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Pivô, São Paulo, Brazil
June 4, 2017 – September 2, 2017
Pivô’s Hello Again program aims to introduce the space and to welcome the visitor. The title is inspired by the homonymous work by the Israeli artist Haim Steinbach, which welcomes the visitor at the same time in which a reencounter is celebrated. The space, located at Pivô’s reception, is the transitional room between Copan’s pedestrian street and the institution’s interior, and functions as an exhibition space, that serves as showcase and launching platform for projects by emerging artists.
On the program’s first edition in 2017, Dan Coopey presents his new project: Interiors. Based in London, the artist was in the city for about two months developing the works inside the studio’s space and artistic residencies of the institution.
Coopey’s sculptural practice is intimately connected to his choices in terms of materials and techniques. The rattan is one of the key materials of his practice, this fiber is derived from palm trees, and used on the fabrication of interwoven artifacts destined for domestic use like furniture and baskets. Basketry practice is ancient , it’s origins are hard to trace, so as what triggered it’s spread throughout the world. What interests the artist is precisely the material’s lack of credentials along with it’s neutral aspect.
These baskets are made to attend the specific demands of each tribe, their format, size and weaving techniques vary according to their use and region of origin. By handling these objects, Coopey detaches them from their utilitarian dimension, geographical origins and any symbolic value they might have, therefore, these found artifacts start to be a part of his peculiar formal vocabulary.
This is the second time Dan Coopey spends a long period in São Paulo. During his first stay, in 2016, he was drawn to the fact that many people considered his work as ‘Brazilian’ and later were surprised when realizing those objects were in fact made by a young British artist. Teased by this situation, the artist decided to depart from the actual objects he use to look at during his research period – the indigenous baskets. For this show, Coopey started to tie these found artifacts to the structures that he builds applying his particular weaving methods.
This meticulous gesture, raises a number of questions such as the boundaries between the art object and craftsmanship, the current purpose of indigenous handmade artifacts (many made only for decorative purposes), the transition from manual techniques to industrial manufacturing and above all, Coopey’s new work highlights the relationship between a particular vernacular technique or modality of craftsmanship and its culture of origin in the globalized word. This is an especially relevant subject at a time when cultural appropriation became a complex and controversial discussion.