Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto (before) is known for his giant, fiber-based installations that immerse the viewer in a multisensory landscape of organic elements: people are encouraged to walk through channels made of stretched yarn and grab the structural tissues, while spicy scents like turmeric and cumin are often diffused throughout the room.
Neto’s latest work in the is equally haunting and imposing Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is still one of his largest. SunForceOceanLife is a hand-crocheted, walk-in maze of yellow, orange, and green threads that spans 29 feet across the gallery and stretches in a 12 foot spiral in the air. The flexible installation revolves around “fire, the life energy that makes life on this planet possible,” says the artist, stating that every polymer cord used is burned at the end in order to permeate the piece with sacred, meditative rituals. “I hope the experience of this work feels like a chant sung in thanks for the gigantic fireball we call the sun, a gesture of thanks for the energy, truth and power it shares with us when it touches our land, our oceans and our lives, ”he writes.
Plastic balls also fill the path and shift underfoot, forcing those walking through the floating structure to purposely balance. Neto explains:
It involves the body directly, as does a happy dance or meditation that invites us to relax, breathe, and separate our body from our consciousness. The feeling of floating, the body wrapped in the crocheted fruits of our labor, is reminiscent of a hammock: the quintessence of the indigenous invention that elevates us and connects us with the wisdom and tradition of our ancestors.
“SunForceOceanLife” can be seen until September 26, 2021 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. More interactive, site-specific projects from Neto can be found at Max Hetzler Gallery. (above Design boom)
Are stories and artists like this important to you? To become something Colossal member and support independent art publications. Join a community of like-minded readers passionate about contemporary art and support ours Interview series, get access to partner discounts and much more. Join now!