“MADNESS IS PART OF LIFE” BY ERNEST NETO

HAPPENINGText: Yumino Hagiwara

For the 5th exhibition at the Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo, Brazilian artist, Ernest Neto turned this contemporary exhibition space into an organic space with human traits. Neto himself curated this exhibition and showed four new pieces from the series “Balanço”.

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A vida é um corpo do qual fazemos parte, 2012, Life is a body we are part of, 2012, polypropylene, polyester string and plastic balls, 780 x 786 x 1486 cm

Neto’s work always has a close relationship with the human body. Not only the organic form of his work, the visitors have to interact with the work to feel it. Neto calls his art as an experimental sculpture. The visitors feel the space and themselves while they associate with the pieces. Neto’s work is a device to connect human body and space, also an expression of the relation between these two.

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A vida é um corpo do qual fazemos parte, 2012, Life is a body we are part of, 2012, polypropylene, polyester string and plastic balls, 780 x 786 x 1486 cm

The installation consisted of four pieces made with polyester strings and plastic balls. The main piece, “A vida é um corpo do qual fazemos parte” is a huge hanging sculpture with 7.8m hight and 15m width. This piece occupied the 193㎡ exhibition space.

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Pedras I, II, 2012, polypropylene, polyester string and plastic balls, 145x240x75cm

The piece consisted of 2 elements; a passage way which indicates a spermatozoon, and a residence which indicates an ovum. The visitors can walk through, sit down or lay down on them. However, because of Neto’s clever way of using the scale of the space, the visitors are unconsciously limited to act so. You would not feel like sitting or laying down as you walk through the narrow passage way with the slope. But, as soon as you entered an ovum area, you would feel stability and try to sit down. Because of the burden we feel on our bodies, they try to seek somewhere more comfortable. The scale of the sculpture is determined by human’s sense of body and its actions. It seems somehow link to the idea of Friedrich Kiesler using a technique of a womb sculpture to the endless house.

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A vida é um corpo do qual fazemos parte, 2012, Life is a body we are part of, 2012, polypropylene, polyester string and plastic balls, 780 x 786 x 1486 cm

This piece seems like an extension of a body. As I entered the entrance which is almost touching the floor, I felt both a floating impression and gravity. The yellow polyester ropes are slightly hard on my barefoot. Everybody is wriggling inside the sculpture and the ropes are creaking to endure the weights. The piece gave me both comfort and unstableness like a hammock. As I reached to the ovum area, which is 2m high from the floor, I felt like my body was detached from the world where I used to exist. I tried to imagine the size of my body as if somebody was observing me by a zoom lens from outside of the window. It must be looked like the “Power of Ten”.

“Life is much bigger than a human. A human is only a part of life” Neto said. After my visit to the moment of a spermatozoon reaching to an ovum, the micro world of cells seems much bigger and endless like an universe.

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TorusMacroCopula, 2012, TorusMacroVault, polypropylene, polyester string and plastic balls, 780 x 120 x 120 cm

Neto indicates the idea of overlooking the world in which a human is not its center in this exhibition. Till the end of the exhibition term, lots of people would walk and feel this artwork and it would change the color, shape, and so on. I am secretly looking forward that this piece would be more human-like as we leave our traces on them.

“Madness is part of Life” by Ernest Neto
Date: September 29th, 2012 – January 6th, 2013
Opening hours: 12:00 – 20:00
Place: Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo
Address: Louis Vitton Omotesando Bldg. 7F, 5-7-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81 03 5766 1094
http://espacelouisvuittontokyo.com

Text: Yumino Hagiwara
Translation: Fumi Nakamura
Photos: © Louis Vuitton, Jérémie Souteyrat

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