tuca vieira

Tuca Vieira, View of Toledo (2016)

The museum is a space for looking, one that is continually reproduced in being seen, in each detail and in all its magnitude, from expography to, above all, the canvas—more so in a museum such as New York’s Metropolitan, replete with masterworks. Tuca Vieira explores a painting he claims to like very much, El Greco’s View of Toledo (1612), one of the only in which El Greco depicts the landscape of a city, a major theme in Vieira’s work. Pursuing it by means of a level sequence, photographed with a cellphone camera, Vieira places 31 images along the hallways of the gallery. In an atmosphere of suspense and uncertainty arises the canvas, which, from now on, gives name to Tuca’s work. Along the way, we bump into tourists; experiencing glances that are hurried, others more attentive; we pass tourist guides, maps, and plaques featuring the name of the patron who sponsored the wing’s construction, among other common images from museums around the world. The piece, however, is not limited to a market-based critique of the transformation of galleries into (only) sites of tourism. This certainly exists; but what stands out is that occasion during which, facing a painting that we love, we end up discovering something that speaks to us; we continue to feel the power of experiencing the world, spaces and works of art.