Thiago Honório

Pau-Brasil is a sculpture referencing Oswald de Andrade’s 1925 classic of Brazilian modernist literature of the same title. De Andrade’s work demands the resuscitation of “Brazilian” language and culture, advocating for the cultivation of invention and an illogical, “agile and candid” attitude. In response, Thiago Honório’s work takes the physical form of a laquered stalk of the pau brasil tree, from which de Andrade’s work drew its title, piercing the physical form of the book itself. Pau brasil wood was highly valued in Europe, giving the work a cyclical quality in it’s juxtaposition of text-based conceptual commodity (made out of paper, the dessicated product of trees) pierced by a physical, natural commodity of the tree itself. This is a fitting meta-synopsis of de Andrade’s work, given his advocacy for a regionalized, pure art, eschewing a photographic or naturalistic approach. What emerges in Honório’s work is a miasmatic sculpture, capriciously representing the complexity of Brazilian literary history and its material aftermath.

Brazil-based artist Thiago Honorio’s primarily sculptural practice takes found or commodified objects and creates complex, visually unusual representations that manipulate the chosen materials against their “intended” purposes. The resulting sculptures reverberate with the past lives of their materials: amongst their contradictory uses, they further develop a matrix of contact between disparate bodies of knowledge and temporalities. Honorio uses his sculptures to develop multimodal but specific references to Brazilian history and its multitude of cultures and contexts, emphasizing the construction of new potentialities from the discarded commodities of the past.