Of Lightness and Silence

Rute Rosas, Porto, March 2017


I love to exist... but I also don’t know what is to not exist.

I’m motivated when I think that what I do and create can change someone, leaving them a record in their memory or reactivating remembrances, moments and experiences of the past, in a different context or in another way, in a reunion with what’s hidden or asleep, which always remained close without being flared or glorified.

In an interlacing of Time with Space, between the tangible and the visible, in and out of myself, I proceed with the discovery of other times and spaces, where each individual can find their own, electing them.

Presuming there are diverse types of Memory and that these may or may not be associated with our own life experience, Remembering may be different. I will attempt to illustrate this with two examples: Do I have memories from World War II? It is impossible that any data of this period have occurred to me, but I keep in my memory what I learnt, read, listened, retained and I can bring it to the present moment.

On the other hand, if I evoke a smell by saying: "it smells like bread fresh out of the oven”, the process will be different. We hold this smell in our memory and we can even feel it for a moment and visualize an episode we lived, but each one of us will remember a distinct and individual moment, either more recent or more distant.

When we remember something, when we explicitly express what was implicit, we emotionally change ourselves as well as the thing itself. Each time we activate a memory we create a reformulation of it, thus we can speak about re-memory, or memory of the memory, successively distinct. Activating the memory and remembrances seems similar to the process of waking up from a numb state.

Creative processes will not allow a chronological perspective of time in the narrative sense, but they cannot be identified as complete abstractions.

The creative memory (BERGSON, Henri, 1939), by its processual singularities and ability to remember, certifies richness in its possibilities to reinvent existence. Through memory – which stores and is contaminated -, its constant update of what is lived – in a shuttle between various pasts of the living experience -, and through Imagination, we revisit spaces, objects, recreate concepts, make connections between the senses, that allows us to understand works of art and creative processes.

This way, rational knowledge and poetic invention are not essentially excluding. They are opposites in some instances but they both culminate in the moment of creation and imagination.

Assuming the dispositional knowledge to remember is indispensable, I first start to confront with myself, with what I am through self-knowledge, allowing me to understand the relationship I establish with the society I am in, with the Others.

It’s an exercise that remains arduous, but is no less appealing or essential, especially because “when something is difficult, it cannot be abandoned solely because it is too difficult. (…) It is precisely what should stimulate us. If it were easy, I could be now resting” (BEUYS, 1995).

I’ve already felt as nothing, hopelessly lonely, with nothing to offer myself and others. An absolute inability can lead to extremes… One day, about ten years ago, I wrote that I had never imagined "that there existed such a way of surviving… clinging to a remote past with no prospects. Telling stories to no one as I bite cookies to sweeten the wounds of the soul… I fear for absolute silence.”

I work with representations, reflections of my most recent experiences or my almost hidden past, with no concerns for narrativity or sequence. They can also be mixtures of situations, experiences on the same subject, observations of what surrounds me and what may be enjoyed by layers, each more opaque and dense than the last, in a likely growing difficulty to understand them. It’s in the first layers and depicting experiences, supposedly common to all, that an immediate “wild” (MERLEAU-PONTY, 1994) perception can detect general phenomena experimented or known to everyone. The characters, spaces and times changes, but love is love, sex is sex, fear is fear, anger is anger, pain is pain, disappointment is disappointment, loss is loss, warmth is warmth and it doesn’t seem there is someone who hasn’t lived any of these emotions, sensations or feelings.

The silence remains… Ultimately, there are no words to express it. Ludwig Wittgenstein highlighted the idea of something impossible to say, concluding that what we say is much more than what we say, considering “the same group of words can give rise to several meanings, and to several possible constructions” (FOUCAULT, 1972).

The lightness and tranquillity remain, the quietness and the walked path that arrhythmically sweeten life. A restless, energetic, arrhythmic and nurturing quiet.

Today is not like yesterday and tomorrow will certainly be different. The path is made by walking…

After all, who am I? Who are we? What are we or what are we worth when isolated? What do we need? Where are we and where are we going? What are we looking for? What do I do, why do I do it? It may be to leave something of me that can go beyond me or ourselves because depending on the intensity of each one's experiences, the glance, the interpretation, the predisposition and attention or the experiences that each one had, we all feel and get emotional… but some live and some have died even before their last breath.

Subsistem a leveza e a tranquilidade, o sossego e o caminho percorridos que adoçam arritmicamente a vida. Um sossego desassossegado, enérgico, arrítmico e que alimenta.


