Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY
Terra Firma re-imagines the return to one’s roots and reconstructs memory, landscape and childhood inspired by four books of Gaston Bachelard: The Poetics of Space, The Psychoanalysis of Fire, Air and Dreams and Water and Dreams. The missing elements are contained hallucinations trapped inside of the reminiscences of the geometry of her first home reinvented in space and now alternated by Couto's process of recollection of language, shapes, textures, and symbols. In the reconstruction, she translates the process through the belief of the ancient Greeks that all things are made of the four states of matter: earth, water, air, and fire. This new installation includes objects, sound, videos, and a series of works on paper.
A single channel video. 28min. 2014.
The House of the Dreamer
The architectural structure hosting the installation was inspired by the geometry of the small farmhouse where Couto spent most of her time as a child and the scale was altered by her own recollection of the place as a child. It is also an homage to Hélio Oitica’s installation “Ninhos (1969),” a work considered as a platform for fluidity between the private and public spheres, participation and the exploration of human behavior.
Couto has produced Terra Firma, a 27-minute film (2014). The piece, part of a larger video installation, is the return to the farm in Brazil where she grew up, accompanied by the two men who built it, now in their late seventies and nineties. Like her, both men carried thirty years of absence. Terra Firma explores displacement, ecology and memory. The artist captured the friendship between the two men, their mutual shared stories and the changes in the landscape.
Air and Dreams : Fan Templates
Charcoal, Japanese ink, gouache, pencil on Arches Watercolor paper. 22 in X 30 in. 2014.
Wind for the world, and breath for man, demonstrate “the expansion of infinite things.”
Bachelard. Air and Dreams.
Fan Templates is a composition of eight technical drawings of a common house fan reduced to its essential shape. Each drawing contains thirty circles in charcoal, the amount of years Couto was absent from the farm in brazil where she grew up and left at age of nine and returned to in 2014 to produce her film Terra Firma.
Single Channel Video 1:24 minutes. Loop. 2014.
(The fire) rises in the depths of the substance and offers itself as a love.
Bachelard. The Psychoanalysis of Fire.
Composed by Marcos Kuzka Cunha. Sound. Loop. 2014
Couto put on the hands of the talented Brazilian sound designer Cunha the task of merging nature and electro sounds to create a delicate tension between the natural and mechanical that at times, sync.
Planters, Fake Bamboo. 2014.
Border should function as integration through fluidity and openness. Form merges with the environment. Space becomes a new place when inhabited.
Gouache and pencil on watercolor paper. 7 X 10 in. 2014.
I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace. Bachelard. The Poetics of Space
When entering her childhood home, now a shack, after thirty years of absence, Couto was incapable of registering what she saw in video. She instead created a set of colorful paintings of its rooms and found objects she encountered.