A Noite/en

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A noite

Iran do Espírito Santo

A green rectangle, a yellow diamond, a blue circle, a white band with words written in green, and, scattered in the blue circle, twenty-seven white staves. Twenty-seven white pentagrams on a black background. No lozenge, no circle, no band. The only word, or rather the title: the night.

The symbols of national identity are obliterated, only what is not really their own remains; after all, the stars are not only on Brazilian soil — unlike valuable natural energy resources, such as ores (gold), nature (forests and woods) and waters (coasts and rivers) — but are also visible from anywhere in the southern hemisphere.

"The Night" was exhibited for the first time at an artist's show at the Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP) in 1998. The importance of citing this date lies in the fact that it had its specificity denied by the artist himself, who declared that the work already existed as project at least ten years before completion*; From which we can infer that it signals a more comprehensive, non-exclusive historical condition of 1998. And the place is cited for this to have awakened, according to the artist himself*, a desire for reflection on the condition of that institution[1]. But what are these conditions?

The night, unlike between dawn and dusk, is the moment of darkness, insecurity, fear, uncertainty. Yet it is the night that follows the day, which suppresses this moment. But the flag that Iran do Espírito Santo raises is hard, rigid, fixed, does not move, does not shake, does not show signs that it should change so soon, perhaps appearing to show a night longer than one would expect.

Certainly we will find those optimists who will prefer to find in "The Night" their most positive promises. As the day approaches, the stars guide the travelers, assuring their fate. Or that the seductive beauty of the work accurately evokes the sublime dimension of a starry night. However, the artist himself may not be among them, but in the "country that is eternally at night."

Note *: the artist's statements about the work can be found at the end of:Samad, Daniella Elgul. Faria, Neide Antonia Marcondes de (orient.) A produção plástica dos anos 80 e 90 no repertório de Ana Maria Tavares e Iran do Espírito Santo, São Paulo, 2002.

[1] CCSP is a big cultural center managed by the city hall of São Paulo and immersed in a strong bureaucratic state logic.