Don’t read. But if so, in a low voice.

Eric Tormo Ballester, Barcelona, 2017


From: Enric Tormo <enric.tormo@gmail.com>

Sent: 4 de março de 2017 20:27

To: rute rosas

Subject: Witches

Beautiful Rute. Today something of divine inspiration or witchcraft happened to me.

I was in a bookstore and I took an anthological edition of the poetic work of

Juan Ramon Jimenes. I open and the poetry was called “silencio” (silence) too much coincidence ..

Haunted kisses


It was a December day. Perhaps 17th. The street invited me to leave home. The door limited an interior and an exterior.

I knew it was a special day. It was special for also marking a border. A before and an after.

In the kitchen, I was preparing a frugal breakfast. Some cereal. Some milk, not cow milk. Some juice.

A good shower and comfortable clothing. Today everything would be different.

Something announced it ...

The door opens. No sound, no colour, nothing. Where are the cars? Where are the travellers? Where are the trees that marked the line between the sidewalk and the road? Everything disappeared. Everything? No. A bubble of angst, dread, perhaps fear, took form and from the stomach, it gradually infiltrated in the different organs that compose a body that, through the pressure of the sensation, transforms in a bulwark against circumstance.

A dense fog occupied the streets, the public space, the one that, on different occasions, has been the scene for slow walks, brawls between neighbours, once, at least, it has limited manifestations in pursuit of citizenship improvement, but, above all, it was the way, the medium, that took me to work… and then back home, to the place where I could find peace, that transcendental silence that allows reflection, self-absorption, remembrance of who I could be but never will.

One step ahead? Fear, anguish, no external reference. Come on! Already! One step, nothing happens, two, three, four… The mood is lifted.

Suddenly a clash and a slight groan. Hello? Is there someone? Silence. Nothing is heard. A turn on the orthogonal axis, 360 degrees of no vision, of no sound.

Cheer up. We keep going but where to? No reference. Perhaps we can return to the protective house, but where is it? On the right? On the left?

Is it straight ahead? Perhaps it’s behind us? It is not known. We lost the references. It’s better to stay still.

Yes, so much better. Still. Quiet feet waiting for something to happen. How long? The clock indicates the eternal passage of movement. Its tic/tac proceeds and gradually reaches its destiny, the end. But where is it?

Nothing on the left, nothing on the right; a yes in the drawer of the bedside table. It stayed there. Forgotten. A mechanical absence that can be easily solved. The tac/tac of the heart replaces it. Pulsation by pulsation marks the temporary spaces either until the tedium or the loss of memory. The reference of the beginning is missing. For a long time, the value of time has been lost.

Suddenly, another clash. Once again:

– Hi?

– Hi?

Phew, finally an answer. A possible equal, a partner, but a possible danger: an assassin, a delinquent, a policeman, a tax inspector? Perhaps it’s best to pass unnoticed.

– Hi? The voice with nobody repeats, without materiality, only an isolated sound inside that magma that doesn't allow to see anything. It is necessary to do something, an answer.

– Hi, it’s me.

– Well, of course, I am me.

– With so much me, we will hardly understand each other.

– While you are you, I am me.

– Yes, of course, and they will be them or he if it’s just one.

– Let's not go that way. We should get closer until we physical contact.

– No! I don’t want to! You disgust me. I’m going.

– Hello, hello….

No answer, once again silence, isolation. If this fog vanished, everything would be normal. Colours and sounds. Society and friends. Trust and dedication. Everything that disappeared and that shaped personal existence and modifies nature to make it compatible with the rules and norms emanating from power. A power that does not know how to exempt and therefore is unable to recognize itself as such. It is not that power capable of compromising, one that knows it is supreme and therefore has no fear or doubt, which maximum executive is knowing to forgive.

I’m still on nowhere and I am me. Two legs, two arms, a head and a trunk. Matter on the matter within an undefined magma. Touch detects something. Comfortable clothing although it imprisons the sum of body parts.

Incarceration, a limit, a protection against the outside. Scrap everything!

No one will see the nudity.

Complete freedom. Freedom of movement, of thought, of feeling, of the word, of... Freedom. What for?, where to go?, whom to talk to?, how to connect? I am me? Not anymore!

Start over. Something new. Something different. Something without antecedents and consequents, a total zero, a void, a possible path, a channel where to run. Especially, oblivion, a space without ballast. A spirit.

