Adriana Rocha


Aguinaldo Farias

In São Paulo, for example, there is this increasingly greater display of images and sharp visual sensations. This is seen in the forms of the metal buildings from which the sunlight reflects, enormous screens challenging our weary eyes, made sleepy by the effect of the imperceptible flow of the gridlocked traffic, panels and outdoor hoardings that are becoming increasingly larger, more iridescent, noisy and successful in their purpose of attracting our attention. Finally, there are lights upon lights reflected in the wet asphalt, the three-colored obsessive rhythm of the traffic lights, neon tubes flashing messages on the outside of the buildings, the countless number of fairy lights that deck the city at the end of the year and from where it pulses in linear spurts, cutting into windows, highlighting the structures of the trees, the store windows and the broadcasting towers on the top of the buildings with their throbbing presence pulsating throughout the night.

Like everything that comes together, fascinates and enchants, we soon see that the purpose of this sharpness is to confuse and deceive. Behind a world – and we can certainly use the word world here as São Paulo is only an example, as we have already mentioned – that shows itself off so ostentatiously, that allows itself to be seen so easily, there is another, or rather, others, that are not interested in being seen. These invite us or would invite us to forget them for our own comfort. These are more complicated worlds, intriguing and questioning, resulting from a thinking that, due to their inaccessibility to our affronted eyes, we call chaos. However, they have nothing to do with chaos at all.

In São Paulo, for example, we have Adriana Rocha who works to offset or deny this clarity. She chooses monochrome melodies with a muted tone for her spectrum of colors, sometimes tending towards by black which forms the background in all her paintings. She replaces what is open and expansive with retraction and murkiness, the haze of silence.

Every painting is on rather shaky ground from which we approach cautiously and carefully as we will be engulfed by it in any case. There is no skin or hard surface from which it can develop. Everything is a suggestion, material through which you advance slowly, scrutinizing every detail, hailing every vague occurrence - a stain, a line, a variation of texture – like a possible code, something whose meaning we carry within ourselves and which invites us to continue, now with greater optimism.

This does not mean that her paintings do not provide us with some identifiable materials which float or are hidden in these diffuse fields. These include photographic images, drawings and configurations of ordinary easily recognizable things which appear, such as a hand on top of another, a chair, a dog, a head taken from a classical image, a corridor, an ornamental pattern... However, the facility here is a mere passage to another step in contemplating these paintings. At the end of the day, what is the thinking that aligns these images that are so disparate among themselves? What feelings can emerge from these close relations?

Adriana Rocha´s time is not the quick time of things that are clear. Instead of the speed with which the clarity reaches and fills the retina, she prefers the slowness of the image and atmospheres that emerge from the length of time the eye spends on them. From this comes her liking for paintings connected one to the other, a way of offering differentiated time experiences. Combined with the in-depth displacement that each fragment offers, comes the chance of a horizontal displacement, such as the sequence of pages of a book to be leafed through with care and surprise.

From the original in Portuguese by Aguinaldo Farias, 1998