Sancho Silva




“Where does point zero of the hermit who is looking the horizon end?”
So declares an ancient hermetic text when referring to the principle of polarity where, in the phenomenic world, absolute and static principles do not exist, everything moves, everything vibrates, everything is dual and any truth is nothing other then a half truth, so everything is relative: up and down, near and far, inside and outside, before and after, and they aren’t in themselves opposites, but two aspect of the same substance that are different only in degree.
This serves as an introduction to the illuminism of Sancho Silva, of whom we are happy to present the second solo show at pinksummer. Silva connects mathematics and philosophy, science and ethics through a rhythmical process that is both anabolic and catabolic in equilibrium, that works on a highly dynamic principle of reason that undermines the aprioristic bases of perception: the very concepts of space and time. The aesthetic field, in this sense, is be considered as the ideal humus for the Silva experimentations, detracting itself from any kind of dogmatism of knowledge, both moral and also aesthetic.
With regards to its end purposes, Silva’s investigation into perceptive mechanisms is an attempt to lead us to freedom of consciousness, revolting against the principle of authority, including that of stagnant habits: Silva’s art has a humoristic-subversive aspect, which is very Portuguese, that we really like a lot.
Absurdly Silva’s methodology achieves on the physical level of perception what Ceal Floyer achieves on the double ethereal of language: both of them disarrange our beliefs, turning them around the buoy of reason. Lessing stated that if God had given him the possibility to choose between truth and research, he would have chosen the second option, because only through unceasing research does a human being improve himself. Reason does not allow for us to acquire a definitive and static knowledge, but instead provides us with a consciousness of the impossibility to consider any prospective as absolute.
The perceptive slipping, the fragmented and parcelled visions put forward by Silva, show us how any kind of relationship between terms, subject and predicate, is conditioned by the position that the subject occupy in the three-dimensional space in that precise timeframe. Space and time for Silva are two aspect of the same substance, since perceptions always come from inside the three-dimensional space and the temporal succession, space and time are in the end the condition sine qua non of perception, but unlike Kant, Silva’s criticism doesn’t intends space and time as pure base and causative intuitions a priori, as elements on which to found vision, but categories which are themselves subject to historical becoming.
Logical paradoxes of Floyer using real objects as if they were words, or examining language as a substitute for reality, shows us how language is a inadequate and arbitrary system of representation of the prismatic concreteness of the world, and how verbal communication lends itself to every kind of paralogism and sophism. In the same way, Silva, by subverting our visual expectations, demonstrates how space and time are systems of representation ductile and mouldable as clay inside his perceptive nets.
As the Brechtian theatre, the conceptual trompe l’oeil of Floyer and the perceptive logics of Silva do not look for the inclusion of the viewer, they demand distance: in their works is the content, or better, the function that determines shape, but it is the shape that disciplines force and doesn’t permit it to scatter, the fruition of it therefore demands a vigilant spirit, it is not here that you find the aesthetic dullness of contemplation, and if it is found it has to pursue the track of reason, where Apollo and Dionysius can hold each other’s hand sure to be not seen.
Floyer and Silva keep us anchored to sensorial experience, not permitting that any form of automatism will organize itself in a judgement that has been predetermined from past experiences, not tolerating that our knowledge and comprehension of reality is directed by our expectations founded on unilluminated bigotry.
Between calculation and abstraction, the architectures of Silva stocked the polarities of active and passive, positive and negative flowingly passing throw from one side to the other: to see/ to be see, to hidden/to show, to look out/ to see inside.
Filipa Ramos affirms (Contemporary no 87 November 2006) that Sancho Silva’s works are not visible because they are done not to be seen but to see. Instead, we think that Silva’s architecture, from the more simple to those more complex, contain objects of great aesthetic impact.
In pinksummer Silva will present a study on Cairo city. The raw materials are constituted from three transversal tracks that Silva documented with a series of photographies taken walking from the centre to the periphery of the metropolis crossing the rich and organized quarters of the city, to the residential bourgeoisie zones, until those no-mans’ lands where barracks and abusive houses alternate into residual emptiness, those off-limit zones that are never included on official maps.
Those tracks are presented in the gallery on a wooden object. From its centre three truncated pyramids protrude. At their extremity, three monitors show the sequence of images from the centre to the suburbs, from culture and its scum until nature. A track ends in the desert, both of the other tracks end in the fields.
The other work is a machine constructed from two truncated pyramids horizontally laid down on one side, while the basis are put on the external side, the two extremities are connected in the centre, creating a restriction that incorporates the vision of the satellite image of Cairo shown in a light box, while the viewer is the opposite side.
On the occasion of the second solo show at Pinksummer, Sancho Silva will also present a permanent project carried out in the outdoor space of Parfiri, a company based in Vado Ligure whose office building was designed by 5+1AA.
The installation “Involtino” consists of wooden construction. Inside it, the viewer will enjoy the upside-down landscape, given from the illusory reflections of a mirrors system.


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