Cibelle Cavalli Bastos:
Wave Function Salon

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2 September –

18 October 2015

The exhibition titled Wave Function Salon was Cibelle Cavalli Bastos’ first solo exhibition at the gallery.

The title of the exhibition references the 19th century Feynmann or double-slit experiment, the concept of which is also informed by neuroscience; the functionality of our sensory organs, specifically sight and our reliance on our eyes to gauge “what is,” as well as the programming our brain undergoes as we grow up. The experiment shows that light travelling through two slits can display diffraction patterns illustrating the wave-like behaviour of electrons, which collapse to form a single particle when an observer is in place. The exhibition explores the philosophical idea that we too collapse a wave function within our own minds, when we encounter a body in space, as well as when we face our bodies in the mirror.

The artist comments on the exhibition: “what one gazes upon is a combination of one’s projection and the ‘other’s’ own projection coming forwards, meeting somewhere in the middle. Each of us will collapse the wave when approaching someone or something, but that collapse will never generate the exact same “object” or “feeling” within us as what it may be to the observed, or someone else, because reality is relative and subjective. The nerve endings in our eyes are merely picking up vibrational waveforms as light hits the surface, and the brain is decoding them into shapes, lines, alongside our programming which then assigns a feeling or idea to what we see based on life experiences and knowledge acquired.”


“We live in a film like projection of reality whilst sustaining it via our own mind’s projections. I devised this show because of the separation I see all around ” says Cibelle Cavalli Bastos. “We constantly see innocent people being hurt because of being approached by surface. By surface I mean one’s colour of skin, self-expression, orientation, language, accent, attire, physiology, status and so on. Several ideological consensuses deeply rooted in the collective subconscious, that until not long ago were going unquestioned, have kept all this discrimination in place. Now, a lot thanks to social media interactions, I see more and more debate and discussion that try to trace down the roots of the problems and as a collective we try to solve it. #blacklivesmater #yesallwomen and so on.”

“My take on it is that in western cultures we are not encouraged to explore conscious awareness, to find out the roots of our thinking, or even the concept of what is thought in itself. We don’t regularly search for the root of these concepts that we carry, and have become part of us. I find that only if we do this, trace back, even all the way to the mechanisms of our perception, we won’t truly be able to unlock these issues and let go of paradigms that are harmful to the whole. We are daily encouraged to look mainly at surface, flooded with imagery, ideas of self-image to attain, things to possess, an obsession with identity. We take selfies, we look in the mirror to see if we look appropriate to whatever social circle we may want to be a part of, or to be excluded from, but we rarely sit down to observe ourselves, be it with our eyes, or within our minds eye.

That generates a stiffness of being, in approaching life, others, always measuring what we encounter against binary systems observing mere appearances. We need to take our focus out of the surface, let it blur as we gaze upon it. Find a bridge to the right side of our brains that is perceptive, non rational, and navigate the inner layers of which we encounter whilst remembering the wave of possibilities that we all are, that the body one sees is just a membrane, a silver screen for our projections onto another and the life that permeates all is way deeper than that. ” comments Cibelle Cavalli Bastos.

