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Portinari at the tip of the fingers

Portinari at the tip of the fingers

Tuesday, 23 de May de 2017

Fiat de Cultura launches multi-sensorial versions of the panel "Civilization Minera" to the visually impaired public

The theme of the 15th edition of the Museum Week, sponsored by IBRAM between the days 17 and 21 of May, was “Museums and controversial stories: to say the unspeakable in museums”. The Casa Fiat de Cultura decided to “make us see the invisible”. And on the 17th, it launched three multi-sensory pieces that translate the classic panel “Civilización Minera”, by Candido Portinari, to the public with partial or total visual disability.

The work in permanent exhibition in the entrance hall of the Fiat House of Culture (Casa Fiat da Cultura), is composed of 12 wooden plates, 2.34 meters high by 8.14 in length. To present them to the visually impaired, the three pieces were also produced in wood, on a reduced graphical scale, in a size approximately 180 times smaller. All this in partnership with Fab Lab of the ISVOR, the FCA Corporate University, done on a laser machine that accurately sculpts the pieces. The machine cut the wood and also made low reliefs, which aid the tactile perception of the details of the painting, such as the contours of churches, the people and cables on the light poles. The pieces expand the accessibility of the work by materializing the tactile perception and thereby extending, to the visually impaired public, the concepts of composition of the painting, which is Portinari’s greatest work in Minas Gerais.

The innovation was a proposal of the Center for Accessibility of the Casa Fiat da Cultura and it happens to be on permanent display form to all those interested, with or without visual disability. With the closing of the Museum Week, the versions continue in the collection, and can be requested for the experience. The professionals of the institution will be available to mediate the perceptions.

The piece made for the visually impaired public enhances the color composition of the original screen, which has predominance of blue and orange tones and their variations and combinations. In it, the colors of the screen appear supersaturated, allowing the visitor to visualize the intentions of the artist. People with normal vision can also use the piece to facilitate the understanding as to how colors communicate.

There is another piece that reproduces the panel as a whole, with the 12 plates in scale, that can be removed and fitted, stimulating the tactile perception of the low relief, which brings the main lines of the design. This third piece attracted most of the attentions in the launching of the service, because, in addition to the low relief that reproduces the essential lines of the work, it brings seven layers of superimposed wood, which can also be freely manipulated and put together, allowing the perception of different planes of the composition of the landscape and offering a solution to experience the perspective of the work without using the vision.

“It is curious to have experienced, at the end of our project, that the devices will be very useful also for the general public, as they will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on the structural aspects of the composition of the work and the art of painting”, said the President of Casa Fiat, José Eduardo de Lima Pereira. “It’s an analogy between saying and seeing.I did it with my eyes closed and I got to see with my hands, what I had seen before with my eyes. “It was revealing,” he says.

The coordinator of the Educational Program of the Fiat Casa da Cultura, Clarita Gonzaga, highlights the democratic scope of the project. How can one talk about the work to a person who sees? We’re talking about perspectives. And for people with disabilities? it’s for both. In order for these people to visualize the perspective, we needed to materialize it. What we did was an effort to promote sensitivity in the broad sense, both for the visually impaired and those who can see, “she explains.” We want to say the unspeakable regarding some accessibility issues. What is gained or lost in accessible mediation? How far is the aesthetic experience contemplated? What, in fact, does the disabled person expect when visiting an exhibition space? We try to show, through the multi-sensorial pieces, that it is possible to create an adapted and democratic space, to dialogue with any type of public, with disability or not,” she adds.

Cultural accessibility consultant Flávio Oliveira was one of the visually impaired people invited to participate in the launching of the pieces. Doctor in education, he evaluates that “the initiative is interesting and very important. The low relief is not ideal for the tactile perception, but it is necessary in this panel that shows the perspective. I am satisfied with the result. It made it possible to feel the perspective of the work.This is something abstract, but here it has been translated into a tactile aspect.It was a good solution, that really comes close to the needs of the people. Another guest, the UFMG server Abel Pasos agrees with Flávio. “I was very interested in the parts of the panel, because in this way, with the layers, we can really perceive the textures, the perspective and the depth of the work.”

Carlito Sá, a major in literature from the UFMG, also accepted the invitation and liked the experience. “I always try to go to museums and exhibitions and I found this initiative of Casa Fiat da Cultura to be incredible- the question of looking for a dynamic way to transmits something that is visual into something concrete with the idea of depth of a painting. I was my first experience with flat images transmitted to the touch ” he praises.

The original panel, concluded in 1959 by Portinari, was restored by the Casa Fiat da Cultura in 2013, after 16 work stages and more than 500 hours of research and detailed interventions. It is the largest picture of the modernist artist in Minas Gerais, his native land, and represents the change of the capital, from Ouro Preto to Belo Horizonte, on December 12, 1897. Portinari is considered one of the greatest Brazilian painters of the 20th century and the panel “Civilização Minera” has incalculable symbolic and material value for the national culture.

Located in the Libertad Circuit (Plaza de la Libertad, 10, in Belo Horizonte, MG), Casa Fiat da Cultura is free and open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday. On weekdays, the visiting hours are from 10am to 9pm. On weekends and holidays, from 10am to 6pm.

 

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