The Revealed Hand
The photomontage is not just a reinvention of the instantaneous photographic or a variation on the theme, but a composition of rhythms created by light shades and shadow, by soft and sensual shades of plastic undulations engendered by the first image and consubstantiated by the content developed starting from that image. That is how Del Pilar Sallum builds her work, conditioning it, with persistent fidelity, to her tactile universe of tireless aching hands that weave the time: what before was explicit in the process of the metallic wires that involve the hands, to be soon afterwards uncoiled, engraving furrows and swellings in the intumesced flesh, now is restrained in dry gestures, that do not hide though the dense path of a same essence.
An only frontal negative of the back of a segmented hand is the starting point, where the mark printed by the metal wires just engraves a soft line, discolored in the unfocused carnal appearance. Per times, the photographic negative is inverted, duplicating the mounted image; other times the resulting images of that inversion are rebutted upside down. Composing a great panel of sixteen photograms, the elements align amongst themselves as a successive multiplying ordination of the sensuality of the epidermal mass. The repetition of the image produces a new body, marked by discreet encounters of lights and shadows, and it affirms the affectionate contact between the hands, through where the line moves in a fleeting gesture. But if the drawing of the line does not abolish the sculptural aspect, neither it authorizes the registration of the image as gestural expression. The gesture is absorbed in the whole, and soon it becomes complete in the body revealed as picture, along the serial unfoldings.
In a deaf, subtle tone, the fleshy morphology elaborates the memory as tactile repetition that sings the human fragility, but also its opposite, because it is exempted of the shapes seduction. It is a combination of repetitions that does not fear to repeat, because the repetition happens as a repetition of the experience that rethinks the experience.
The re-elaboration of the photographic image accomplishes its objective, leading to a road that, although with other intonation, Jorge de Lima had already sensed when disarticulating the representation: he revisits the figuration, and, when abstracting it in rhythmic photomontages, transforms it into photographic poem.
Catalogue of the Exhibition of the “XVI Salão Nacional de Artes Plásticas” [National Show of Plastic Arts] - Rio de Janeiro – Jan/14 to Feb/15/1999
Stella Teixeira de Barros