"Gambiarra: Brazilian slang expression designating the use of improvised methods and solutions to solve a problem with any available material. The term is also sometimes used pejoratively as an adjective meaning precarious, ugly, crude or poorly finished. By invoking this vernacular reference from his position as a Brazilian artist living in Paris, Wesley Roque opposes to the smooth and streamlined aesthetics of a Western modernity at the end of its breath, the granularity and the textural organicity of an aesthetics of recovery, of waste. This one is not without recalling the material reality of a global south marked by the vestiges and the actuality of our (post-) colonial history. Staged in the heterotopia of the wasteland, this exploration also evokes an embodied relationship to construction and architecture, printing within the urban space the narrative of a subjectivity under construction.
The prefix -meta reveals here an animist intuition, posed in a poetic relation to the myths of modernity invoking the spirit of the machine and its cycles of life and death. This reference to industry and its workings is asserted between irony and naivety, like these telephone booths stripped of their primary function, which offer themselves as the abstract evocation of past and future connections. Thus, are these works situated in an archeological or anticipatory referential? Blurring temporal references and semiotic clues, the assembly of artifacts gathered in the installation seems to point towards a more virtual than speculative orientation, where a quest for actualization anchored in the sensitive thickness of the material is revealed. Through a hybrid imaginary and vocabulary, between animal, organic and technological, human and posthuman, the ensemble recalls Donna Haraway's conceptual and subversive figure of the cyborg, as well as Anna Tsing's proposal to study the possibilities of life in the ruins of global capitalism, all of which is enriched by the poetry and inventive pragmatism of the gambiarra."
(Text written by Astrée, writer and artist, for the exhibition METAGAMBIARRA, graduation project at the École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, June 2022).