T.L. Gustavo Von Ha

10/05/2012 - 13/06/2012

Gustavo von Ha presents T. L., his first solo exhibition at Galeria Leme. While it is clearly related to the artist’s previous investigations on contemporary processes of reproduction and transformation of images, T. L. is, on the other hand, much more introspective, delving into all the possible implications (artistic, legal, commercial and ethics) of his modus operandi.

The exhibition comprises a series of drawings realized employing a mirrored glass, which duplicates any printed image on a sheet laid beside, allowing one to copy it. The selected originals are drawings by Tarsila do Amaral (1886-1973) and José Leonilson (1957-1993), chosen by von Ha among those realized by the two artists specifically to be reproduced in books or newspapers. Coherently with that, after carefully reviewing the originals in order to familiarize himself with the technique of each of them, von Ha actually used already reproduced versions, notably from Tarsila do Amaral’s catalogue raisonée, and from José Leonilson’s book “Use, é lindo, eu garanto”. Despite the fact that the “new” drawings are in fact mirrored versions of the originals, they are, on the other hand, perfectly recognizable as works “by Tarsila” and “by
Leonilson”, even more so considering that they are made on sheets of paper produced at the time of the originals.

But what is it exactly that makes an original, “original”? And what is it that allows us, or compels us, to say that a copy is, in fact, a “copy”? Gustavo von Ha acknowledges among his references Akira Kurosawa’s film “Rashomon”, in which several versions of the same story are presented in such a way that it is impossible to define which one is true, and which will be shown as part of the exhibition; and Pierre Menard, the character of a short story by Borges, who writes a new version of Cervantes’ “Don Quixote”, entirely different and yet identical, line by line and word by word. Besides that, by organizing a round table with an art critic and copyright lawyer to discuss the implications of the exhibition, and, before that, by contacting the estates of both artists to obtain their approvals, Von Ha emphasizes how, despite the undeniable aura of his drawings, the core of his work lies in such eminently philosophical questions, which ultimately inscribe his practice in the tradition of conceptual art.

Curated by Marcos Moraes, Professor, Curator e Director of Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado – FAAP.

About the artist:
Gustavo von Ha (Presidente Prudente, 1977. He lives and Works between Sao Paulo and Presidente Prudente).
Gustavo von Ha has had numerous exhibitions including the Drawing Project at Brazilian Embassy, Tokyo; Latin American Art Project Gallery, Tokyo; SycomoreArt Galerie, Paris; Nassau Community College, New York. Gustavo`s work can be seen in the current display of the permanent collection Instituto Cervantes, Tokyo; NCC (Nassau Community College), New York and Projeto Leonilson, Sao Paulo.