Cibelle Cavalli Bastos (b.1978, São Paulo) graduated from the Royal College of Art, London with an MA in Paintings in 2015 and from Ecole Superieure de Beaux-art Paris, Paris in 2014, Recent exhibitions and performances include: Running Naked. Hrafnhildur Arnardottir / Shoplifter and Cibelle Cavalli Bastos (2015), TJ Boulting, London; Sonja Khalecallon Performance (2015), 6thMoscow Biennale, Moscow; Wave Function Salon (2015), Bosse & Baum, London; Brain Scan #1 (2013), Quaker Street Warehouse, London; Eternal Internet Brotherhood (2013), Las Pozas, Mexico; Metaphysical Enquiries and Refined Sensations (2013), MKII Space, London; Sonja Khalecallon Performance (2012), Kunsthale Athena, Athens; Exposiçao de Apartamento Remix (2012), Apartamento das Palmeiras and  Espaço Phosphorus, Sao Paolo; Group Show (2012), Galeria Gramatura, Sao Paolo; Sonja in Las Venus Resort Palace Hotel Parasite Performance (2012), Clocktower gallery, New York; An exhibition / a poem / a library / a landscape (2012), Silvia Cintra Gallery, Rio de Janeiro; (2011), MKII Space, London; Performance with Leslie Kulesh/ Lucy PDF/ auto-italia , Auto Italia Live Episode 4, Live Broadcast, London; Performance with Pablo Leon de la Barra and Kenneth Bostock (2009), Serpentine Gallery, London; Performance with AVAF, (2008), 28th Sao Paolo Biennale, Sao Paolo. Cibelle Cavalli Bastos recently completed a residency at NIDA Art Colony, Lithuania and is currently completing a four month residency at PIVÔ Sao Paolo

Installation Views


Fanni Sosa

8 September 2015, 8pm

The exhibition works with two spaces, one dominated by a heavy presence of mirrors, two full walls mirroring each other, and one with a salon hang of paintings and a video.

When you come in through the main space you are confronted with the walls of mirrors; you see yourself, and the people around you. Paradoxically, many people struggle with mirrors while living during the digital age, the era of selfies, where cameras are everywhere creating a fixed image, one you get to pick and choose. The reflection in the mirror points to something deeper, on different levels, in relation to the act of seeing, looking at surfaces, people as surfaces. We are too hung up on surfaces to determine the whole, to determine reality, to determine the nature of someone. One may look at someone’s skin colour and judge them from there, the skin is a surface, it does not determine that person’s personality, soul, qualities, yet everyone is quick to fall back on preconceived notions. The same happens with performances of self, gender expression. Cibelle Cavalli Bastos sees that as a surface too, it’s an output of being that is visible, and that too is used by the one observing to contextualise, judge and determine that image. However the surface is temporary and it is just a tip of the iceberg of someone’s personality.

 “If we could all just be present with each other, because we are sentient beings, and not base ourselves on the other’s surface in order to interact with them. We are projecting our programming, traumas and ideologies, over the other’s surface much like a film is projected onto a screen. It should not matter what the person you are encountering is like because you’ll always “see” that person loaded with your own experience. The combination of the two will never give the exact qualities of the person that you are facing in front of you, which is why we need to unlearn these concepts, ideologies and just be present.” – Cibelle Cavalli Bastos

Another aspect, which the exhibition explores, is the construction of reality and what we use to determine it when looking at artwork. I only see you because light reflects on your surface, and off objects, like a film projection. A projection of reality, and what we encounter, in our minds and what we actually see is indeed a projection. Everyone is a wave of infinite possibility and, like the atom in Fenyman’s double-slit experiment, we observe the collapse of our own wave function. As an observer when encountering someone, who is also a wave of possibilities of being, we collapse the wave function, but none of it is an absolute truth.  When you are in a room with more than one person you are already in a multiple reality situation.

In the main gallery space, the mirrored-room, waves will be collapsing as we observe and look at the others in the room. In the smaller gallery space, we will encounter other surfaces, the paintings, objects, and the video. The viewer will have a similar experience, but different reality, in both rooms, collapsing the wave in their own manner to see different things in them.

The way Cibelle works with painting, producing objects, is in a stream of consciousness. She doesn’t want the rational and analytical thought processes to interfere, striving to get to her subconscious. So the function of the paintings is like “portraits” of the subjectivity we are, the subjectivity that “is”, and as with bodies in space, each painting is a different thing to every individual. The video is the painting process happening on my surface, which starts as make up, as Cibelle recreates the “looks” expected, and over time deconstructs, going purely into painting/being/abstraction. The navigation from the first room, to the back room is important: it’s the layers we travel, and reflects the different levels of depth to this show.