There is a yearning for novelty that is turning to a kind of sickness which stops people seeing anything that is older than six months, therefore as if there is no past or at least no real interest in what happened before. The period of time dedicated to produce, investigate, create and to present any kind of work is shorter and shorter and all this effort seems to be useless as it appears to be soon forgotten. Or perhaps what’s happening is that the frequency of our memory is reducing and we have to adjust to this new pace.
Back in the early 90’s at the beginning of his career Daniel Chust Peters (São Paulo, 1965) decided to work and to develop his practice around a unique concept, playing with the sole idea of reproducing the architectural frame of his atelier and nothing else. Consequently he had this plan and decided to make the most of it, thus unfolding a body of work which emerged from what can also be understood as a playful and captivating thought of youth. Over the past years the artist transformed the specific volume of his studio in any sort of objects, tools, elements and even other spaces but always keeping the form of the place in which he worked at any particular moment, but not only, occasionally his real atelier was employed as a set for different representations and common situations related to the art practice.
The work and the position of an artist who plays with the same idea over and over again might be considered anachronistic nowadays, but it is also a question of resistance and deep compromise with their own principles. The artist puts himself in an uncomfortable and difficult situation in which he has to rethink and to reconsider constantly his own practice, also in order to remain faithful to this initial commitment and belief. As it happens in “The Mountain Magic” by Thomas Mann, time seems suspended and expanded when you look in retrospective at Daniel’s artistic approach. An endeavor always determined by this primary concept to which Daniel is on purpose constrained and which has to be developed with little change.
Along these more than 25 years the artist’s atelier has been presented in an ongoing exercise or methodic procedure which is far more complex than what might be perceived in a first or shallow approach to the work.The significant point of conceptual coherence across Daniel’s decades of work is also a point of significant formal coherence which can now be comprehended with a certain perspective and above all extraordinarily well documented.
L’Air de Rien gathers a selected group of important works from this initial period of Daniel’s career, a few seminal pieces which are significant in order to fully understand this very personal journey undertaken by the artist a long time ago. Works which will help to contextualize his oeuvre in this rich, convulsive and unstable current period, where confusion seems to reign and where there is nor patience nor time “to see”. In addition and accompanying the works it will be on display for the first time, the archive or documentation generated by the artist from the very beginning of each project to its end.
Every file starts with the title which always defines the work and it is followed by incipient ideas, sources of information and inspiration, the former sketches and the technical drawings made by the artist with precise detail in order to build every work. On diverse occasions we also find photographs of the installation process or the work “resting” in his atelier. In a certain manner every archive seems like a parallel and independent work, like a sort of book of instructions where technique and logic meets poetry, and where Daniel has liberated his imagination allowing himself to play with extraordinary joy [plus irony]. There is also another special particularity that might be interesting to mention, these perfectly organized files don’t end when the work is finished, the artist will continue to add new information and other suggestions, illustrations, drawings or notes even years after the work is made and has already been exhibited.
This meticulous way of working favours the finding of details even in the details of every work, perhaps it might be all about this primary idea that the artist had in his early twenties “I reproduce my studio”, but every piece is full of different references which work like a sort of hypertext, leading the spectator to diverse experiences which open the possibility to explore and to get lost in this “unlimited” space of Daniel Chust Peters atelier.