Tunga (1952–016) explored alchemy, psychoanalysis, science and philosophy. Over four decades, he created a unique mythology, in which the issue of immutability and transformation are fundamental. Never before exhibited in Brazil, the installation Eu, Vocêe a Lua (2015) (Me, You and the Moon) was one of the last major works completed by the artist and is presented from August 9 to January 28, 2024, at the Sala de Vidro (Glass Room) of the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo). The exhibition is endorsed by the Tunga Institute.
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“In Tunga’ poetic reasoning, what is on planet Earth or outside, the internal and external, like me, you and the moon, become an indivisible entirety” reflects Cauê Alves, chief curator of MAM, in the text accompanying the work.
Eu, Você e a Lua (Me, You and the Moon) brings together recurring elements of his oeuvre, such as stones, mirrors, bottles in crystal, plaster or resin, and plates suspended in arcs and rods. The core of the installation is formed by a large, hollow and petrified tree trunk, supported by two tripods. Under the shadow cast by the work in the Glass Room, an amber trails almost the entire length of the trunk. The mirrors that compose the work reflect quartz bottles from above and from below.
“The fossil of a tree trunk that remains intact, suspended in time, coexists with the essence of ember. This wood infused fragrance releases drops, as if an hourglass were marking time passing and the transformation of matter. Resorting to the smell and vision, the original and prehistoric elements in the work by Tunga merge with the contemporary and the ephemeral presence of the fragrance” explains Cauê Alves.
The work is shown at MAM as it was originally exhibited in France in 2015, at the Center d’rts et de Nature, in Domaine de Chaumont-
Tunga used to imagine the human body rebuilt from landscape and for this reason he assembled disparate elements to create a new sensibility. “ call this the ‘ountenance of the moon’ What is at play here is the transmutation of the act of viewing into perfume” stated the artist in an article by Myriam Boutoulle, “unga, l’mour, la lune et l’rbre alchimique,”published in 2015.
Exhibition 09 August.2023 -
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Tunga, Eu, Você e a Lua' (Me, You and the Moon), 2015. Private collection. Installation view, Glass Room at the Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, 2023. Photo: Ding Musa. Image licensed by Instituto Tunga.