I Promise! | 2011

Year: 2011
Last Presentation: 2015
Number of presentations: 8
Venues: Vitoria/ Curitiba/ Sao Paulo/ Belo Horizonte/ Campinas, Brazil // Boston and Miami, USA
Length: 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Year: 2011
Last Presentation: 2015
Number of presentations: 8
Venues: Vitoria/ Curitiba/ Sao Paulo/ Belo Horizonte/ Campinas, Brazil // Boston and Miami, USA
Length: 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

  • Description

  • About

 

Two steel buckets. One filled with ice and the other one filled with recently boiled water. Between them a big flowerpot made of glass. On one side there are 12 white roses and on the other there is a pile of welding clothes and one water sprayer. I start the performance kneeling in front on the flowerpot, and the steel buckets. I take one rose and start taking its petals dumping them into the bucket with boiled water. While I do this action, I pondered over the phrase: “when I say, “I promise”, I promise an action to somebody”. The thought takes as long as it takes to dump the petals into the bucket. I put my hands into the bucket with ice and right after in the bucket with boiled water, drowning the petals into the boiled water producing rose water. I turn my hands into the bucket with ice and continue to do this action repeatedly. While doing this I recall my reflection about the “I promise”. Soon I empty the bucket with boiled water with the roses into the flowerpot as well as the ice, mixing both. Once filling the flowerpot or after finishing to empty all the boiled rose water, I stand up, and dress the welding protection suit. After having dressed up, I fill the sprayer with the rose water from the flowerpot and begin spraying into the space around me. After spraying, I take off my protection clothes and kneel in front of the rose water pot. The pot still has some rose water in it. I take the pot dump the water over me, drink it and bathe myself ending the performance.

I consider this performance an angular stone in my artistic process. For me it was and still is an innovating work. With it I overcome the development of a simple action and head towards the exploration of more complex actions, although not abandoning the researches done until this moment. 

In this performance, for the first time I work with a text. Not a text learned by heart or interpreted, but a philosophical text, a philosophical argument. In it, I also work with materials of great symbolic potential. With the concern, however, not to give them a superficial understanding focused only to one comprehension. So there is a symbolic potential, but this is not it what defines the work. It is part of the total work, that is, it is part of the artwork as well as the actins developed and the text. 

The performance is about the “I Promise” more than a promise itself. It is a thought on the act of promising something and that the simple act to say “I promise” is in itself an action. And by overcoming its internal philosophical question, the performance itself turns out to be an act of promising, a promise.

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Fernando Ribeiro

Fernando Ribeiro

Performance artist and curator. Lives and works in Curitiba, Brazil. His work is based on exploring the action in a broad sense. He works as curator on p.ARTE and Bienal de Curitiba.