On November 26, at 6pm, CIAC coordinator Mirian Tavares presents the most recent book by Carlos Vidal, entitled A quatro invisualidades [The Four Invisualities], at Brotéria, in Lisbon. Part of the Sanguinea collection from Edições do Saguão, this book aims to expose a new understanding of painting and visual arts that are projected onto music (Jankélévich’s nocturnal art), taking the arts to the field of all senses.

In the Cartesian West, painting is an ocular art, that is, a visual art. This visuality generates ocular suspicion, especially in the 20th century (ocularity already questioned in Romanticism, in Herder, Novalis, Beethoven, Wagner), in which music is not ocular, it is a discourse (of its own), as Nikolaus Harnoncourt tells us. In synthesis, a path is elaborated from Descartes to Debord or Derrida, passing through Ernst Bloch and music, especially the Wagner “case” (or Wagner’s suffering, resuming an essay by Thomas Mann) and the “total art”.

Another moment in the text is the issue of interpretation: the “case” of Velázquez and Las Meninas. If the most enigmatic of paintings gives rise to an infinity of interpretations, one must consider that an infinity of interpretations is proof that interpretation is not the best way to relate to the work of art. This shows that the painting is interpretable and that the interpretable is distinct from the interpretation. It is in these situations that we realize that the sense of sight is not enough.

Carlos Vidal is an artist and professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon. He has a degree in Painting from FBAUL, where he teaches Themes of Contemporary Art, Painting and Painting Studies. He holds a PhD in Fine Arts/Painting with the thesis “Invisuality of Painting: History of an Obsession (from Caravaggio to Bruce Nauman)”, published in 2015.