The existence for the existence, without weight, without past, only the "now and here", the "never". The utopia, of nowhere. Thus, the dream is the only thing left, the idea, the beyond, perhaps it was the fog. That unscrutinised yet imagined horizon, where the unveiled marks destiny. The one, which out of materiality, means purity, the immaculate, the one that floats in the environment through its luminosity. But: where to go? Better: How to go? Better yet: why? In any case, inoperability is not feasible, there is life, there inescapably is a movement. The only possibility that remains is to walk, to walk without fear of stumbling. Ascension is unquestionable. Above, the direction is above. Fight against gravity. Against what retains the feet on the ground. Spirit, blow, breathing is the engine.

The loss of circumstance, of materiality, allows rebirth. The daily rebirth, the one with the tic/tac or tac/tac. The one that starts at every beat and witnesses the possible. The one that reveals the future without compromise, without agreement. Only in purity, in poetry, in the sensitive being. The incomprehensible becomes objective.

The goal becomes intuition. Intuition becomes vision. The vision becomes reality. Exempt Reality.


Now he is thinking

Fátima Lambert, Porto/Santiago de Compostela, March 2017


Manoel de Barros,

“Retrato Quase Apagado em que se Pode Ver Perfeitamente Nada”.


Ferreira Gullar,

“Poema sujo”, Poetic Work.


[...thoughts as if they were almost erased portraits, almost immaterialized, we could say…

I see myself in the mirror that always looked; I understand the run and the angst.]

What’s at stake: the translucency of silence and the morphology – transparent, (trans)lucid and opaque – of reflection.

The support axes, announced by the sculptor herself, refer to vigilant stages: they are safety warnings for unwary observers of nothing. Not that it is essential to fill the void, caressing the emptiness, feed the silent glances.

Rute Rosas’ sculptures are self-portraits between the minimum format and the infinite amplitude of the immeasurable. Since she moulded traces and volumes of her face, creating portions of herself wandering in the collars of other people's coat, the artist now crosses the understanding of glass blown by the soul with webs tinted by certainties crossroads. These techniques and strategies guarantee harmony that things must earn when we attribute them intention.

Therefore, what is valuable is concentration, synthesis, retention of the essential. And what is unique and indivisible occupies flexible spaces, because it knows how to adjust and be taken by who recognizes it and values it.

In reality, space, the area things occupy is a subject that we should discard in its literal comprehension. Dimension and format are details that can be obliterated by unsuspected psycho-affective conditions, allowing us to go beyond static circumscriptions. The configurations they take, some of them almost levitating in the room, between unrestrained walls and open ceilings, transmute, reconvert and appease…sometimes.

They are small and subtle ideas excerpts, sentences that decided to become physical, tired of being [only] concepts – although of great lineage, otherwise their body-work wouldn’t be enough for them.

Evoking Almada Negreiros who, in turn, appealed to Hermes Trimegisto to assist

Summoning Almada Negreiros who, in turn, appealed to Hermes Trimegisto to assist him with the epigraph for Invenção do Dia Claro (Clear Day Invention): “Everything is in everything.” And: “Everything can only stand temporarily – when it’s not ready, we can perfectly tell is not everything yet. ”(NEGREIROS, 1993, p. 21, Free translation) In a certain interpretation, mouldability of glass pieces and the fragrance of ideas that volatilize have this dogma of reversibility and polysemy even though difficulty betrays us… who knows.

The decision, whether conscient or more impulsive, is up to us as happy aesthetic subjects – it will unequivocally dominate the perception of the works. Namely and because:

1. The paths to undertake, when we visit an exhibition, are decided by the visitors. They are dependent on how they move, locate and fixate, it will be possible for them to access different layers of vision, understanding different formal and invisible interpretations of works. The multiplicity of angles must be used to overfly the surface. Through the persistence in the exercise to see, perhaps it is possible to achieve the core of perceptions – although they may be minimal, remembering José Gil [nude images and little-perceptions] – and, therefore, relive the identity of thoughts.

2. Ideas sharpen and, in a centripetal impulse, converge to the glass's tissue and pierced threads, the methodic colouration that can make them thicker or thinner when observed and perceived. Elements are summoned, fed by the alchemy of ideas, and lead a continuous revolution.

3. The clarity of things, as well as of ideas, is not definitive. This means it’s necessary to recognize the fact they are located in a materialization state. It’s a platform for sensitive understanding, created by the action of consecutive poetic differences, caused by the sharpening [of the glance] of the observer-visitor. Works support, carry in themselves – depending on discreet absorption – the glance of the others.

