Head, hands and men

Scattered and parallel comments regarding Mário Vitória’s painting

1. Nothing is separated 

Nothing is separated, i.e. things move (float?) from one side to the other as if there was nothing to fall into nor the state of being still. Nothing falls because no element of this world accepts the existence of the ground. The idea of below does not exist, there are only things above us or too far above us (therefore, we have two other spaces). Man, what is above man and what is far above man – here is what he can tell, he who has only what is to come, because he has completely lost his memory.

The true ground is always above the head, and this may even be a new definition of homeland or of what is ideal: the ground above the head. But we are not moles, we are a human race with a tendency for a utopia that fills the voids with concrete materials; a utopia of engineering; a utopia that uses exact calculations, a numerical utopia with good aim, so to speak. So, we need heaven.

2. The heads, for example

The heads, for example, can suddenly disappear. We may perfectly well inaugurate a house in the place where once existed the head of an individual who complained, or of another who said yes and another who said no (inaugurate houses in the space occupied by someone who said yes – now, there is a good project!). And this is not about blowing up the upper body, it is about literally opening the individual’s head, allowing the head to be a space-door and space-window, a warehouse to and from where we see, and from where we enter and exit.

3. Expression

It is evident that a man with no head is more expressive and this is no paradox. If we remove a man’s head from its own place, and we keep the energy of the hands that act in the world under a coat without head… Behold! All becomes clear. The head is useless, it prevents the human body from being a more or less homogeneous volume similar to other harmonious animals, so to speak, such as the buffalo and cows, which are compact and upright. Basically, man’s problem lies in the neck, the part that connects and thus separates. And with the neck, man is divided in 3 parts, the neck (which binds), head and rest of the body. Therefore, it is evident that a man without a head is more expressive and this is no paradox.

4. Boat

There is also the importance of the boat that advances in the water (conservative), on the ground (dedicated) and in the air (the boat in a state of sleepy levitation). Of course, the importance of the boat… Actually, a boat that flies is like a man without a head, or perhaps that boat is in fact the head that is missing in the man.

5. Peg

The peg is an instrument of small dimensions but that gathers and holds; it is a loving instrument indeed.

6. Recreation

A delighted way to deform tragedy; a way to compel the beholder to take the layer on top of what is tragic. What is recreation?

7. Men

In Mário Vitória’s painting, men are pulled from above; a rope descends and asks for help and the man – who has always thought he could be helped by the sky – realises that he is already so developed and arrogant that now it is the sky that asks for help. In fact, the man no longer prays or raises his head to the sky asking for justifications or charity; when he raises his head to the sky is to ask, as one who asks an even more unfortunate relative: need help, Sir? But neither sides ask for help anymore, because despair has established itself in the sky and on the ground, and even above the sky and below the ground.


(translated by Ana Andrade)

Gonçalo M. Tavares, February 2014