It all started with my participation in a event held by students where I had the idea of carrying on an instructive agitation with the theme that bothered and still bothers me: the personal identity before the other. A recurring theme, could be said. Grace VanderWall, for exemple, in 2016 at age 12, begins a career aimed at success singing her original I Don't Know my Name.
I don't know why but this idea claimed to be based in a urn. A box or crate where secret things are to be deposited and kept until the right moment arrives.
So I made Urna da Identidade Utópica (Utopian Identity Urn).
It did not work well in the first presentation, but I tell it anyway. With an exaggeratedly loud sound, I played the refrain Eu sou Você (I am you) by Alceu Valença. A tall urn, 60X35X35 cm, in whose lid, when open, a mirror is seen, and inside the urn it is drawn a thread with many colored party flags that reads "shout his name"; "shout her name" and the last "I am you". This string of flags drawn by the audience in circular bleachers would be held above their heads, like a kind of clothesline, in complete mess.
The original urn, badly kept, deteriorated and is reproduced in its state. Concerned about the delay of the restoration commissioned by a Gallery, I made another that I called Utopian Identity, Urn II.
Later while I was organizing my personal archive to be sent to a public institution, the girl who was helping identified some correspondence from artists, art critics and friends who were theoretically interesting, but mentioned personal matters such as intimate thoughts and desires.
I could not cut off any part of the correspondence (it would be like censorship). So I burned it and put the ashes in a funeral urn with their inicials printed on a square card that were half-skewered into the ashes.
I called it Cinzas de Uma Memória Antiga (Ashes of an Ancient Memory)
When in exhibition Cinzas de uma Memória Antiga (Ashes of an Ancient Memory) must be accompanied by the label:
"A public institution asked in donation my personal archive. Those who helped me identified the old correspondence of artists, curators, students of art ... with theoretical content permeated by amorous allusions -some indecent ones, I will say. For delicacy I decided to omit names. Nor was it appropriate to censor parts. I burned them, then. I deposited the ashes in a funerary urn with the title Ashes of an Ancient Memory.
PS: If they wonder if this is art, I say no.
This is Gabriel Borba "
Gabriel Borba, 2019