Centro Universitário Maria Antônia
São Paulo, 2003
Lead is heavy. But what virtue does lead have if not its weight? If that weight suffers, it reveals its malleability. Pummeled with mallets or submitted to the mass of stone, the transformed surface allows itself to yield. The lead is deformed, assuming a shapeless, crumpled, pleated bulk.
A surface engraved by pummeling, with the marks of its submission. A grave material flattened by the weight of the world, beaten down, no longer apt for the more resolute structurations of other metals. A crude material, opaque, of lax cohesion, characterless, something unsuited to sculpture. If it does not weigh, separate or divide, it isolates so that nothing can pass through it with ease.
Yet it also gathers up, lets the thing nestle in its bed, without sliding off, without clanging attrition.
The platform Vilela’s pieces take from this uncertain metallic virtue restores us to the sculptural field in variable form.
Combining experiences that emerge when placed in relation, through unusual affinities, the materials present themselves as exterior to one another. Something strange comes of these contacts and partings, this awakening of clashing qualities. Within them resides an inconclusive sedimentation, a resting that delays, a slow settling of things, a vagrancy in the resting of bodies upon and against each other. These new pieces treat weight and contact in diverse ways, experiencing the stone and cement without the earlier encrustations of metal, which integrated them under duress. Their far more geological fixity results from a depositing of layers, a reciprocity of rock falls, the brute solidarity of things abandoned to their own devices.