. O mesmo acontece com a palavra intensidade que facilmente se associa à primeira. Rapidamente se percebe que densidade pode ser sinónimo de riqueza ou de impenetrabilidade, quando não se refere mais literalmente à acumulação de elementos no espaço, por oposição ao vazio ou à rarefacção. O pensamento em torno destas variantes conduziu à percepção de que o conceito poderia ser útil no estabelecimento de um contínuo entre a matéria do pensamento e a dos corpos e objectos, neste caso, a das obras de arte.
Drawing: Drawings and a Sculpture/ Desenho: Desenhos e uma Escultura
Presidência da República
12 de Janeiro de 2007 a 28 de Janeiro de 2007
Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Nova Deli
Exposição de obras portuguesas na colecção do CAMJAP/ FCG.Exposição organizada por ocasião da Visita de Estado à República da Índia do Presidente da República Portuguesa, Cavaco Silva.
Rui Chafes
Esbjerg Kunstmuseum
Curator: Esbjerg Kunstmuseum
22 de Novembro de 2003 a 18 de Janeiro de 2004
Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, Copenhaga
Exposição organizada pelo Esbjerg Kunstmuseum e pelo Nikolaj.
Himmelschwer - Transformationen der Schwerkraft
Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten
Curator: Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten
11 de Abril de 2003 a 15 de Junho de 2003
Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten, Graz
Exposição organizada pelo Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten em cooperação com o Joanneum, no âmbito de "Graz 2003 - Capital Cultural da Europa". O tópico da exposição é a gravidade na arte, considerando desde motivos religiosos barrocos até trabalhos de arte contemporânea.
Ash Flowers. Rui Chafes
2003-11-22 a 2004-01-18
Esbjerg Kunstmusum
2004-02-07 a 2004-03-12
Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, Copenhaga
Comer o Coração, representação portuguesa na 26ª Bienal de S. Paulo
2004 a 2004
S. Paulo
2005 a 2005
Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisboa
Updated on 23 january 2015

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