Investigations of a goldfish 965

David Silva Revés

Investigations of a Goldfish

Carlos told me of this little black fish - a studio companion - which had not only imposed a need for its care but which had also determined, precisely because of the commitment in favor of the little creature's physiological rhythm, the creation of another rhythm, this time human - of a daily journey to that place that is so essencial to the artistic practise. A place where though wanders, experimenting the thickness of another time, leaving one’s head and becoming one’s hand, so as to participate free willingly in the assembly of the real. 

If we believe in the indifference that any domestic fish might have towards what is beyond the world of its bowl, we will be sorely mistaken, and realize that Carlos's showed him exactly the opposite. Perhaps out of benign envy, perhaps out of pure contamination of postures and actions, that little black fish also began to transform itself - in its case through the only thing at hand, its own body -, slowly transforming itself into an excellent golden swimmer. 

As Carlos told me, „It was becoming difficult to understand who observed whom“. Both contemplated each other, recognising in the other a similarity whose result they made appear, even if that event was that of an unconscious dialectic. If of the fish's real awareness of this affinity we can say little with due certainty, it is nevertheless more reasonable to imagine Carlos's wonder when he witnessed this color transformation and gradually understood that there was a certain familiarity there, as there was potentially an absolute singularity.

Investigations of a golden fish constitutes, on the same plane, the account of this astonishment, a free decal of the course of that transfiguration and, therefore, the possibility that such an experience may now succeed in us. It is not, however, already that of Carlos's fish, but of the archetype of its movement, in a distancing - which is also a paradoxical approximation - typical of the whole representation. 

But while it’s not the little fish, now golden, which still swims in the aquarium of a studio in Vila do Conde, it is its brilliance that comes to us in these kind of sculptural and glittering totems that we look at and that return our gaze in a dynamic of knowledge, of intercrossed research. And so, if that glow touches us, disempoweringly, and if the immersive atmosphere of this exhibition seems surreal, of an almost lynchian strangeness - entering us in this kind of metaphysical aquarium where the same fish is presented to us in three moments of a mutant alchemy process - it is because the experience of this mutability - that of Carlos, and ours : from the fish - is always, also, the experience of a mystery. It is the presentiment of what happens as an excess within physics and bodies, the understanding of aunfathomability that is, at the same time, the minimum radicality and the most profound force of reality. 

Having seen his fish change, Carlos understood, effective and affectionately, that enigmatic truth that, in the end, is life in the making : changing, metamorphic, transductible - productive. It so happens, freely, in the metamorphosis of the fish, but it also occurs in the alchemical hand of the artist (of which the gold leaf is the most evident product and an absolute sign) that pampers and participates, through his poiesis, in the generative forces of life. As for us, in this show, it takes place in the hapticity of our eyes, in the energies captured in face of what we see and feel, to be integrated into our body and to be split yet again, even if much later, reproducing itself into other ways, bodies and times.


Investigações de um peixe dourado
06.04 – 29.05.2021

Exhibition Text : David Silva Revés
Translation : Henrique Frederico
Photography : Bruno Lopes
Special thanks / Production Support : Artworks
Support : Compete2020 / Portugal 2020