Ernesto Neto

11th October – 27th June 2007
Anna Schwartz Gallery

Young Brazil­ian artist Ernesto Neto’s sen­su­al forms made of Lycra filled with pel­lets cre­ate the ten­sion of weight and bal­ance that is a fit­ting com­ple­ment to the dancers in Cun­ning­ham’s 2005 pro­duc­tion Views on Stage. Sus­pend­ed from above, these pen­du­lous forms are slaves to the force of grav­i­ty as their own weight pulls them toward the floor. Like­wise, even dancers who soar high above, in grav­i­ty-defy­ing leaps, are forced back to earth. The weight of Neto’s sacks con­stant­ly pulls them down­ward, where­as the dancers can repeat the cycle of ascent and descent. Neto con­ceived of the nylon as a blank can­vas that could be accom­pa­nied by rotat­ing coloured lights.

In most of Neto’s work, the view­er is free to wan­der around and under the instal­la­tion. The direct phys­i­cal con­nec­tion between view­er and work is impor­tant to Neto, who likens his amor­phous sculp­tures to skin — All my work is about our rela­tion­ships, about union.” He adds,“The skin is the end of your­self and the begin­ning of the oth­er. It is the place of encounter. I want peo­ple to see my sculp­ture through their pores, as well as their eyes, to feel it with all their sens­es.” His décor for Views on Stage, how­ev­er, barred the audi­ence from expe­ri­enc­ing this direct con­tact. A view­er’s desire to wan­der around and touch the set of Views on Stage had to be sat­is­fied vic­ar­i­ous­ly by the inter­ac­tion of the dancers on stage.

Rachel Young is the Visu­al Arts Coor­di­na­tor, Mel­bourne Inter­na­tion­al Arts Festival


Ernesto Neto

Oth­er Animal, 2007
instal­la­tion view, Anna Schwartz Gallery