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Concrete Material

Mario Ramiro

There was a point where Lucia Koch was disturbed by the fact that most of the approaches to her works took them only as an expression of atmospheric changes on spaces and the alterations that light, modulated by filters, produced on human perception. Though these readings related to a sensorial quality are quite reasonable, they don’t consider that the works have their origin in a more speculative thought, propositions with both logical and concrete dimensions. The question is that the focus of these works is not on their sensual or ethereal condition, projected on skin, body or space, but the perceptual structures made visible in situations created in architectural spaces and elements like doors, skylights, windows, roofs, “cobogós” and walls.

Lucia works on the spaces she occupies with clear and distinct concepts, like “concrete material” – refering to materials from the realm of modern mathematics that, once organized, become tools to build fundamental notions in the learning of logical operations. However, the work is not trying to bring the beauty of mathematical structures into the field of art. What is revealed is the phenomenon of perception presented as problem. 

Her photomontages, recombining images of façade tiles, are a good example of the way the problems are faced: the animation “Olinda – Celeste” (collaboration with the peruvian artist Gabriel A. Velarde), based on pictures of tiles found at the historical city of Olinda, simulates a camera moving along them in an apparently predictable way. But the movements don’t converge to a logical axis that “explains it all”. On the contrary, we perceive the surface of images as discontinuous and not changing according to what is expected. It is as if in a short period of time the patterns that were visible in a certain area reappear in an unlikely place, escaping logic. We find ourselves frustrated for not anticipating or seeing a narrative sense in the animation. 

In some recent works, the artist has extended that sensorial dimension inherent to most of her works. Places that have their natural light filtered or eletrically illuminated keep affecting people’s senses. And they react to it, as it happened in the piece called “Clube Internacional do Recife”  where diffusion and color correction filters and a new set of lightbulbs were installed over the skylight of a museum. Lucia operated a 12 channels digital mixer to make the lights flash according to the rythm of the DJ’s set playing, creating a party atmosphere. The audience’s physical reaction to those rythms was so strong that the old structure of the museum building was put in danger, forcing the “luminosonic” piece to be interrupted early in that opening night.