The Fractured Instant

To capture from daily events her objectives and delicate desires and the small chimeras implicitly associated to them. This is how Anna Paola Protasio steadily creates her poetics. In this exhibition are the bicycles. Bicycles which crave to establish the continuous pace of time and space, to cross sceneries, to connect paths or to touch limits. Therefore, they are red and it is also the red color that embraces the body-images pedaling in the videos. Situated in the visible limit of the luminous spectrum, the reds possess the greatest lengths of waves of light detectable by the human eyes. Would it be possible to roam about the world within the fair limit between the visible and the invisible?

But something comes along to distort the peaceful stroll through the days and hours. The time, in this exhibition, establishes subtle relationships with the exhibition halls that house it. If the space virtually connects itself by the two video displays at both extremes of the hall extending and invading the extra field imagery, it also slices the anxiously desired continuous-temporal. By this cut, it is as if the instant debated itself between the distention and the fracture, between the movement and rest, between the arrow and the flight.

And the desire to pedal throughout the extreme corners of the worlds, to touch the limit of the spectrums, to put back the tail to the mouth of the Uroboro serpent, acquiesces in that suspension. Debating itself between old and disquieting paradoxes.

Marisa Florido César, 2010

“The Fractured Instant”, in a physicist’s perspective

Perhaps the genius of Albert Einstein was the one that spent most dedication to the understanding of the relation between space and time in nature, incorporating the four-dimensional space in our language and culture. His theories, special and general relativity, changed the concepts of absolute time and space. These concepts do seem strange to us, since they are evident only in a scale away from our daily life and require sophisticated analytical and mathematical tools for comprehension. Many books have been written to illustrate these ideas to the general public. In the almost poetic fiction “Einstein’s Dreams”, Alan Lightman  takes us through dreams that young Einstein might have had in the months prior to his discovery of Relativity, imagining different ways by which time could pass in different universes. Together with Relativity, Quantum Mechanics brought us even more difficult and phantasmagoric concepts, such as non-locality, tunneling, and teleportation. These are very successful theories – against experimental tests – and which allow us a great variety of practical applications: from the transistor – and thus all the electronics and computers – to the laser, nuclear magnetic resonance and the GPS.

The exhibition “The Fractured Instant” of Anna Paola Protasio immediately speaks to our felling about time – the before, now, and after – mixed in the same and other spaces. It stirs our minds with the notions of causality, of the arrow of time and the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and refers to tunneling! It instigates and at the same time brings some comfort, in a tacit recognition of these concepts. Nothing better than a bicycle to represent “tacit” knowledge: one simply learns to ride a  bicycle while incapable of describing in words this knowledge.  “The Fractured Instant” first makes you head swirl and then gives the sensation of “eureka!”, a tip of the tacit comprehension and questioning of the concepts of causality, tunneling, teleportation, and the intricate relation of space and time. Today, we speculate about mirror-universe, multiverses and even another universe all made of antimatter far away from us. Is that so? The arts and fiction have always been great allies to science in this pursuit of keeping alive the flame of the “different” and in the communication of these ideas, something very alive in the art of Anna Paola.

Cláudio Lenz Cesar
Full Professor of Física – UFRJ, PhD–MIT, researches antimatter at CERN