“Anything a man can think, another can realize”
BRUSCKY INVENTS’s is the first solo exhibition by the Brazilian artist Paulo Bruscky (1949) in Germany. It comprises some of his most experimental art works using, transgressing and/or addressing machines and science. The majority of the works presented in this exhibition have never been shown before, despite being central in his poetics.
One of the early pioneers in the usE of copy machines to make art worldwide, since the beginning of the 1970s Bruscky has produced very sophisticated and complex “xerox” works after understanding and subverting the way the machine works. His first experimentations happened with thermostatic papers in 1969. The following decades have been very productive and intense for him in the terrain of the possibilities of materials and artistic language.
While in New York, as the recipient of a Guggenheim grant in 1982, he had the support of the Xerox company and was able to work with an early colour copy machine for an entire week (at this time there were no such machines in Brazil). With mirrors and objects he was able to develop three dimensional effects and compose intricate images. In another experiment, in 1985, after observing that for a successful copy the paper had to be warm, Bruscky put the paper in a freezer and then used it to make a copy. The machine responded with a “negative copy”. The xerox films appeared in 1980.
The first one LMUWZ, Fogo! was made during a class that Bruscky was teaching at Universidade Católica de Pernambuco. He put cotton, objects and spaghetti letters on the machine’s display, added alcohol and set fire to it. While the material was burning, the machine took many copies that became the frames of his Super 8 film. Xeroxperformance was also made after the filming of copies, but in this case, it is the artist’s body which is depicted. Despite the fact that experimentation is the first intention of all of his xerox works, the series can be roughly divided into two groups: one that is the expressivity of materials in an abstract manner and other that presents the relationship of the artist’s body to the machine.
My brain draws like this is another branch of interaction of the artist with the machine. Working in a hospital in Recife, Bruscky had the chance to make drawings without using his hands… The recently arrived EEG machine allowed him to transpose images of happiness, sadness, preoccupations and tranquility from his brain directly to the paper as traces and compositions. The first experiment was in 1976 but three years later he recorded the process for video. In the middle of the 2000s the series received a new development: the digital results of the latest technology in color. The work’s title changed to My brain draws and paints like this. A new version of this historical piece will be made at the opening of this show like a performance.
For Paulo Bruscky science and technology are fields of creative speculation and transgressiveness, just like any artistic language. BRUSCKY INVENT’s gathers some of his playful inventions. For many years he has been trying to get scientific help for the realization of his ideas via classified posts. The classified section of newspapers has been the space of enunciation of poetical and confrontational messages. Reaching audiences outside the art world is important to Paulo Bruscky.