A short talk to the ones that do not know and to the ones who believe that “there isn’t any blue prince in the pink elephant”

João Baeta, Porto, Março 2008


Let us start by analysing the name of the exhibition “there isn’t any blue prince in the pink elephant” that Rute Rosas exhibits in Espaço Ilimitado in Oporto. Before anything else, it is strange, however familiar. It reminds us of a lullaby story we tell children before they go to sleep. Is the whole sentence a statement of impossibility and uncertainty? It is an image taken from a tragic-comic story, with a burlesque tone, as if reality painted itself of colours that represent sadness and dream (blue and pink). Let us look at the expression; I’m blue, let us remind the American dream and the meaning that is attributed to blue in a certain context and Anglo-Saxon imaginary. Let us also revisit the images of the satirical ballet Dance of the Hours in the film Fantasy of Walt Disney (1940) with music with the same name by Amilcare Ponchielli, where a group of different animals represents the different hours of the day. We realise it is necessary to disclose, to understand, to digest. That nothing it is what it seems. And what do we come across in the exhibition? We enter in a scenery: true or false? Is it real or fictional? We understand that we enter in a house without a human being. Half-opened empty furniture, dry bunches of roses, embroideries, wires and needles, white carnations, liquors and biscuits, television set on without emission (pink noise)… What has happened here, in this home? Maybe it is an abandoned castle. Joy, pleasure, isolation and solitude, malaise, pain, abandonment…? Then, though the body is absent, why is its presence even strongly felt? It is not here! How? Hasn’t Rute Rosas as essential centre of her speech, the body itself? The body is exceeded when it does not exist. It is changed into memory that does not belong to the artist but to the spectator. We realise that we can be, only be. Without intending to create any type of convention or to determine the way as the spectator will have to observe, to feel the work, Rute Rosas creates the conditions that do not inhibit or camouflage affective sensorial memories that obviously will be different from spectator to spectator. It is this question, which reflects, in a more evident way, differences in her approach and speech. Now, Rute Rosas does not attribute to the spectator or admirer a comfortable place.


Text written for the exhibition “there isn’t any blue prince in the pink elephant”, Espaço Ilimitado, Oporto, April/May 2008.