Ground l MU.SA Lab Arte


Exposição individual l Solo show

Trabalhos sobre papel l Works on paper

MU.SA Lab Arte
Museu das Artes de Sintra
Av. Heliodoro Salgado
2710-575 Sintra

Inauguração: 19.09.2015 16.00h
19.09 - 18.11.2015
Terça a Sábado das 10.00h às 18h
Sábado e Domingo das 12.00 às 18h


Sérgio Costa © 2015


A superfície [ground_fond] tal como surge numa extensividade homogénea é em si uma projecção de algo ‘mais fundo’ [profond]: apenas este último pode ser chamado Ungrund ou sem fundo [groundless]. A lei de figura e fundo nunca se sustenta para objectos que se distinguem de um fundo neutro ou de um fundo de outros objectos a menos que o próprio objecto estabeleça uma relação com a sua própria profundidade. A relação entre figura e fundo é apenas uma relação plana extrínseca que pressupõe uma relação interna, volumosa entre superfícies e a profundidade que as envolve.

Deleuze, Gilles (1994). Difference and repetition. New York: Columbia University Press

No projecto “Ground” a dispersão de tinta através da técnica de “spray” sobre papel descobre a extensividade como um acidente inseparável da própria matéria da pintura. O excesso de tinta que se dispersou para além da área pintada revela uma continuidade simultânea entre os objectos, um evento que se desdobra através do próprio processo de construção; superfícies em extensão que embora posteriormente dissociadas, mantêm uma relação estrutural.

Subtrair a figura enquanto “fundo” do fundo introduz um espaço de passagem, um esvaziamento que cria ressonância. Tal como uma dobra é sempre dobrada no interior de uma dobra, esta exerce uma torção sobre a superfície, presume um interior e um exterior, superfície e fundo. A acção de dobrar_desdobrar manifesta de cada vez e simultaneamente um diferencial que caracteriza uma ocorrência em termos de contracção_dilatação, envolvimento_desenvolvimento, tensão_distensão.

O suporte de papel é o fundo (ground) que indicia o processo de preparação da pintura. Um espaço que se revela através de processos de interferência, acções conjuntas, circuitos, ocorrências, níveis e limiares, passagens e distribuições de intensidades. Embora a superfície da pintura na sua integridade, seja fundamentalmente restritiva - espaço das hesitações, incapacidades, da insolência dos materiais; a sua supressão dá lugar a uma outra hegemonia, uma descontinuidade numa série de interdependências, camada após camada, que o processo artístico encobre e descobre.

Sérgio Costa
Set 2015

Sampling strata I Galeria Bangbang


Solo show

Galeria BangbangLisboa
22.05 - 25.07.2015



© Galeria Bangbang




Notes on >fucking hazziness<. Sérgio Costa’s  “Strata- Sampling Puzzles” (2015) [1]
Alexander Gerner[2]
I Working-Images as Observational Program Sérgio Costa is not observing any kind of biological microcosm by a microscope, nor does he take up the telescope and observes nebulae -Nebula for Latin >cloud<:  a name used for any nebulous, that is, diffuse astronomical object. Nevertheless, nebula and gullies can be found in Sergio Costa’s recent painting works, in which materials (hand-molded clay-things, different types of painted textiles, cracks of painting layers) are confronted in an observational program[3] called >Strata< in which a variety of oil paintings, and material try-outs are presented in a systematic way. In the Sampling Puzzles exhibit, strata show an intimate conceptual relation to “working images”[4] (Nasim 2010) as experimental praxis. In the case of Costa’s strata, the molds, gullies on the different canvas materials are conducted as experiments of >working images< in the artist lab between science and art. These working images interact with scientific instruments of observation, but as well with descriptions/depictions of other images (in the case of Costa with images of explosions/ volcanic eruptions; Strata#23-#27), maps, oil paintings, etchings, drawings and sampled paint/media experiments (Gullies), molds and crack-samplers.
II Experiments in matter behavior Strata Sampling Puzzles –e.g. gullies- appear as  experimentation in matter behavior and deal with >entrainments< on different media. In physical geography >entrainment< is a process in which surface sediments are incorporated into a fluid flow (air, water, ice). Geological Entrainment is inherent in the operation of erosion. In Costa´s >gullies< the diluted oil paint is poured on different textile supports (“veludo”=velvet andcetim”=satin) taking advantage of their different textures, while minimizing subsequent interventions. The ink proceeds similarly to formation of water in the ground or dust, particles and gases in the formation of nebulae. Subsequently the fabric is mounted on wooden grids of small formats.

