For Ana Dantas, the form is a fundamental accessory of self-knowledge.  Each work is a step towards her personal evolutionary process—becoming instrument and function, before being pure aesthetics and entering the cultural scene.  She is always  in tune with her psychological experiences in a way that aesthetics and life resolve themselves into a strange and extremely original synergy.

The artist’s ethics, integrity and self-awareness are evident.  Technique, form, and the ability to control the rhetoric of the image are all in the service of self representation, in which photography and video become captors and transformers of a performance—one in which the artist bravely exposes her body and presence.

As each new project emerges, it always interprets a concrete moment of life and serves as a strange attractor for new experiences and unexpected solutions. Thus, even within a plan, each project reveals itself as surprise and paradox. The first to be surprised is the artist herself. She throws herself in a play in which she is the director, actress and spectator of her unexpected emergencies.

Dantas’ work consists of underwater images, allegories, symbols, one-act operas, objects of transactional rhetoric, ambiguous and paradoxical compositions— with no obvious meaning—where our fantasy spreads its terrors and passions with equal vehemence. Ana Dantas is an intense and at the same time reserved artist, and her subtle mechanisms that ignites her “no strings attached” aesthetics are nothing but movements of someone riding the domains of her own personal universe, in constant tension with the rest of the world.

Dantas expresses this tension, with photographic works in which her body crosses over the barrier of representation and simulates a reverse leap towards the real—and real objects converse with the image, creating new image possibilities, and so on… implying infinity.  Threads that unravel from the surface of the image—an abyss of chained frames within frames—bubbles (with the artist’s image), moving as if drawn by the boundaries of the frame are arresting motifs.  Numerous variations, where photography, object, video, installation, exchange roles in a paradoxical and very delicate game. This makes her photographic work impossible to be reproduced in a book, because every reproduction becomes a new work in itself. The photo of a photo is a new photo. And the real strings that are projected from the image—in the reproduction—becomes image, seeking new strings to re-establish another type of connection.

One example: in a photo of a woman in a hallway, with pink strings attached to the side walls and obstructing the way, the body is caught like in a trap. Her gestures are of someone trying to free herself, struggling to open the path, as if crossing an enormous cat’s cradle. The sculptural gestures are suspended in the air; maybe the woman is not moving at all and the web of strings that weave the barriers in space are no more than her creations, or that of the viewer. A theater? A game? Or, maybe the image is just the spatialization of a psychological state?

Is the image the imminence of a leap, or the beginning of a journey, or, a simple gesture frozen in the air, without beginning and end? In everything, there is foreseen danger, and the body is always turning itself into thought in the moment preceding its surrender to turning inside out.

A rope, a trapeze, a chair, a tightrope, a shard of glass, a cloak, a handful of hair, a shadow projected out of its poetic topology.  The images are “mediators” -- difficult and risky roads, where walking is dense and has to be made step by step. The work is research; it identifies problems, rediscovers solutions, reconnects with the foundations of life.  A rite of passage lies at the very core of representation.  Only after this process does it become art.

In this “picture," [#1 - Series “In Order to Arrive There” after T.S. Eliot] with all its staged and deconstructed objects, where one dimension is on the verge of another, where the inside aspires to be on the outside, it is not a matter of bringing the character back to reality. (ROS-Run On Sentence) On the contrary of every appearance and the obvious arrangement of elements that call for a classical and tense association between the image and its “origin,” stairway to heaven—the theme here might be the opposite: a strategic withdrawal arising from the character’s already found solution. Spectator and character… their eyes never meet. (ROS) The world where she is now is a simplified world, the objects projected are appropriate for the launch of the body into emptiness. It is as if the character had her back towards reality, instead of facing it.

It is not the real that is missing from these images, which the rope led us to. It is the other way around, the real is no longer the issue in this representation.  There is the desire to visually project a new space that can be created. A space without guiding parameters to measure it’s geometric distances.

If we look closely, in the right direction and from the right distance, the strings are not spread in the world of the viewer, but attached to the frame.  From the frame the strings are projected into the image, a projection in reverse, not coming out, but going in.  It is as if the operation of simplifying the space where the character finds herself had not been completed, and is missing something to complete it. 

Looking at Ana Dantas’ work, signifies to the spectator entering emptiness, or entering this silence established by the artist’s creations.  The images suggest a  silence that would only be sensed had there been no work. 

There is a new space, where the being can no longer be trapped, and passing through the interstices of the threads—pure threads that reach to the frame and can be touched by the hand of the eye that contemplates—is an act of pure liberation. When Ana Dantas looks at her own work, she might say, here is the image I created, and the person who I transformed into while creating this work, which encompasses one point of happiness hanging by a thread. Which one?

The reality of the image, and the fiction of reality will cross paths on the verge of an impossible touch—yet created ever since its inception as irony, paradox, suspension of the aesthetic belief, in a flight of the imagination of language. It is as if  she is playing a great game.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2010