While Nothing Happens

Ernesto Neto, born in 1964, is a Brazillian artist creating beautifully immersive installations, often encouraging the viewer to directly engage with the work. While he has created many interesting piece, one that caught my attention back in 2009 continues to linger with me.

Neto found inspiration in fabric like lycra netting that could become dripping forms that contain a myriad of smells for those who came in contact them. The freshly ground spices of pepper, cumin, cloves, ginger and curcuma emit a mix of aromas when brushed against by a user passing through and interacting with the hanging forms. The artist hopes to conjure up images of the familiar or the forgotten. I not only find the forms to be quite lovely but the apparatus that they hang from in his site-specific piece, “While Nothing Happens” to be exquisite and so fragile yet strong at the same time. This piece, which seems to invite touch, hung from the the glass ceiling from May 2008 – February 2009 at the Museo D’arte Contemporanea Roma (MACRO).

About the piece, from MACRO:

The artist’s aim is to break down the distances between the visitor and the work of art, creating a sort of mystical experience through the discovery of the almost living breathing of these huge creatures with their transparent and harmonious shapes.

Neto’s works form shapes that also break down the barriers between art and life. As he himself states, he creates “an art that unites, helping us interact with others, showing us the limits, not as barriers but as a place of sensations and of exchange and continuity.”

image via MACRO