Brazilian Conceptual artist Ernesto Neto manifests sensorial experiences in highly trafficked public spaces, encouraging passersby to slow down their everyday movements to interact with, smell, and relax in his temporary installations. His most recent work was created in partnership with the Fondation Beyeler in the concourse of Zurich’s main train station. The 65-foot green and orange work, GaiaMotherTree, extends to the ceiling, while its base creates a temporary oasis in the middle of the bustling station.
The sculpture was created with a finger-crocheting technique that took 27 people several weeks to complete. The surface of the structure is fragile, yet like all of his installations, Neto encourages visitors to touch and experience their physical forms. In addition to activating touch, he has also hung over 1300 pounds of aromatic ground spices such as turmeric, cloves, cumin, and black pepper in bags that surround and counterbalance GaiaMotherTree. These smells add to a feeling of relaxation which Neto hopes serves as a respite for visiting travelers.
The work is inspired by a spiritual connection with nature practiced by the Huni Kuin, members of an indigenous community in the Amazon region of Brazil. Neto has been working closely with the group since 2013, and their values, sense of community, and craft has been a large influence into his recent practice. “This work is all about intimacy,” Neto explains in a short video that explores the process below. GaiaMotherTree will be on display in Zurich Main station through July 29, 2018. You can see a list of public programming associated with the installation on Fondation Beyeler’s website. (via Designboom)
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American artist and filmmaker Lucy Engelman has a far different experience of the world than most. Engelman has a phenomenon called Synesthesia, which crosses her perceptual pathways to allow her to taste colors, smell sounds, and even experience verbal data as a spectrum of vibrant colors. Engelman’s husband, Scottish painter Daniel Mullen, decided to translate her complex sensory world in a way that might be easier to understand for those of us who don’t see days and numbers as pockets of color.
The collaboration exists as a set of paintings titled A Different Kind of Time: Sequencing Spatial Temporal Synesthesia. The works each contain a sequence of flat rectangular shapes arranged in a variety of arches and lines. The angle of the shapes is switched in each work, some aligned with only one side facing the audience, while others seem to project right through the canvas or retreat back into the painting’s rotated plane. Engelman explains the works are the closest visual approximation to what she experiences, especially in relation to her mind’s translation of letters, numbers, and time.
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