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Text by Ana Clara Silva Director of Exhibitions at Faena Art for the installation 

Into the Great Dying: Waters We Share

Into the Great Dying: Waters We Share is an immersive, site-specific installation by environmental artist Beatriz Chachamovits that addresses climate change, coral bleaching, and plastic pollution. The artist invites viewers to explore the ocean’s floor as they walk through the space and discover detailed elements found in her work that allude to our social impact on the planet.

 

The title makes reference to a term used by scientists to describe Earth’s largest-ever mass extinction that occurred over 250 million years ago—a term now being used to warn about the Anthropocene and what’s ahead. Miami, in particular, is a city very much affected by sea level rise, coral depletion, and ocean pollution; tackling these topics and creating awareness through engaging artwork is a response to this reality. Through her work, Chachamovits encourages the audience to reflect on the fact that how they walk the Earth impacts reef ecosystems, and that in the end, we are all connected.

 

In collaboration with Chachamovits, artist Brett Olivieri has created a soundscape that adds to the experiential environment.

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Text by Salomé Gomez-Upegui for Vogue's  Earth to Us 

Meet the Miami-Based Artist Devoted to Coral Conservation

On a crisp November afternoon, Brazilian artist and marine researcher Beatriz Chachamovits stands before a group of eager children at the Jewish Community Center in Davie, Florida. When she begins by asking, “Does anyone know what a coral is?”, 25 voices chorus back countless answers. Chachamovits smiles, and it’s clear she’s in her element.

This marine-ecology lesson and coral-sculpting workshop is part of Chachamovits’s initiative Modeling the Reef, a public education project for young children in South Florida designed to create awareness around coral-reef conservation. “I want the future stewards of the ocean to fall in love with it,” she tells Vogue.

Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth. They’ve been on the planet for an estimated 500 million years. And though they only make up 1% of the ocean, they’re home to 25% of all known marine species, including turtles, octopuses, lobsters, oysters, sea stars, and thousands of variegated fish. Reefs are essential coastal barriers that provide protection from land erosion, floods, and storms. They are valuable sources of food, medicine, economic support, and cultural heritage to more than a billion people. Yet the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that by 2050 most coral reefs around the world will be close to gone.

Growing up in landlocked São Paulo, Chachamovits didn’t have much access to the ocean during her childhood. It wasn’t until her late- teenage years, during a trip to Bahía, a coastal state in northeastern Brazil, that she first encountered corals up close. “I remember I dove into a tiny underwater cave where the light came in beautifully, making corals of all colors and sizes shimmer,” Chachamovits recalls. “There were small schools of fish and miniature shrimps gathering sea dust. Within the glittering sand, there was a magnificent spotted ray and all sorts of creatures swaying from side to side. I had never witnessed such harmony and precision. At that moment, I realized that was my purpose. I thought, Why isn’t anyone talking about this? I felt transformed.”

Now, the Miami-based artist has devoted her career to educating others about the urgent issues related to coral-reef decline by translating scientific studies into gorgeous artworks. Through breathtaking drawings, sculptures, and installations, Chachamovits illuminates many of the dangers coral reefs confront today, including coral bleaching, plastic pollution, and ocean acidification. “Art is a powerful instrument to make others feel something, to make them care. And I’m interested in creating dry dives as a way of showing a veiled ecosystem that most people don’t have access to,” she explains.

One of her most celebrated artworks, Carcass (2020), is an entirely handmade ceramic piece that features pure white endangered coral species surrounded by camouflaged toothbrushes, water bottles, and other items of trash made from the same material. Despite its undeniable beauty, the mesmerizing milky sculpture conjures feelings of sadness as it illustrates coral bleaching, a devastating phenomenon that has affected more than 75% of the world’s reefs and has been harsh enough to kill 30% of them.

“People often think corals are minerals or plants,” Chachamovits says. “They have no idea that corals are animals.” In fact, she goes on to clarify, corals are colonial organisms composed of thousands of individual animals called polyps. Tropical corals, which live in shallow waters and make up barrier reefs, have a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae algae that live on their tissues, providing food, oxygen, and extraordinary bright colors. In return, corals supply the algae with the environment they need to thrive.

