“Febre do Ouro” sprawled decisively through the Stalls area of Galleria Continua / San Gimignano in 2014. This work by André Komatsu, (b. São Paulo, 1978), is made up of a series of steel structures that entice the viewer in through its progressively diminishing size and increasingly bright lights. Like a series of Matrioshkas, or Russian dolls, the volume of each structure gets gradually smaller and smaller, a part of each one interlocking with its successor.
Komatsu’s chosen materials are often fragments, rubble or abandoned objects. The enclosures here are made up of steel tubes that form 6 modules, covered by wire mesh screens of the same material, expressing the artist’s desire to subvert the values conventionally attributed to materials, and, in a broad sense, to the elements of everyday life. The interaction of the viewer, who enters, travelling further down the succession of structures, having to modify their stature as they go, means a sort of reconstruction in search of new models of existence is exercised.
The first large “room” occupies approximately 30m2 of space. The viewer enters this space and sees that in the center there is a 40 Watt lamp, a low power which gives out little light for the dimension of space that surrounds it. Looking down through the installation’s interconnected modules, the visitor sees that as they decrease in size the power of the lamp increases.
A human desire for power is represented in the physical action of the visitor who carries on passing through the work to reach the smallest space with the brightest light. It brings up questions surrounding the relationship between public and private, and control and isolation. This relationship between the decreasing room size and increasing wattage automatically brings about a selection among the public, a social hierarchy of who can access these spaces.