2024estrela-lágrimasolo show at 3+1 arte contemporâneatext by filipa da rocha nunes
teardrop-star

  • A spider sewed at night
  • Without a light
  • Upon an arc of white

  • Emily Dickinson 1

Open-web or mirrored sky, teardrop-star starts with a map that could be a place of archeologic interest like Pompeii, a geographical reference indicating “you are here”, but also where water spots, emergency stations and picnic areas are located. It lets you know that it is a safe place and that there is information going round only discernible when individually accessing certain levels of vulnerability. In ancient mythologies, spider webs would be a representation of the universe and people would draw conclusions from the position of the stars in the same way divinatory practices were developed from reading them. The shiny web, image of the future, faithful weaving of meanings or pure energy for building relations, modelled in silk, always on the verge of disappearing. After all, experience has shown that fragility is the moisturizing balm that is applied, after the varnish, in lasting bonds.

teardrop-star is the second solo exhibition by Inês Brites at 3+1 Arte Contemporânea and makes reference to a rare astrological phenomenon in which a white dwarf in the final stages of her life merges with a vibrant young star. The unique magnetism that binds the two celestial bodies together forms in Space the drawing of a tear until the fatal moment when they melt into a single body, in a formal poetic response to the complexity of osmosis. This movement can last up to 70 million years, which observed by the human eye would be described as static.

There are no static things. Everything is dynamic. Even an apparently static object is not stationary. It's resting on a series of supports which in turn are being dynamically sucked by the force of gravity 2. Lygia Clark understands the landscape of objects that occupy time and space in a constant tension with the centre of the Earth and therefore with the status of subject. teardrop-star builds itself from considering the small routines of each of the elements that compose it, in a living and dynamic sculpture garden, using Lygia’s words.

Inês Brites has dedicated herself to studying the life of the most varied instruments, devices, pieces, appliances, reinterpreting the hierarchy of usefulness and the distribution of power and desire between them. On a plastic level, this questioning takes the form of a variation in colour and material, and on a symbolic level, a change in what it promises, which would be the reason why a certain object is produced, and what it promises to the world. In Brites’ collections of objects, we find a well-defined subcategory, the support-objects, which are there to hold other objects. teardrop-star is an ode to these screws, nets, shelves that hold the knowledge, the traditions, the paintings, and that the artist has transformed now for several years, but that this time are unequivocally taking the spotlight, in a kind of public homage.
In his book Cajas3, Mario Montalbetti tells us that if you play C – D – F – G – A – B on the piano, you are emphasizing an absence, but that absence already has a meaning, which is the note E. The challenge is to find absences that don't have meaning yet and that open in the souls of whoever sees them a new possibility of understanding and feeling, which is what happens in the re-qualification of the objects that Brites organizes in vigorous combinations such as the flowers-ofgiants or the full-hose. It’s in the small openings in the standardized emotional entanglement that new support connections can be imagined, with the organization of support and care workers, who are normal everyday workers.

We know that whoever drinks from the same cup learns the other person’s secrets. The luminous bodies kiss and while the energy distills into a universal star cry, they choose a place to rest, a bed, a sofa, a shelf. The first shelves on record appeared in Christian churches before medieval times as a special place to store sacred writings. It was only after the democratization of the access to written information, with the invention of the printing press, that books began to be seen in private spaces, initially in the homes of bourgeois families. The bookshelf has held sacred knowledge for centuries, so it would be good if it could relax too and be cared for by the rest of the community.

The introduction of organic elements in Brites’ archive, such as trunks, branches, flowers and petals, webs and flies, brings fresh news and broadens the debate about the classes of objects and the value of their promises. If before we operated a universe of industrialized materials, the novelty of the representation of animal and plant nature expands the reformulation of relationships, freeing the support-objects from the mobile-objects, whether they are of natural or industrial origin, in an increasingly broad, inclusive and organized community.

When joy belongs to everyone, how good it will be to live4 is the future we want to see in the world-web, the strong net that catches our desires and keeps them there, ecstatic, reflecting the image-promise.


  • While gleaming dreams meet,
  • by chance, waving, saying hello,
  • by chance, they kiss,
  • without notice, looking at each other, seeing each other
  • by chance, desire each other
  • on a stroll through the open-web,
  • projected by everyone,
  • for as long as that's the case,
  • the world-web will reciprocate with significant
  • trust and affection
  • those who gaze upon it
  • the spark of these small encounters,
  • the energy needed to carry on.


1. CLARK, Lygia et al. Lygia Clark. Rio de Janeiro: FUNARTE, 1980.
2. DICKINSON, Emily. Hope is the Thing with Feathers. Poems of Emily Dickinson. Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2019.
3. MONTALBETTI, Mario. Cajas. Madrid: Libros de la Resistencia, 2018.
4. André Varga’s verses sung by the choir of the Academia de Amadores de Música [Academy of Music Amateurs] in a composition by Fernando Lopes-Graça published in the album “Canções Heróicas /Canções Regionais Portuguesas” [Heroic Songs / Portuguese Regional Songs], 1974.


01.03.24 — 27.04.24
photos bruno lopes