Rising water temperatures due to global warming have deeply affected this relationship by causing severe stress in corals. “When corals are stressed, algae create toxins instead of food, which makes corals expel them out of their tissue. What is left is transparent tissue that reveals the calcareous bones. And that loss of color is what we know as bleaching,” Chachamovits explains. Studies have shown that stabilizing water temperatures could reverse some cases of bleaching. But without algae, corals lose their main source of food and oxygen, become susceptible to disease, and eventually die.

Bleaching is not the only threat coral reefs currently face. To Kill With Water (2017), another piece by Chachamovits, features a series of coral clay figures within water-filled acrylic tanks that, over time, melt before the viewer’s eyes. This work illustrates ocean acidification—a destabilization of the ocean’s pH caused by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere—and demonstrates the effects of CO2 pollution on ocean creatures who, like most corals, require calcium to build their shells and skeletons.

In 2018, Chachamovits moved to Florida to be closer to the third-largest barrier reef in the world. It goes on for more than 360 miles, stretching from Dry Tortugas National Park in Key West to the St. Lucie Inlet in Martin County. This ecosystem, teeming with underwater wonders, is home to around 1,400 species, though today most of the reef is at grave risk due to overfishing, climate change, rapid development, and disease. Chachamovits is currently working on a permanent piece for the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science that will illustrate the changes between a healthy and a struggling reef and highlight endangered species of Florida’s ecosystem, including many the Frost’s Coral Lab is currently working to protect. The artwork is set to be revealed in early 2022.

Chachamovits is intent on effectively using art as an instrument for change. “I always worry if what I’m doing is enough,” she says. The increased threats to coral often fill her with worry and hopelessness. Yet she believes these feelings propel her to create more and better work that has a tangible effect on marine conservation. Beyond stoking awareness and action from her viewers, Chachamovits’s artificial reef sculptures have played a part in rebuilding damaged reefs.

Since 2019, when she created her first artificial reef, To Replenish With Water, for the Underwater Museum of Art in Florida, she has been enamored with these human-made structures meant to be placed under the ocean to mirror actual coral reef environments. “Artificial reefs perform a crucial role in deflating tourism on natural reefs. They provide new structures for corals to attach to and grow, they generate nursing spaces and new homes for reef animals, and help control sea levels in coral depleted areas,” she explains. Though they are highly expensive to make and entail numerous permits to be deployed underwater, Chachamovits’s goal is to share the power of these installations with new generations. She is currently fundraising for the final phase of her Modeling the Reef initiative to result in a large-scale reef model, using pieces created by her students. The installation will ultimately sit at the bottom of the ocean and serve as an artificial base for real coral growth.

Despite the devastating reality corals face today, Chachamovits’s work with young students is one thing that helps her believe in a better future. “Teaching is one of my gifts,” she says. “By teaching, we can inspire younger generations to understand the problems they’re living in today. We are in uncharted territories, so as an environmental artist and a concerned human for our planet, teaching is one of the things I can do to give us a chance.”

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Text by curator and Bakehouse Art Complex Public Programs Manager Laura Novoa for the exhibition 

The Oceans Within 

In the shallow and languishing days of a silhouette summer, Miami-based Brazilian artist Beatriz Chachamovits decided to take an optimistic view of a not-so-optimistic situation. The isolation and detachment she felt from the shelter-in-place order that followed the outbreak of a global pandemic shifted her focus away from the decline of coral reef systems. She began imagining them as flourishing microcosms in a new body of work for her first solo show in the United States.

Coral Pile (2020) shows coral reefs in their kaleidoscopic splendor, a celebration of the diversity and resilience of these marine ecosystems. The artist, a self-motivated marine researcher, created colorful drawings which depict the reefs as lush underwater gardens, enigmatic seascapes of saturated brightness, adorned with smooth ridges, tubular polyps, and textured layers that imbue the works with a sense of movement.