The concepts that run this exhibition evoke the grateful territories of reflection and silence, as mentioned above, aggregated by the light and multiple insinuations that can be attributed to them.


Manuel Bandeira,

“O Rio”, Estrela da Vida Inteira.


In Painting, when representing reflections, translucent transparencies, one must represent and exercise the deceiving similarity. The contemplator is compelled to identify and isolate what is real from what is virtual on the specular surface. In mirrors, which are almost invisible and where everything accumulates, there is indifferent recognition of figures, objects, materials more or less insinuated through percepts-residues. The pictorial surface clings itself to the distorted or refined duplication of the object, being or idea that emits the first image. When approaching transposed, totalled or detailed images that are reverberated in polished or mirrored three-dimensional zones, there’s the need to meet the circumstances of another level of the differentiating paradigm. It seems the upper layer that covers the volume organizes and directs the configuration of the reflection in a consecutive, if not persistent, image. When it comes to perceptions and facts, reflections and reflexes are transmutations mimicked by the incident light, which resolve singularly, whether emanating in 2D or 3D. With sculptures in clear glass, thrown to carved mirrors, a greater and demanding enigma arises. There are symmetries and dissymmetries, the mind mirrors – quoting Richard Gregory’s book title Mirrors in Mind (1997) – are treated as poetic excerpts in sustainable sublimity and levity (contradicting Milan Kundera).

In Sculpture, which is the case, pieces occupy space, converting it into a decisive place, so everything is reviewed and this forces us to successively make conceptual rectifications that are, fortunately, endless for their novelty and quietness.

Mirrors, glasses appropriate of non-colours or pigments. These maintain their privileged condition of hung drop, in plumb line gravitating over the floor, all rambling in sinuosity until they fall in the glance of the spectator or vice-versa.


“Beauty was thus an object that one could touch with one’s fingers, that could be clearly reflected in one’s eyes.”

Yukio Mishima, The Temple Of The Golden Pavilion


We are talking about, of course, about presences so subtle that they almost dissolve in a keener eye.

Words cling to suspended motions, they settle transiently through our glance as it focuses on things, corresponding to ascension and stop impulses – a sort of epoché.

Consequently, one looks forward to the fall that lingers and lasts, a sort of aesthetic perception gliding in light flight. Everything will happen, manoeuvred by the invisible waves of seeing, depending on the spectator who stands before the sculptures and these shine through space in tension with the void. The decision to touch the skin of the works, to feel the cold of the glass after its iridescence is up to the visitor.

Everything, well, almost everything is categorizable: from the issues that are hand in hand with immateriality to the brief difficulty that ennoble the ignorance, appealing, calling for the evidence of the improbable.

Rute Rosas conceived a presentation of works sustained in this “liquid silence”, which Goiás, poet, referred to. The liquid silence solidifies in glass, which shows light and shadow. They are suspended [im]materials. They inspire, shape themselves and hold their breath, waiting for the absence to return. Sculpture pieces become light, subtle, making mistakes in a zone of dissolution that instigates reason.

From one perspective, sculptured figures are absent, invisible bodies dominating the constructs with such intensity and conviction that I find them conversations analogous to Manoel de Barros’ poetic virtuosity. The sinuous shapes of the bonsai cutout excel in the transparency of the untouchable call for silence.

[I associate the dewdrops embodied under light and glass with Brígida Baltar's ephemeral and utopian collections. I’m referring to the process of collecting atmospheric materials: sea breeze, dew and fog. The Brazilian artist undertook wanderings around the mountains, the seafront and the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro between the late 1990s and the early years of the 21st century, which evaporated, leaving the photographs. In the case of the Portuguese artist, the decision is based on the quiet pacification of the glass, the mirror and the threads that remain precarious but resistant in the brief material. Perhaps, in her travels to Brazil and other destinations, Rute Rosas felt the delicacy of small and happy things. Maybe the smallness of knowledge concentrated in such delicacy has - surprisingly - merged into the granitic (and prudent) density of the northern Portuguese lands.

In Rute Rosas's work, the volatile matter is transformed into glass condensation.

There is something that subtly comes from slowness, cumbersome wisdom, this rare condition and privilege to see things, often when you are on the other side of the ocean, and persisting to see them when you return.]

Each one of the pieces, presented by the Sculptor, enters in scene with the dignity of matured sentences.



Universidade do Minho

ISBN: 978-972-8340-19-3