During the second half of the year, thanks to Carmela Gross, visitors to the third floor of the Galeria Olido will find it occupied by the word AURORA. A beautiful woman’s name that has currently fallen inexplicably out of use, perhaps because it has been overly associated with old-fashioned, innocent things such as the tune of that title made famous by songwriter Mario Lago during the carnival of 1941; or with the way girls wore their best outfits, painted their lips brightly and, eagerly seeking after illusion, frequented sold-out showings at São Paulo’s downtown film palaces such as, for example, the notoriously fashionable Cine Olido. But AURORA is also one of the nouns used to designate daybreak. Without the dewy tone that the [diacritic] tilde ensures to the second “a” in manhã (the Portuguese word for morning), AURORA possesses an open, reverberating sonority, the middle syllable of which contracts like the sun –before it rises above the horizon– is heralded by its luminosity.
And it would be no exaggeration to say that the room shall be inhabited by AURORA. The public will come across her; enormous, crossing the space diagonally, ingeniously spelled out in the hard, volatile calligraphy of fluorescent lamps, a succession of rosy scrawls from which hangs a head of hair made up of white wires through which flows the energy that feeds them. A body of light that occupies the environment, tinting its shadows pink and spilling through the large windows of the room out onto heedless passersby, unaware of so much beauty as they move across the sidewalks of the Avenida São João –on the corner of Dom José De Barros and the Largo do Paissandu– throughout the months of Spring.
AURORA is a radical exercise in poetry, a demonstration of what a poet such as Carmela Gross can do when she chooses volumetric ambient space over the two-dimensionality of paper. If, when endowed with density, the poetic word does not acquiesce to the demands of instant communication; offering up other meanings in its stead –and because of its expanded fleshliness, as is the case here –; what can be said of a word that takes on our physical dimension in order to traverse a room such as the one in the Galeria Olido, interdicting it almost completely? As the artist shows us, a single word may suffice, as long as it is revisited from an original perspective, rewritten in relation to the city’s architecture or its very space, in order that it may renew itself fully so as to yield new meanings, inaugurating new worlds and days.
FARIAS, Agnaldo. “AURORA”. In: São Paulo das Mil e Uma Faces. São Paulo: Galeria Olido, 2004.