The oceans within brings together Beartriz’s most recent drawings and ceramics from an earlier piece, Carcass (2019/2020), typically installed as an oblong of white corals interspersed with human-made trash over a bed of sand. The whiteness of the clay resembles the skeletal-looking remains of bleached corals that lose their color due to rising ocean temperatures and other environmental stressors. The absence of color in the sculptures and the presence of debris — water bottles, cigarette butts, lighters — imperceptible at first, gives the work an apocalyptic, barren feeling that stands in stark contrast to the untouched vibrancy of C​ oral Pile.

In this exhibition ​Coral Pile ​and ​Carcass ​are not separate, unrelated pieces, but are meant to be viewed as an installation that reflects the cyclical interdependence of life and death. The drawings and sculptures exist within a continuous dialogue, each faced with the daunting possibility of the other: the thriving coral in the drawings faced with the potential of its own extinction, and the starved, white-washed sculptural skeleton with the possibility of rebirth.

Three hand-built ceramic sculptures of Florida’s endangered coral species from the series What remains is fading quickly (2019) are glazed in different hues of deep blue. Bleached corals are not dead; rather their loss of color is a sign of heightened stress. This aesthetic decision to add color to previously white corals, is a nod to the restorative power of nature and of its endurance, despite threats to its existence.

The regeneration inherent in nature is a unifying theme in ​The oceans within a​ and ​is Beatriz’s own hopeful expression and commitment to continue raising awareness of these fragile ecosystems.

Text by Cammila Ferreira for the exhibition

How to dry kill

In times of complex transformations which we live in, engagement with discourse is more than a political act; it is a question of survival.
It’s worth noting, especially in this space, the need to recognize our privileges and face whatever acts will be reflected in the future. After all, art does not only have an aesthetic role, but it also reveals and signifies pertinent messages that are not in our social contemporary consciousness.
Beatriz Chachamovits understood this need, and makes use of her passion of the seabed to extrapolate the possibilities of her artistic production, exercising daily what she believes in.

In light of the complexity of the biological network, where the idea of a system is materialized through organization, repetition and symmetry, her work involves us in a ludic and psychedelic environment to inform, and especially to alert us, about the effects of the environmental harm caused by the actions of men over nature.
The consequences of garbage discarded in the sea, coral bleaching, marine species in extinction; themes of scientific and factual research, are transformed into drawings and sculptures. While they hold a melancholic load of destruction, they are presented as means to a reflection of our own acts while individuals-citizens.
With her work, Beatriz shows us that it’s possible to make use of an artistic language to suggest awareness for the perspective of a future that we desire.

PT

 

Texto de Cammila Ferreira para a exposição

 

Como matar a seco

Em tempos de complexas transformações que vivemos, o engajamento do discurso é mais do que um ato político, é uma questão de sobrevivência.
Cabe, especialmente neste espaço, reconhecer nossos privilégios e encarar que quaisquer atos serão refletidos futuramente, afinal, a arte tem papel não somente estético, mas de revelar e significar mensagens necessárias que não estejam na consciência social contemporânea. 
Beatriz Chachamovits compreendeu essa necessidade, e faz valer-se da paixão pelo fundo do mar para extrapolar as vias da sua produção artística, exercendo diariamente aquilo que acredita.
Diante da complexidade da rede biológica onde a ideia de sistema se materializa através da organização, repetição e simetria, sua obra nos envolve nesse ambiente lúdico e psicodélico para informar, e especialmente, para alertar, sobre os efeitos dos danos ambientais provocados pela ação do homem na natureza.
As consequências do lixo descartado nos mares, o branqueamento dos recifes de corais, as espécies marinhas em extinção; temas de pesquisas factuais e científicas; se transformam em desenhos e esculturas, que embora suportem a carga melancólica da destruição, se apresentam como meios para a reflexão dos nossos próprios atos enquanto indivíduos-cidadãos.
Com sua obra, Beatriz nos mostra que é possível se utilizar da linguagem artística para propor a conscientização da perspectiva de um futuro que desejamos.

