Work-in-progress grant
Intervenção e Monitoramento Subaquático | site specific | 2004

Technology (video) and scientific empiricism are present in this new phase of Ribenboim’s work. His proposals for underwater monitoring shape an open-ended range of boundaries: in the first instance, he prepared the transition of the artistic object from formal to informal, creating a preliminary dialogue between nature and art. Then he attempted to revive the object by adding new life. What was supposed to be finished, fossilized, now goes through a transformation, situated on the threshold between art and archeology, art and science, resulting in a kind of biological ready-made. Mutation and life in direct relationship with the environment are at the core of Ribenboim’s poetics of underwater monitoring. In the first phase of his work, several sculptures made of wood, aluminum, fabric and concrete were deposited on the bottom of a lake (Lagoa da Conceição) in Florianópolis. A video camera then monitored the course and transformations of these objects in time – over 24 months submerged in the process of incorporating other live organisms – and showed an aquarium at hiPer>relações eletro//digitais (Porto Alegre, 2004), Bicho LC2, again removing the object from its context. Ribenboim is now attempting to pursue this research further. After installing of a new monitoring system with pre-determined times and dates, Ribenboim plans to map the evolution of the underground work and attach new elements of fauna to the “original” piece. As well as building an inventory of fauna and their subsequent classification, he takes the discussion to an extreme in relation to the “common place” nature of the installation of the artwork. By taking an object away from its normal place in a museum, art gallery, or private collection and placing it at the bottom of the lake”, he is engaging with a lineage of artistic interventions that harness transgression to the purpose of adding new meaning to art as action. In this perspective, we may mention not only Duchamp himself, but also Helio Oiticica, Artur Barrio, and others. Appreciating the process rather than the finishing of a work, we once again see the notion of splitting or dilating temporality, in a poetic act composed by summing or combining actions over time. These works, their habitat now the bottom of a lake, discuss the destination and value of objects and contexts, and their possible alterations over time. These changes do not depend on human or scientific intervention “plastic surgery, museum conservation, or modeling the body through exercise and diet” but are simply subject to the action of time. Locating his works on the islands of Fernando de Noronha and Galapagos will be a further step. “There may be the place for an underwater eye; the focus of attention on these islands is entirely underwater. It is worth thinking about moving a work to where our eyes are, instead of bringing our eyes to where works are, such as in museums, “says Ribenboim.

Ricardo Ribenboim

Visual artist, graphic designer and cultural administrator. Ricardo Ribenboim studied under Evandro Carlos Jardim, Baravelli and Fajardo until the 1990s. He investigates the boundaries between graphic design and visual arts, which is reflected in his works by the use of different materials and media, both physical and electronic. As a researcher into the art-environment dichotomy, he is one of the those responsible for maintaining the oeuvre of Frans Krajcberg. He showed at the São Paulo Biennial 1974, the 7th Havana Biennial in 2000, the Open Air Veneza in 2000 and the 50th anniversary of the São Paulo International Biennial in 2001. Does various urban interventions in Brazil and abroad, a stand-out being the work on the beach at Ipanema for ECO-92, and a set of four interventions for the Art Cidade 3 project .He is responsible for the concepts of a series of art exhibitions and is on the committees of several cultural institutions. From 1996 and 1997, he was head of Paço das Artes in São Paulo, and in January 1997 took over management of Instituto Itaú Cultural until May 2002, where he founded Programa Rumos and consolidated its Internet encyclopedia of visual arts. He then founded Base7 Projetos Culturais. In 1998, he organized the first international web-art curatorial design at the 24th São Paulo International Biennial . From 1999 to 2003, he held solo exhibitions in Berlin, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Miami and New York [P. S. 1 Contemporary Art Center at MoMA and Martinez Gallery]. In 2004, he presented an installation in the Solar do Unhão chapel at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Salvador (BA).