Already a feature on our blog, we returned to the South London Gallery to see the new exhibition by Luiz Zerbini.
Intuitive Ratio takes its name from the work Razão Intuitiva, a new installation which is taking central stage in the SLG’s main gallery. As the artist himself pointed out, the work acts almost like a 3D translation of his works, showing the recurring interaction between man-made objects and natural environs, a thread uniting most of his artistic production.
This whole theme is particularly poignant not only given the ongoing worldwide debates on the environment, but it also embodies how something so regional (which shows Zerbini’s decade of investigations on nature vs man around Rio de Janeiro) can be at the same time so universal.
Razão Intuitiva acts almost as a gravitational centre for the remaining works in the main gallery, which are richly coloured and set natural/figurative forms against geometrical and almost abstract backgrounds (i.e. Brazilian tower blocks which are reduced to blocks of square windows surrounded by bright colours). Though littered with discarded objects, these works represent a reality with should be repulsive, but actually contains an element of fascination, as every element, like in a puzzle, overlaps perfectly with the next in a background of lush colours and pleasing compositional harmonies.
This is not the first element of confusion brought (unwittingly or deliberately it’s hard to say) to the viewer though. The show continues in the first floor galleries, introducing moving images to the range of media offered. In the video Sertão, shot on a ‘common’ Handycam, Zerbini exploited and multiplied the digital glitches normally occurring using this sort of basic equipment across the whole footage during the editing. The effect (i.e. colourful pixels clustered together) takes one back to the works downstairs, following the geometrical thread but completely distracting from the main idea of the video, which featured images of water reflections of parched landscapes.
All in all, this show is a good visual experience (especially as it takes us to Latin America, a place not often presented in mainstream UK exhibitions), but its overall message gets lost in a myriad of confusing signals.
Luiz Zerbini: Intuitive Ratio can be viewed at the South London Gallery until 19 August 2018.