Artist’s text for the installation

Marine technical reserve 

Corals are invertebrate animals that live attached to rocks and sediment in the seabed. They come together in huge colonies – called coral reefs, creating the largest living structures on Earth. They have been in existence for more than 500 million years and belong to the same family as the jellyfish and sea anemones. They feed in two ways: through a symbiotic relation with miniscule algae that live inside their tissue and produce sugar through photosynthesis, and secondly by capturing nutrients with their tentacles. Some reefs, like the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, due to its dimension, can be seen from space.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States (NOAA), these ecosystems are very important because they provide protection, shelter, food and nursery to a large part of the sea creatures. It is in this ideal habitat that these sea species develop and reproduce.

The biodiversity present in corals is so vast that it’s even greater than that of tropical forests - even if they cover less than one percent of the ocean floor. They work like filters, and in this condition they are responsible for protecting the coasts from environmental impact generated by erosion, currents, waves and temperatures. Due to their extreme tenderness and sensibility to variations in temperature and water pH, the coral reefs are the first living beings to be affected by environmental destruction produced by humans.   

Currently it’s estimated that 25% of the reefs are past a condition of recovery and that 50% of them are at risk of total collapse. Since the reef is also responsible for protecting the coast, without them many islands will disappear, and waves, currents and temperature won’t have anything to retain their impact on land. In a research conducted in 2013 the World Resources Institute (WRI) revealed that until 2050 all of the coral reefs in the world will have they days numbered.

The disappearance of the largest living system in existence directly affects the lives of 500 million people that depend on the corals to survive. Not only those who live near the coast, but all human beings. Their extinction puts our planet’s health at risk and, consequently, that of human beings, as well as our social-economic dynamics, especially that of fishing, coastal and pharmaceutical activities. It’s worth remembering that the fishing industry offers work to over 38 million people around the world.

With every passing year new methods of using corals for medicine are discovered. They are the basis for a lot medication, including medication in the fight against cancer.

Presented in this room are examples of eleven species, some of which have already died or are in their final condition. White forms that direct us towards a condition of ruin, showing us the reality of an annunciated death.

PT

 

Texto da artista para a instalação 

Reserva técnica marinha

Os corais são animais invertebrados que vivem fixos a rochas e a sedimentos no solo marinho. Juntam-se em enormes colônias - chamadas de recifes de corais, formando as maiores estruturas vivas da terra. Existem há mais de 500 milhões de anos, e pertencem a mesma família das águas-vivas e das anêmonas. Alimentam-se de duas maneiras: por uma relação simbiótica com minúsculas algas que vivem em seus tecidos, e que produzem açúcar por meio da fotossíntese; e na segunda forma capturando nutrientes com seus tentáculos. Alguns recifes, como a Grande Barreira de Corais da Austrália, por sua dimensão, podem ser vistos do espaço.

De acordo com a Administração Nacional Oceânica e Atmosférica dos Esta- dos Unidos (NOAA), esses ecossistemas são muito importantes por que fornecem proteção, abrigo, alimento e berçário para a grande maioria dos seres marinhos. É nesse habitat ideal que essas espécies marinhas se desenvolvem e se reproduzem.

A biodiversidade presente nos corais é tão vasta que chega a ser maior que a das orestas tropicais, mesmo que eles cubram menos de um por cento dos solos oceânicos. Eles funcionam como um ltro e, nesta condição, são responsáveis por proteger as costas dos impactos ambientais gerados por erosão, correntes, ondas e tempestades. Devido a sua extrema delicadeza e sensibilidade à variação da tem- peratura e do ph da água, os recifes de corais são os primeiros seres vivos a serem afetados pela destruição ambiental produzida pelo homem.

Atualmente estima-se que 25% dos recifes já não tem condições de se recuperar e, 50% deles estão em risco de colapso total. Já que o recife também é re- sponsável por proteger a costa, sem eles muitas ilhas irão desaparecer, as ondas, as correntes e as tempestades não terão nada para segurar seu impacto na terra. O Instituto mundial de recursos (WRI) revelou, em uma pesquisa feita em 2013, que até 2050 todos os recifes de corais do mundo estarão com seus dias contados.

