quarta-feira, setembro 09, 2015

"Perder a Alma/Losing the Soul" by Rui Chafes (1998)




As anyone knows from reading my perambulations on this and other venus, my love in Literature is deeply rooted in SF (the good kind). I've probably read everything worth reading in the field (in the last 10 years or so not so much, because the quality has been dwindling...).

As soon as I got my eyes on Rui Chafes' “Losing the Soul/Perder a Alma”, my SFional side resurfaced. Lots of novels and authors went through my mind: James Blish's Okie cities (spindizzy devices come to the rescue...), Gibson's Japanese landscapes, Poul Anderson's Arvanneth,  Arthur C. Clarke's Diaspar, Cherryh's Downbelow Station, Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Miéville's New Crobuzon, Sprague de Camp's Twelve Cities, Walter M. Miller's Texarkana, and so on. I've always been fascinated by cities in SF. It's always been one of my ways to tell good SF from the bad. The cities of SF are often characterized by its ability to explore the future of those same cities in narrative terms. This gives SF a fascinating and potentially useful resonance. Urban spatiality, i.e., the relationship between urban space and narrative in SF is sometimes the decisive factor when I'm in bashing mode... As with almost everything I see and do, Novalis emerges: "Hätten wir eine Phantastik, wie eine Logik, so wäre die Erfindungskunst - erfunden. Zur Phantastik gehört auch die Ästhetik gewissermassen, wie die Vernunftlehre zur Logik." (My loose translation: "If we had a Fantastic, like we do have in terms of Logic, the art of invention would be like this - invented. To the Fantastic belongs as well, in a certain way, the Aesthetic, like the Theory of Reason belongs to Logic"). What Novalis is really saying is that Reason, Aesthetic, SF, Math/Physics are all closely connected. SF for me has always been the summit when it comes to my ability to think in a wholesomely/holistic way. SF, like any kind of good art, makes me think like no other form of art, and in several novels I’ve really been on the brink of losing my soul...

SF = Speculative Fiction.

NB: This art piece was not really a part of Berardo's exhibition. Oddly it's also strangely fitting for these pieces to be on show right in front of Berardo's pieces (they're really his. He bought them after all...). Chafes is one of my favourite sculptors. These art pieces showed me he's still one of the masters.

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