The series of recent interventions by Heleno Bernardi consist in spreading fancy mattresses in human body shape in public spaces.
“My plans for the future are to continue working with the body as a core component and power measurement in art. I would like to take this work to more places, to investigate and try to understand how people interact in different contexts.” states the artist.
His influences in contemporary art are artists who worked with the urban space and others who worked with the body as support for the clash with the space. Gordon Matta-Clark, Walter de Maria, Hélio Oiticica, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Serra, Cildo Meireles, Ernesto Neto, Humberto Costa Barros and many others, as well as choreographers and architects.
With these works he reaffirms the firm, calm and discreet process with which he has been recognized. Heleno continues to play preferentially with images of the human body. By appropriating past images, some ancestral, it manages archetypes with a wide range of meaning, overlapping different times. Ancient references, remote and timeless, erudite or universal, that are shuffled to others recent and trivial. Contradictions that make the commonplace strange, unusual, in this work that has been outlined as a game between dense and rarefied, drama and humor, low and high culture. Accumulation of uses and references to the body that allows us to think as the artist puts his body in his works, leading to reflect on how he also conceives them, from the beginning, as more or less veiled self-representations.
The mattresses were arranged in different places of the city like squares, the interior of a building of passage and a public park, their mattress-bodies set up a paradoxical situation: the possibility of warmth and affection with inanimate beings and in places simultaneously seen, felt, like places of exteriority, impersonality, anodyne flows, helplessness, homelessness. They bring to mind both an archaic human imaginary and the always playful, current, fundamental character in living, of the interaction of bodies. Whether it be the joke of the passers-by with the figures, whether of the people with each other through these renewed sculptures, or of the artist at a distance with all of them, this corporal game wants to establish affective and libidinal moments seemingly lost, impossible, in the contemporary city.