O desaparecimento do maior sistema vivo que existe, afeta diretamente a vida de 500 milhões de pessoas que dependem dos corais para sobreviver. Não só daqueles que vivem perto da costa, mas todos os seres humanos pois a extinção deles coloca em situação de alto risco saúde do planeta e, por consequência, dos seres humanos, assim como a própria dinâmica socioeconômica, principalmente de atividades de pesca, costeiras e farmacêutica. Vale lembrar que a indústria da pesca oferece emprego para mais de 38 milhões de pessoas ao redor do mundo.

A cada ano que passa são descobertos novos meios de uso dos corais pela medicina. Eles são a base de muitos medicamentos, inclusive no combate ao câncer.

Nesta sala são apresentados exemplares de onze espécies, dentre aquelas dos que já morreram, em sua condição final. Brancas formas que nos apontam para a condição da ruína, que nos apontam para a realidade de uma morte anunciada.

Text by Galciani Neves for the exhibition

 

​Siphonophorae: The fantastic encyclopedia of the bottom of the sea

The desire for exploration inebriates men: the word, the ship, the compass, the drawing, all was invented for them to go beyond, to discover the unusual, to face the incredible. While the universe is their territory, there are no limits in their utopic maps; the insatiable yearning to drive their body everywhere runs in their veins. They always dream of going beyond and regressing with the conquest of a far away description, so far away it barely even exists, not to say that it’s almost impossible.

The sea is Beatriz Chachamovits’ distant universe. It is there that she goes, guided by a poetic impulse and eager for unpredictable encounters with beings that do not walk over land. And when she returns, much like a historian with a flare for adventure, she creates through drawings a visuality of fantastic forms, that do not pretend to be real. The artist extends through visual fictions the lives of beings that she thinks she has seen. Her archives of annotations from trips to the bottom of the sea wander through her memories, affective and nebulous, regarding the aquatic latitudes she has attended.

The title Siphonophora brings the name of an order of hydrozoans – a species of marine invertebrates that resemble a medusa, but are in fact, colonies of many individuals. They conceptually substantiate the artist’s choices for experimentation in the field of drawing, which not only defines itself as two-dimensional, but also flirts with the language of installation. It is about the use of space in which the drawing happens individually, within the limits of the frame at the same time that they behave like objects; with the possibility of delineating an exhibitive whole open to the flow from its visitors.

​In the solo exhibition Siphonophora: the fantastic encyclopedia of the bottom of the sea, the artist invites us to an expedition through the depths of the ocean, narrating a slower, denser place. Diving in the hydrosphere that she built requires that one allow themselves to be led by volatile tides, by an imaginary topography where everything floats slowly and with no destination, without pause. Contemplate this geography, stare at the shoals, the scales and these creature’s skins: are they plants, are they animals, are they islands? Gills, fins, tails? Or roots, stems and leaves?

​Beatriz Chachamovits’ beings cannot be classified into definitive species. They are fantastically ambivalent. If by chance with a magnifying glass we can fixate a glance, it’s possible to verify that there are immense populations coexisting within their differences in exchange of tasks for their own survival. In another way, if it is from afar that we see the composition of these marine hives, we in fact believe that we recognize these creatures, a whale, a shark, a sea horse!

They’re idyllic textures, illusionistic lines, outlines that border on the oneiric. And drawing is the artist’s tool of circumscription. While the sculptures, her most recent experimentations, blaze through the exhibitive space and are sensitive collections of these environments, details cutout from a complex whole that for now, happen three-dimensionally. In her processes of creation, Beatriz Chachamovits addresses the marine theme with surreal aspects to build a non-analogous version to nature: invention, mythology, like a fictitious encyclopedia, much like Jorge Luis Borges’ imaginary beings, and Guimarães Rosa’s third bank.

