MUVI - Museu Virtual de Artes Plásticas
Monica Barki
Bobinas
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Between the hand and the machine
On Monica Barki´s rolls of paper

Monica Barki, better known for her pictorial work, began her artistic career, nevertheless, with the polemical series of lithographs produced from pictures of her own family: photographs of relatives were manually reproduced with subtle, erotic-tinged touches added to them. These were interferences that proceeded from the artisanal mastery of the artist, who at that time was interested in questions of hyperrealism.

More than twenty years having elapsed since those initial experiments, Monica has recently resumed her investigative work in graphics. The "Rolls of Paper" that she has been producing result from the combination of images frequently inspired by popular motifs (for example, the "clothesline" or chapbook literature of Brazil´s Northeast - the cordel), repeatedly reproduced on large rolls of industrialized wrapping paper wound around rolls of paper used in rotative presses.

Differently from the almost photographic nature of her lithographs, the images printed on the rolls of paper do not possess any realistic or naturalistic content. They do not conceal their manual origin, nor the conventions present in the materials put out in a printing establishment of the popular classes of urban Brazilian culture either, as much in regard to their configuration of forms as in their thematic contents. The artisanal quality of the images, though unequivocal, is subverted, nevertheless, by its serial and mechanical printing on regular intervals of the bobbins of paper. The poetic aspect of these works of Barki´s leans on tension between the artisanal production and the industrial processes of reproduction of the image. Added to this tension, there are other significances that complement the syntax of the rolls of paper.

It is well known that the logic of the art market is based primarily on the greater value set on the unique work, almost always artisanal. Being in serial form implies the inevitable depreciation of the value of the work of art. It cannot but sound strange, therefore, that many artists-painters, for example, adopt criteria of the value of their works based solely on their size. Would it be that quality and size are irreconcilable requisites for the acquisition of works of art? It is this that Barki´s ironic parody seems to be pointing out when she sells her images, whether they are on fabrics or on paper, by the meter.

Fernando Cocchiarale
Art critic and curator of the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro - September, 2004

Tradução: Esther Stearns d´Utra e Silva

 


Ana C.”, 2002
flexografia sobre papel reciclado (280 x 0,25 m)
suporte de ferro e madeira / altura variável
Coleção João Sattamini

Ana Gana Ana Cana”, 2002
flexografia sobre papel reciclado (280 x 0,25 m)
suporte de ferro e madeira / altura variável
Coleção João Sattamini

Bar com almoço”, 2004
flexografia sobre papel reciclado (330 x 0,40 m)
suporte de ferro e madeira / altura variável

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