Aqui Não Lanço Âncora, Espaço AZ, Lisbon
The work of Ricardo Pires seems to allude to something that isn’t there, but this allusion
also seems to suggest that, in truth, this “there” doesn’t actually exist, this positive of the
negative that the artist’s work seems to represent is, in fact, non-existent. This presents
a world of endless possibilities of what this “there” could be, but it also makes it
unstable, as if these two dimensions, these two states, the “here” and the “there”, were
continuously undermining one another’s existence.
Does art ask questions or give answers? The best asks questions, is what the
specialists would say. But if art doesn’t give answers, maybe it’s because there are
none, and if there aren’t any answers perhaps there aren’t any questions either, or, at
least, not even in this dimension can we know all the questions that there can be.
Not dropping anchor is a fundamental act of ethics and freedom of choice, and one that
recognises this ignorance, the impossibility of knowing all – both answers and questions
– and, therefore, it is also an act of supreme courage, with which one chooses not to
have a support.
However, not dropping anchor does not necessarily mean not having ties, it is not,
strictly speaking, a disavowal. The anchor is a single tie, it means complete
dependence, while Ricardo’s work does not deny ties (to a reality, to a vision, to
possibilities, to some form of support), instead, it recognises that these ties are, indeed,
precarious and fragile, but, at the same time, multiple and transitory, and, in some
cases, even non-existent, or else imaginary, but always valid in spite of this, or
especially valid because of this.
And there is something of the anchor in the artist’s work, not in its latching on, not in
landing somewhere, but in the way that, its apparent static state in fact hides a tension,
the entropy of the point where two objects meet, appearing to be holding one another in
balance, another state which is, in truth, non-existent.
Finally, in the courage of the act of not dropping anchor there is, moreover, great faith –
this being, in itself, a strange kind of support, abstract and irrational – in the individual
and in its choices, in that which cannot be seen, and which perhaps will never be seen,
or at least not, paradoxically, by the eye.