PT

Texto de Galciani Neves para a exposição 

Siphonophora: A enciclopédia fantástica do fundo do mar


O desejo de explorar inebria o homem: a palavra, o barco, a bússola, o desenho, tudo inventou para ir além, para conhecer o insólito, para encarar o incrível. Ainda que o universo seja seu território, que não haja limites em seus mapas utópicos, corre nos veios  do homem a ânsia insaciável de fincar o corpo por toda parte. Sonha em ir sempre além e regressar com a conquista da descrição de um longe, que quase nem existe de tão distante, que quase não se diz sobre de tão impossível. 

O mar é o universo distante de Beatriz Chachamovits. É para lá que se manda, guiada por um impulso poético, ávida por encontros imprevisíveis com seres que não andam sobre a terra. E quando retorna, tal como um historiador com graças de aventureiro, fabula em desenhos uma visualidade de formas fantásticas, que não se pretendem reais. A artista prolonga em ficções visuais a vida dos seres que pensa ter avistado. Seu arquivo de anotações das viagens ao fundo do mar vagueiam por suas memórias afetivas e nebulosas acerca das latitudes aquáticas que frequentou.

O título  Siphonophora traz o nome de uma ordem de hidrozoários - uma espécie de invertebrados marinhos que se assemelham a medusas, mas são, na verdade, colônias de muitos indivíduos; e conceitualmente fundamenta as escolhas da artista por uma experimentação no campo do desenho, que não se define apenas como bidimensional, mas flerta com a linguagem instalativa. Trata-se de um usufruto do espaço em que o desenho ocorre individualmente, nos limites da moldura, ao mesmo tempo em que se comporta como objeto, como possibilidade de delinear um todo expositivo aberto aos fluxos de seus visitantes.

Na mostra individual  Siphonophora: a enciclopédia fictícia do fundo do mar, a artista nos convida a uma expedição pelas profundezas do oceano, narrando um lugar mais lento, mais denso. Mergulhar na hidrosfera que construiu requer deixar-se levar por marés volúveis, por uma topografia imaginária onde tudo flutua ao redor vagarosamente sem rumo, sem pausa. Contemple esta geografia, afite os cardumes, as escamas e as peles dessas criaturas: são plantas, são bichos, são ilhas? Guelras, nadadeiras, caudas? Ou raízes, caules e folhas? 

Os seres de Beatriz Chachamovits não se classificam em espécies definitivas. São fantasticamente ambivalentes. Se por acaso com lupa lhe cerramos um olhar, é possível verificar que há imensas populações convivendo em suas diferenças, em permuta de tarefas para a própria sobrevivência. Por outro lado, se é da composição ao longe que avistamos essas colméias marítimas, cremos mesmo que reconhecemos a criatura: uma baleia, um tubarão, um cavalo marinho! 

São texturas idílicas, linhas ilusionistas, contornos que beiram o onírico. E o desenho é a ferramenta de circunscrição da artista. Enquanto as esculturas, sua mais recente experimentação, que flamejam no espaço expositivo, são recolhas sensíveis desses ambientes, detalhes recortados de um todo complexo, que ocorrem por hora tridimensionalmente. Em seus processos de criação, Beatriz Chachamovits aborda o tema marítimo com aspectos surreais para construir uma versão não análoga da natureza: invenção, mitologia, tal como uma enciclopédia fictícia, tal como os seres imaginários de Jorge Luis Borges, tal como a terceira margem de Guimarães Rosa.

Text by Rafaela Mendes Ferreira

 

A deep sea surrounds us all around. In the horizon, we can see a glimpse of the reason for this exhibition that started a few years ago and we don’t know if it’ll have an end: they’re the floating islands. The reason for this journey is to find another world where the floating islands are the first proof that it exists. It’s a small archipelago that loosely wanders through the open sea. Each island is totally different from the other; we had never seen anything like it before. We still don’t know if there is life in these islands.

As we approach them, we notice a strange movement and are surprised to discover that all the islands are animated. From the sand to the plants, everything is moving. When we disembark, we are welcomed by carnivorous plants. From small to medium sizes, despite their seemingly unfriendly appearance, they show themselves to be harmless. After a bit of research we discover that the nectar produced by these species does not have a reproductive function, but rather, only serves to create visual reactions in their potential predators. When looking directly at them we are overwhelmed with a feeling of déjà vu that only dissipates when we look away. However, if we keep looking, we are taken to a sort of hypnosis.

