An error usually arises as a result of a misunderstanding or a lapse. It is the occurrence of an unexpected act, an inaccuracy not foreseen originally. Graphic arts small errors are observed in printing, which may be out of registration, with a thinner color or a problem in the array that leaves an unfinished appearance. Rather than take little mistakes as part of the process, Ana Calzavara makes them become an expressive resource. This could be a contradiction, if the goal is to reach the error, it could not be considered a failure but an end, the actual purpose of a project. However, the artist explores some errors in their inherent tension and potency as their language elements.
This appreciation for small imperfections reveals, in fact, an operation to give voice to chance, to fray the rules, what is beyond the programmed. So, all the little unimportant errors become the key in her poetic. This way errors are precisely technical achievements, sometimes predicted, sometimes unforeseen, becoming the real intention of recognizing the quality of minor defects. Since Modernism there is no right or wrong in art and Ana Calzavara’s work investigates the "error" as a production strategy.
Landscapes are very common in the artist’s printed gravures and photographs. Despite being a genre traditionally connected to specific spaces what draws attention in her work is how time becomes little by little the protagonist. Meanwhile, sometimes the landscape does not reveal itself completely. The emphasis given to the passage from frame to frame links her work to cinema. However, in cinema the illusion of movement is created by projecting 24 immobile images each second. In Small unimportant errorsthere is another time perception.
Six images taken of six different angles placed separately side by side but not in sequence. The gap between each two of them creates the illusion of a lapse of time or brakes. The images are organized almost like a kaleidoscope set from a mirrored geometric structure. Branches of the trees cross one another, reflect themselves and sometimes they give the illusion of continuity. In the nearest time this illusion fades away and chaos comes up as well as small unevenness breaking pictures alignment. The other work (The pulse of all time) joins the same six pictures superposed. This way the layers interweave, connect themselves, drift away from each other and create many lights and textures. It is like this superposition could bring about a time of condensation in spite of the dispersion caused by the previous images. Everything begins to happen at the same moment, at the same place, like a dense and blurred sum of images. There is no gap between frames, considering a continuous sequence, as in cinema, but a procedure which retains everything in just one place, the paper. Thus the artist creates dimensions which could not be possible with each image singly.
In Hopscotch, Ana Calzavara works with a sequence of images using as a starting point one single photograph which is repeated and transformed. It is about the sequence of the same event, at the moment in which a part of a tree shows up before a monochromatic sky. The emphasis is in figure-background or negative-positive relationships, as one of these elements could become the other. In some moments there is a pause which brings the background forwards no matter if it is the white or ocher color of the walls, the black or gray color of the printed papers. The intercalated empty parts and monochromatic planes in the gravure sequence work as breathing elements to the kit as well as integrates it to the exhibition room. Two prints with small misfits, somehow unregistered, also contribute to confer to the work an inexact game of reckoning, as a dialectic without synthesis. The first one is the negative-positive images overlapping, in which opposite chromatic elements do not overturn each other and remain pulsating. The other one presents a xylography printed on a photograph. The resulting stain garbles the image as well as confers movement and three-dimensionality to it.
Ana Calzavara’s work deals with image ruptures and continuities. The artist works sometimes with juxtaposition of elements, sometimes merging hues. In a four print sequence of a colored landscape it is like the same image becomes another due to the position where it is placed in the work. This effect reminds the travelling cinema, which is a camera displacement in the scenario. However, the result is similar to a panoramic view, in which the camera turns around its own horizontal axis. Small interferences made by the artist make us realize we are moving around the same scene and we become the starting point.
A vulture flying in circles over a soccer goal post on a random beach is the purpose of an eight cinematographic landscapes made in xylography. It is like the same print could bring about a different angle of the same scene. Same elements are permutable and appear in different prints creating each image as unique. Even considering that the scene is not nocturnal, it is not about a bright and sunny vision, but a sunset light, nightfall. The ocher tone, bright and dark at the same time, prevails. It is like cutting the same occurrence in different planes and takes. We have a distant perception as in a flight, something different from the angle of those who live on the earth. The angles are backward as if they could be omniscient a could capture all the loneliness and melancholy of the world.
The same emptiness and silence atmosphere reappears in Conte d’amour, which also brings about fragments, but in this case the parts fit to each other and become a unique panel. It is a gravure which has an initial image a small drawing, but brings together something about language of painting with its vibrating colors. Landscape and human figure live together and highlight a contemplative sate of spirit.
The artist’s big self-portrait with her eyes closed indicates a turn-around herself, as a search for an interior image of herself. The self-reflection as a return to the subjectivity is, at the same time, a self-encounter, with the others e with the space around, even if they do not completely coincide to each other. A similar space mismatch may be found in a sum of two xylography matrixes and photography printed on methacrylate. It is precisely the inaccuracy in the registration, a lack of full coincidence of the images which configures the ‘small error’.
Reproductive means, either manual or mechanical, always deals with restatement. Every copy must be identical to the other. But the artist, also responding the excessive use of technicality which rules the modern world, prefers to work in a more human way in a repetition that is not completely finished, since it is on purpose becoming little by little. As a butterfly effect, small unimportant errors, unnoticed to the naked eye may generate a tsunami. But the repetition of a gesture, inside of itself, generates differences, lacks of standard procedures or minimal mismatches.
Despite the absolute, what matters is the fragility and vulnerability. The experimentation in the artist’s work feeds of the unknown, of what will be put to test and, therefore, what is not yet recognizable as institutionalized values. Ana Calzavara runs away from maximum completeness which tends to be sterile, stagnant and it is not open to the future or even the world’s unfinishing. The small unimportant errors are responsible to make her work fruitful and permit it to be developed until the infinity.
Translated by: José Estrada