Arrangement in grey and silver – Teatro Villa Lobos
Significantly, therefore, Senise finished his latest piece while the exhibition was being set up and called it Arranjo em cinza e prata [Arrangement in grey and silver] . The 3.66 m x 5.00 m panel consists of juxtaposed aluminum plaques mostly covered by remains of charred carpet salvaged from debris at the site of the Villa Lobos Theater in Copacabana, which burned down in 2015. In this case, however, there is no photographic base. On first sight, viewers may see it as a formal arrangement, which is reiterated by its title. However, there is a story behind this title, as we have just seen: a cautionary tale reminding us that things can always get more complicated. The material chosen bears its own vestiges of the accident (fire), as one of the many recurring episodes in Brazil’s history. (Just how many cultural institutions, collections and heritage can go up in smoke in one and the same young country?) It evokes many ideas and feelings that extrapolate the rhythm of greys and black arranged throughout the composition.
I like to think that viewers will realize they are looking at deris from Brazil – an ever youthful country but one that is never entirely well, as Lévi Strauss put it – at the very same instant as they are being dazzled by ambient light reflected from the aluminum surface gleaming though the ash collage’s fissures