The path of an artist is the unveiling of their intuition. It’s not a defined project but rather the dialogue process between the gesture and the answer of the artwork, which tells what it is. All that remains for the artist is the humility of accepting the work manifestation upon the intuitive gesture.
This exhibition encompasses three distinct modules whose productions were conceived over ten years. When we look at these stories united, we see a trail left on the path. This reveals something about the double meaning of the word surface when read in its different forms: sur_face (over the face) and surface (regarding something’s uppermost layer).
Wickbold’s raw material is the human face and the possibilities of intervening in a portrait as a construction field for a new identity that overlaps the photographed subject, as we see in the Naïve series. In everything Wickbold does, there’s hidden research involved. A legitimate study that stems from the intuition, almost naïve, that the world can still be invented. And it can. If, on the one hand, digital connections challenge the skin as the human body’s largest organ, on the other, we still possess our most powerful antennas on the epidermis. In I Am Online, the artist investigates the friction between the human tissue and the internet tissue, thus revealing layers, noises and some disconnection between what we perceive and how we feel.
The naïveté of human beings who regard themselves as superior to nature is the starting point for this series. The dry, cracked face has no colour; it is the basis for elements such as flowers, fruits, and insects. The frame imposes a limit and reveals only the head, the essential. It represents man's greed. This installation creates an unprecedented and, to a certain extent, disturbing effect. A philosophical expression of man's submission to nature.
I Am Online
The excessive connectivity in social media suffocates the human being, preventing our generation from living in the here and now. We spend most of our time hypnotized, assessing a torrent of information that passes before our eyes. The problem lies in how we hold a dialogue with the truth. This claustrophobic performance aims to represent each one of us. “I_am_online” employs the line to show a sensory experience of colour and texture.
In 2006, I planned an exploratory mission to photograph the people living along the São Francisco River. The 45-day trip from the source to the mouth of Velho Chico (Old Chico) not only yielded my first photographic series – called “Brazilians”– but also became a source of inspiration that kept on shaping my way of seeing colours and textures.
There I met simple, illiterate people forgotten by society. Fighters with light in their eyes struggle to live but have an easy smile. By looking at them, I now understand how much the experience has shaped my view of the world. It produced the spark that would become the foundation for all my subsequent works: THE POWER AND FRAGILITY OF THE HUMAN BEING.