PAPER AS A MEDIUM
One of my daily habits is to seek, rummage, document and collect everything, both significant and apparently useless. I think this might be considered one of those “natural inclinations” that Italian law defends vigorously to defend the development and education of children, according to their own specific aptitudes. My mother cursed the law-makers many times for having established that rules, because in effect it handcuffed her, stopping her from putting the brake on my habits which (let’s admit it) for mother sound like a torture that is psychological even before being physical. She cursed the Founding Fathers especially when she saw me coming home with bags full of unknown objects, interesting fragments of disquieting organic origin, objects and pieces of anything. Perhaps it was not the objects themselves that bothered her as much as they micro-worlds of bacteria that certainly populated them and which she knew would have shared room and board with me. She and I fought true wars of resistance consisting in the reciprocal removal and re-appropriation of my finds, games of strength that saw her inevitably defeated under the law which I would cite when needed, causing her to capitulate instantly. This same objects and minutiae which she looked on with horror have since revealed themselves to be essential (after years of lying around in boxes, inside bags inside boxes inside other bags) to discover colours, shapes and indispensable material sensations for my work.
I met Lucas Simões during one of these hunting trips. I was looking for things with holes, cuts, openings. I was interested in finding something through which to look at places that were very different from where I found myself, something that might resemble an impenetrable fence with a hole and beyond which (with the right fantasy) it was possible to make out the English countryside with black-faced sheep scampering about. In essence I was looking for “bridges” that would be important not for their material value as much as for their function of logical transport and their ability to curve and distort space and time, bypassing many of the known physical laws.
In this sense the graphic research of Lucas Simões is a perfect “bridge”. The stratification and the cuts that distinguish the majority of his works are, before anything else, a concept and only then a graphic act. We might truly define it a “Medium” (re-appropriating this from the Latin pronunciation of the letter “e” perhaps it will seem a bit snob, but at the same time, linking this term to its original meaning of “intermediary” will be quicker). Lucas in fact transports us from the place where we find ourselves into a complex “multi-verse” without known spatial references. Photos, books, layer upon layer, cuts, holes and burnt holes become geometries that curve space and deform time. In his “desmemórias” cycle he transports us across flesh, in “desretratos” he manipulates the structure of the material itself by digging into it, in “desmanches” he hands us an axe to be used in splitting and recomposing words. In my opinion, the work of Lucas Simões is a genuine means to reach other places, a bridge, an intermediary, a Medium. I can affirm with certainty that since childhood, learning to rummage about everywhere was also essential to being able to meet Lucas today. I thank Lucas for his kindness in granting me the possibility of presenting his work, I thank the Italian law that defended this aptitude of mine for research and I also think my mother because she gave the possibility to a son to say “I told you so” to one’s own mother, thus subverting the laws of nature.