Luiz Vaz 73 – Visual Structure

[booklet], Ernesto de Sousa e Jorge Peixinho, Luiz Vaz 73, Lisbon, Galeria Nacional de Arte Moderna

The visual structure of this work is: a) open, tending to constitute an involvement, or artofspace; b) coincidental, alternately with the poem by Camões or with Jorge Peixinhos’ music; but c) autonomous, due to the independent semantic formation of its own families of forms and meaning. 

It is, therefore, a piece of work which beyond certain semantic reference-stimuli, is built upon the ambitions of simultaneism with unrelated events, where only the structure is coincidental. In general terms, the visual structure is based on quite precise opposites, such as ductile/hard; black/colour; contrast/continuous; eros/work (or heroism), etc.

 The opening is formal (in the sense of Baroque aesthetics), e. g. "hard" (or "work") required from a structural viewpoint may be created by images of an uptodate monstrosity, like the "corpses of cars" in certain cases a semantic reference to the poem acts as a pretext for the opening eg. Camões reference to the flags and their colours, "muda poesia" (mute poetry), corresponds to images of Portugal of the present moment, torn political posters.

The coincidence with the music and poetry is, therefore, mainly structural, using the technique of rupture temps, rhythmic support and spatial equivalents. There is an alternative and random, coincidence between the sound and optical images.

Visual autonomy (the "mute poetry" according to Camões) is motivated by a certain abstract arbitrarity which also becomes intimate by means of the indiscriminating use of series of external images, such as O teu Corpo é o meu Corpo (your body is my body) (photographs and poster dated 1972), Os Monstros (The Monsters) (experimental film in preparation), etc.

Just one word about the images in the intervals: they represent redundant factor (Baroque) as regards the final dialectic meaning of this work; in its origin: the poem of Camões, who closes this so heroic narrative by confessing

for my lyre is no longer attuned and my voice
grows hoarse, not from my song but from
seeing that those to whom I sing are become
hard of hearing and hard of heart.

(Transl. William C. Atkinson, 1952)

To this "vile and gloomy sadness", the authors today have something to oppose dialectically. Something of which the embrace of the Portuguese soldiers and the Guinean guerillas is a symbol and perhaps the best Lusiad proposal.