The shipping crates are made of Ipe, a native Brazilian species. The wood was originally used to construct the Coney Island boardwalk in New York, later destroyed during hurricane Sandy and then reclaimed by the artist. The landscapes are made of cast paper pulp. The paper, from one of Brazil´s largest paper manufacturers, was originally imported to the US as standard office stationery, which the artist used for personal notes over a period of 6 months, and then pulped. The topography is made from actual cartographical data, and depicts roughly 15 sq kilometers of the natural forest of Mata Atlantica – the Atlantic Forest – in Sao Paulo State.
This work was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe´s short story, the Purloined Letter, presented as a curatorial reference during “The Slow Bird” creative process. The return of the paper and the wood to Brazil, their place of origin, parallels the retrieval of a personal letter to its owner narrated in Poe’s story. The paper used for personal writing and reading was chosen to echo the intimate and private nature of the purloined letter in the story. The title of the work, refers both to the content of a letter, and the content of a shipment.
2018, Reclaimed and repurposed wood and paper, goods originally imported from Brazil to the United States.
Courtesy of the Artist. © Leo Eloy / Estúdio Garagem / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo.