Iracema Barbosa began painting almost at the same time as she started working in the cinema. Both activities helped her discover the importance of light and its defining effect on modulations of form and colour, its power of spatialisation through its contrasts and variations and its capacity to offer things to the sight. All of these discoveries are apparent in the way in which branches and ribbons emerge in the chapel, light crossing and reflecting through and around them.
The satin surfaces gleam like damp fruits in this intimate forest, diffusing brilliant colours. The ribbons provide the colours in the chapel with body and resonance. In this way, they present a characteristic of painting – the tension between the painted surface's tactility and the chromatic phenomenon's optical aspect. At the same time, when these elements of ribbons and branches filter the light, they make use of a typical cinematic technique, the capacity to produce spatial density through a translucid tool. The silhouettes projected on walls establish different levels of depth, apprehended as the visitor walks round the chapel, at the rhythm of a temporal flow. As in the cinema, the light makes its own universe in this room, creating another sense of time, disassociated from that of the world outside.
Another aspect of this relation between painting and cinema resides in the perception of the frame as a productive dynamic of space. The interest for the branches comes from the impressive vision of their nudity before the limitless sky, of the thread that the trees trace in the sky, fragmenting it in luminous segments. By linking the branches, the artist faces up to the instability and precarity of these limits. As much in painting as in cinema, the limits or the cuts only distinguish the elements in order to put them in contact and in activity with other elements. In this way they separate and assemble at the same time, they close and open, they exist and gain their force by overreaching their limits.
The installation in the Saint Gildas Chapel gives a dimension to that ambiguous experience of a frame by changing its geometry of uncertain vibrations, submitting it to the double sensation of reflected light and of filtered light. The artist speaks to us of limits that overflow their boundaries, of an end that is also a beginning, in the dead material of fallen branches that recharge themselves with vitality. It is in part, the fascinating aspect of artistic activity: to wake up the principal of construction inherent in the perishable character of things. It rends our limits productive.
(Patricia Corrêa for the catalog of l’art dans les Chapelles exhibition)