Gulbenkian e os seus anfitriões

«Et puisque les animaux qui peuplent aussi votre beau Jardin sont un peu mes hôtes, j’aurais plaisir à leur témoigner ma sympathie, et je pense que vous voudrez bien accepter pour eux le chèque ci-inclus.»

– Calouste Gulbenkian, correspondência com Fernando Emílio da Silva, Presidente do Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa, 23/04/1952.

«Calouste ruma a Lisboa em Abril de 1942. Faz-se acompanhar pela mulher Nevarte, a secretária e dama de companhia, Mme. Theis, o seu massagista e o chefe de cozinha oriental. Tinha 73 anos. Instalar-se-ia no célebre Hotel Aviz [demolido], na companhia de cerca de uma dúzia de gatos e dos pássaros que adorava, e nunca chegaria a partir.» – Texto biográfico da Fundação Gulbenkian.

«Todas as manhãs, quando os médicos consentiam, um automóvel levava-o para Montes Claros, em Monsanto, que Salazar transformara em parque. Aí, Gulbenkian dava o seu passeio solitário, após o que se sentava debaixo da ‘minha árvore’, tendo primeiro descalçado sapatos e meias para poder sentir a relva debaixo dos pés.» – Jonathan Conlin, O Homem Mais Rico do Mundo – As Muitas Vidas de Calouste Gulbenkian.

«Homem de ciência e sonhador num jardim à minha maneira, são as duas coisas, os dois grandes objectivos da minha vida que não consegui atingir…» – Calouste Gulbenkian

«[O jardim é] a peça principal das suas obras, porque é a mais viva, a mais íntima e a mais delicada, a mais secretamente reservada aos seus devaneios.» – Alexis Leger/ Saint-John Perse (Prémio Nobel da Literatura 1960), correspondência com Calouste Gulbenkian, o qual adquiriu em 1937 os 34 hectares de Enclos (Normandia), com árvores frondosas e pontos de água, para aí manter um jardim. Nele, mandou construir capoeiras e estábulos, onde albergar os seus animais. Em 1973, a Fundação doou a propriedade à cidade de Deauville, na condição de aí fazer um parque. Fonte: Astrig Tchamkerten, “Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian – O homem e a sua obra”.

Art?

«Pour produire un monstre, c’est une pauvre recette d’entasser des déterminations hétéroclites ou de surdéterminer l’animal. Il vaut mieux faire monter le fond, et dissoudre la forme. (…). Et il n’est pas sûr que ce soit seulement le sommeil de la Raison qui engendre les monstres. C’est aussi la veille, l’insomnie de la pensée, car la pensée est ce moment où la détermination se fait une, à force de soutenir un rapport unilatéral et précis avec l’indéterminé. La pensée “fait” la différence, mais la différence, c’est le monstre. (…) La différence doit sortir de sa caverne, et cesser d’être un monstre; ou du moins ne doit subsister comme monstre que ce qui se dérobe à l’heureux moment, ce qui constitue seulement une mauvaise rencontre, une mauvaise occasion. Ici, l’expression “faire la différence” change donc de sens.» – Deleuze, Différence et Répetition.

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«In “Nature?” I have created live butterflies where their wing patterns were modified for artistic purposes. Such changes were achieved by interfering with the normal development of the wing, inducing the development of a new pattern never seen before in nature. The butterfly wings remain exclusively made of normal cells, without artificial pigments or scars, but designed by an artist. These wings are an example of something simultaneously natural, but resulting from human intervention. The artistic intervention leaves the butterfly genes unchanged. Thus, the new patterns are not transmitted to the offspring of the modified butterflies. The new patterns are something that never existed before in nature, and that rapidly disappear from nature not to be seen again. These artworks literally live and die. They are an example of art with a lifespan – the lifespan of a butterfly. They are an example of something that is simultaneously art and life.» – Marta de Menezes, “Nature?” (1999-2000), developed at the laboratory of Professor Paul Brakefield, University of Leiden, Holland, with the scientists: A. Monteiro, M. Bax, K. Koops, R. Kooi and P. Brakefield.

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«For both Bicyclus anynana and Heliconius melpomene butterflies, one wing has a ‘natural’ design, whereas the patterns on the other has been artificially modified. (…) This work was produced in collaboration with the biologist Paul Brakefield, who specializes in the evolutionary development of butterfly wing patterning. Unspecified types of ‘modifications’ were applied to the caterpillar during its transition to butterfly pupae. Tools used include microsurgical needles, red-hot cauterizing needles and tools for micrografting. The micromanipulation of the wing imaginal disk results in new, non-intuitive patterns that affect the colour and design elements, such as new eyespots. The wounds are small and heal seamlessly and painlessly because the pre-wing disks do not have nerves. (…) The presumption that these humanly modified butterflies carry out a ‘normal’ life remains untested.» – Nature.

 

[NOTE: From personal design of Nature to the fabrication of living animals stamped with brand logos is only a small step. Brands everywhere, death everywhere].

The tyranny of the single viewpoint


David Hockney’s “Secret Knowledge” (2002).

[01:06:00]
«Photography is usually seen as the start of something, but it is in fact the end of something. The artist’s hand in the camera was replaced by chemicals. After the invention of photography, painters no longer had the monopoly on images you could call “real”, “natural”, “true to life”. So artists began to look elsewhere for other ways for depicting reality. (…) The single viewpoint, the frozen moment, triumphed. With the advent of film and television, the tyranny of the lens was complete. (…) It is almost impossible to have more than one viewpoint. (…) A new tool has arrived: the computer. The computer allows us to manipulate images. Manipulate means “to use the hand”. The hand is back in the camera. (…) We seem to have forgotten some things that they knew in the past. You could say that we still live in a perspective nightmare. The single point of view will always restrict our perceptions. (…) It seems to me a great big beautiful world out there and we are hemmed in. Don’t you want to get out to see a bigger space, a bigger picture? I think we do. Exciting times could be ahead.»