This is the beginning of the trip proposed by Beatriz Chachamovits. Starting from drawing, the artist creates ecosystems that factually unveil themselves over themselves. An island is an animal, which is a plant, which is an island. An attentive look will realize that each glance is a new possibility: new creates emerge, and outlines get filled in. The macro and the micro find themselves creating new landscapes and imaginary topologies, bringing a new element every time.

Anne Cauquelin, in her book At the corner of all possible worlds, states that “the possibility that there exists various worlds beyond our own is a theme frequently evoked since Antiquity. The multiplicity of worlds is a hypotheses so (or so little) plausible as that which makes us bet in only one world.” It is through these possibilities of existence of other worlds that the beings invented by the artist appear, uniting science, fiction and action.

The universe permeated by Chachamovits’ work brings biological elements like the fossil and microscopic submarine lives to transform them into schemes where the absurd gives light to a fantastic ecosystem. Thus, the mark unfolds to reach other surfaces and dimensions. The investigation about nature becomes an investigation about the possible: from paper to sculpture, the artist gives us clues on how each element is in itself the whole. At the same time that the totality, be it of the work of art or life itself, is almost intangible.

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Texto de Rafaela Mendes Ferreira 

 Um mar azul profundo nos cerca por todos os lados. No horizonte, já conseguimos vislumbrar a razão desta expedição que teve início há alguns anos e não sabemos se terá fim: são as ilhas flutuantes.  A razão dessa viagem é encontrar um outro mundo e as ilhas flutuantes são a primeira prova de que ele existe. É um pequeno arquipélago que vaga solto pelo mar aberto. As ilhas são totalmente diferentes umas das outras, nunca tínhamos visto algo parecido. Ainda não sabemos se há vida nestas ilhas. 

À medida que nos aproximamos, notamos uma movimentação estranha e ficamos surpresos ao descobrir que todas as ilhas são animadas. Desde suas areias até as plantas, tudo se move. Quando desembarcamos, somos recebidos pelas plantas carnívoras. De pequeno e médio porte, apesar de sua aparência pouco amistosa, elas se mostram inofensivas. Depois de alguns estudos descobrimos que o néctar produzido por estas espécies não tem função reprodutiva, servindo única e exclusivamente para criar reações visuais nos seus possíveis predadores. Ao olhar diretamente para elas fica-se tomado por um sentimento de déjà vu que só passa quando afastamos a vista. No entanto, se continuamos olhando, somos levados à uma espécie de hipnose.

Este é o começo da viagem que Beatriz Chachamovits nos propõe. A partir do desenho, a artista cria ecossistemas que se desvelam fractalmente sobre eles mesmos. Uma ilha que é um bicho, que é uma planta, que é uma ilha. O olhar atento perceberá a cada mirada uma nova possibilidade: surgem outras criaturas, os contornos viram preenchimento. O macro e o micro se encontram, criando paisagens e topologias imaginárias, trazendo a cada vez um elemento novo.

Anne Cauquelin, em seu livro No ângulo dos mundos possíveis, coloca que “a possibilidade de que existam vários mundos além do nosso é um tema frequentemente evocado desde a Antiguidade. A multiplicidade dos mundos é uma hipótese tão (ou tão pouco) verossímil como aquela que leva a apostar num mundo único.” Através dessas possibilidades de existência de outros mundos que os seres inventados pela artista surgem, unindo ciência, ficção e ação.

O universo permeado pelo trabalho de Chachamovits traz elementos biológicos, como os fósseis e as vidas microscópica e submarina, para transformá-los em esquemas onde o absurdo dá luz a um ecossistema fantástico. Assim, o traço se desdobra para alcançar outras superfícies e dimensões. A investigação sobre a natureza torna-se uma investigação sobre o possível: do papel à escultura, a artista nos dá pistas de como cada elemento é em si o todo. Ao mesmo tempo que a totalidade, seja da obra de arte seja da própria vida, é quase intangível.