III Vapor of the events  Costa in his long term strata series is interested in showing the differences, strategies and time lags, of an >Aesthetics of appearing<[5](Martin Seel 2005) in experience: First, the >neptunic< longtime development is difficult to be experienced escaping human experiential limitations, and the meditation of which is thematic in earlier paintings (Strata #2-22) on rock stratification. Costa’s strata series (2014/2015) develops another mode of experience though: the intimacy of the small and medium scale gullies experiments and the meditation on volcanic explosive cloud strata (Strata #23-27). In these explosive events we become reminded on our temporal and rhythmical absolute experiential thresholds such as the 30ms of temporal order threshold of experience, in which events appear to be happening in distinguishable temporal orders and not simultaneous, or the fusion threshold of 2-3ms in which events are distinguished as two and not as one event, need the retardandis of painting as a form of observing the too fast phenomena, the too nebulous, the explosive, that escapes our experience otherwise. Costa in this Strata-Sampling Puzzles exhibition searches for “key events[6](Waldenfels 2007, 42) a) attentional >scenic events< and >dramatic events< (Waldenfels 2007, 42) the eruptive “vulcanic” fast events in contrast to b) geophilosophic longtime-events, the “neptunic” (slow and steadily evolving) experience: What if we would live more than 500 years?  Maybe then even the neptunic experience of earth’s kinetics of strata that Sérgio Costa Strata series hinges on would become part of our daily experience. This vulcanic experience that Costa pain(t)s seems to have a matrix, a black hole from which all emerges or is sucked into.

IV Explosive geo-sampling What matters in vapor-becomings- “this isn´t yet a duskscape” is that Vapors hints towards transformations of matter, not just in their strata of aggregation, but of bodily form in general.  With Jean-Luc Nancy[7] we can say: „If we wish to keep the word matter, then we should say that it´s the impenetrability of what is form – in other words, relation, sensing oneself, being sensed, and sensing something as if from the outside“.  We experience strata even in its vaporous blurred form as if from the outside, we are never located inside strata, the knowledge strata, the sensing strata, the social strata being sensed, the material strata: we are already puzzled by a multiplicity of layers and relations, but always from the outside, by their uncertainty in hazziness without the one clear strata appearing for us in experience: >this isn´t yet a duskscape<. The vulcano explosions contrasting the slow artistic process of Costas delicate oil paintings, remind us on the foggy atmospheres created by the 19th century painter J.M.W. Turner- a mix of a Victorian steamboat in which steam immerses the painting in mist, sea-motion and a lightscape from the harbour („Snow storm. Of a Habours mouth“ 1842)- but, in Costa’s Strata #23-#27 (2014/2015) we are deprived of anthropocentric reference of ports and boats, nor do they refer to anthropcenical responsability in global domicides[8]; on the contrary, >Strata< confront us by natural hazzards and evaporating life: blurred thoughts on >fucking hazziness<! Vulcano Explosions… Just yesterday on the 23rd of April 2015 while writing this text -two days before the Nepal earthquake in which thousands are killed-, the >Calbuco< Vulcano eruption in Chile interrupts me, thinking as far as a 20 km radar of evacuation: breaks, cracks and ruptures, the fragility of our existence, its necessity for our experience.... Sérgio Costa’s >Strata< ask us two questions: Are we prepared for >vulcanic< events? How are we able to experience long-time change?



[1] Excerpt from the book: Gerner, A. (upcoming). Strata. Geophilosophical notes on Sérgio Costa
[2] Alexander Gerner is a researcher at the CFCUL (University of Lisbon). His research is supported by a FCT Post-doc grant: SFRH/BPD/90360/2012
[3] Nasim, O. (2014). Observing by Hand. Sketching the Nebulae in the Ninteenth Century. Chicago: Chicago University Press
[4] Nasim, O. (2010). “Observation, Working images and procedure: The ´Great Spiral in Lord Rosse´s astronomical record books and beyond,” BJHS 43 (3), 353-389
[5] Seel, M. (2005). Aesthetics of Appearing. Stanford: Stanford University Press
[6] Waldenfels, B. (2007).”The Power of Events”. In: Bernhard Waldenfels. The Question of the Other. Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 37-51
[7] Nancy, J.-L. (2008). „On the Soul“. In:  Jean-Luc Nancy. Corpus. Translated by Richard A. Rand. New York: Fordham University Press, 127
[8] Porteous, D.J. & Smith, S.E. (2001). Domicide. The Global Destruction of Home. Montreal: Mc Gill Queens University Press


Galeria Bangbang

Alevander Gerner


Sérgio Costa