Silent Landscapes: A Comparative Approach to José Leonilson and Louise Bourgeois


Authors
Ana Lucia Beck
King's College London
Abstract
One of the most characteristic features of Comparative Literature in terms of methodological practice is that of operating in “in between” spaces. Not only does this feature suggest the comparative approach as something which originates through movement, thus making it imperative for the researcher to deal with the notion of mobility, it also characterizes many of the concepts with which it operates. Considering the possibility, as well as the fertility, of practicing this methodology in the analysis and critique of contemporary visual art, we understand that it fits the analysis of any enterprise regarding the in-betweens of visual and verbal texts. These fundamental aspects were elected for a comparative analysis of two visuals artists whose œuvres operate in in-between spaces between the visual and the verbal as much as between the self and the Other. José Leonilson (Brazil 1957-1993) and Louise Bourgeois (France/EUA 1911-2010) reveal, through a comparative analysis, creative and constitutive actions which elaborate a space we could best understand through the image of a seaside landscape where the line we try to draw to divide the saltwater from the sand never stands. But, in what manners could the constituted poetic space created by them be of significance for a broader spectrum than the literary interest? In our understanding, Leonilson’s and Bourgeois’s poetics operate through a silent hearing of the Other, might that be their loved ones, the stone or cloths. This conceptual notion, required for the creative action, thus establishes a particular notion of balance between them and the Other. It is this precise aspect that also operates the mobility of the notion of love through their œuvre, and through the election of personal emotional narratives as the thriving force for creation. And what could be more needed nowadays, here as elsewhere, than considering together with Leonilson’s and Bourgeois’ images that love shall be the perpetual moving space that at times nears, and later distances us from each other?
Keywords Creative Process  Contemporary Art  Jose Leonilson  Louise Bourgeois  Clarice Lispector
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