Ernesto Neto, installation view of Crazy Hyperculture in the Vertigo of the World (2012). All images courtesy of Faena Art Center.
Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto inaugurates Buenos Aires’ new art space, the Faena Art Center (which opened in September 2011), with a massive net-like installation he calls Crazy Hyperculture in the Vertigo of the World. In Neto’s installation, jewel-toned webs of crocheted ropes and fabric fill the entire Cathedral Room to create a woven bridge that welcomes visitors to explore. Neto’s vision stems from the Neo-Concreto art movement, which, according to the exhibition’s description, “places the spectator at the centre of the creative action, thereby converting physical interaction into a key aspect of his work.”
The Cathedral Room, where Neto’s installation is housed, is a massive, window-filled industrial space with gleaming white walls and a soaring ceiling. The bright colors of Neto’s web punctuate the room’s starkness and transform the space into a whimsical dreamscape. “His work, designed to stimulate a truly personal access to the experience of art, challenges the superb breadth of the room,” says the exhibition’s curator Jessica Morgan, the current curator of contemporary art at the Tate Modern in London.
As visitors climb through the installation, the fabric undulates accordingly. The colorful nets and plastic balls that make up the installation call to mind the ball pits of children’s play centers. The exhibition’s description states, “The organic forms of [Neto’s] work are related to the observation of the body as a representation of an internal landscape and give an impression of fragility and sensuality.” As visitors make their way through the maze they must make use of their entire body—climbing with their hands and crawling on their knees—to further increase a sense of body awareness.
While exploring the installation, visitors frequently encounter one another. The sudden appearance of a stranger around the next bend reminds the viewer that art, as Neto sees it, can be a communal experience.
Hand-drawn map of the exhibition’s layout.
– A. Stone