South likes: Cildo Meireles at Hangar Bicocca, Milan

Cruzeiro do Sul (3)

Cildo Meireles, Cruzeiro do Sul, 1969-1970, installation view, Fondazione HangarBicocca, 2014. Photo Agostino Osio. Courtesy Fondazione HangarBicocca, Milan; Cildo Meireles

South likes: Cildo Meireles at Hangar Bicocca, Milan
Installations
Hangar Bicocca, Milan, Italy
27 March – 20 July, 2014

Considered among the pioneers of conceptual art, the sensual and lyric installations of Cildo Meireles address dramatic themes such as colonialism, globalisation, and the repression of human rights. The exhibition at Hangar Bicocca goes through the production of the Brazilian artist summarising his delicate sensitivity in twelve works, which span from minuscule dimensions to large scale installations. The show is opened by Cruzeiro do Sul, a tiny sculpture made of made of pinewood and oak, a wood sacred to Native Americans, measuring 9mm. The somehow provocative dimensions of this piece trigger a reflection, especially in comparison with the scale of some other works, about the material measure of sacredness. Next to this small wooden cube, a work titled Através challenges the perception of space and physical barriers with a complex arrangement of fences and bars and a carpet of broken glasses. The invitation to explore and break limitations and barriers is somehow reverberated by more explicitly political works. Amerikkka is an installation where the visitor walks on a floor made of 22,000 eggs below a wooden ceiling consisting of 55,000 bullets: the metaphorical expression “walking on eggs” becomes a concrete actin performed by the viewer under the intimidating presence of the bullets. Olvido is a work referring to the long and tragic colonial history of South America, consisting of a tepee made of 6,000 banknotes from Latin American countries, three tons of ox bones, and 70,000 candles. The exhibition ends with the most monumental of these installations, Marulho, consisting of a long wooden pier over a floor covered by a synthetic representation of the sea made of 17,000 books. The contemplative nature of this work closes the show with a symbolic token of the sea, which represent a barrier and a territory of exploration but is also reminiscent of the beginning of the colonisation of the American continent. The works exhibited at Hangar Bicocca pinpoint the figure of Cildo Meireles as one of the most influential artists of his generation, one that with sensuality and poetic intelligence stands out as a honourable representative of Southern American identity.

Michelangelo Corsaro

http://www.hangarbicocca.org

Atraves (2)

Cildo Meireles, Através, 1983-1989, installation view at Fondazione HangarBicocca, 2014. Photo Agostino Osio. Courtesy Fondazione HangarBicocca, Milan; Cildo Meireles

Amerikka

Cildo Meireles, Amerikkka, 1991/2013, installation view at Fondazione HangarBicocca, 2014. Photo Agostino Osio. Courtesy Fondazione HangarBicocca, Milan; Cildo Meireles

Amerikkka (2)

Cildo Meireles, Amerikkka, 1991/2013, installation view at Fondazione HangarBicocca, 2014. Photo Agostino Osio. Courtesy Fondazione HangarBicocca, Milan; Cildo Meireles

Olvido (1)

Cildo Meireles, Olvido, 1987-1989, installation view at Fondazione HangarBicocca, 2014. Photo Agostino Osio. Courtesy Fondazione HangarBicocca, Milan; Cildo Meireles

Eureka-Blindhotland (2)

Cildo Meireles, Eureka/Blindhotland, 1970-1975, installation view at Fondazione HangarBicocca, 2014. Photo Agostino Osio. Courtesy Fondazione HangarBicocca, Milan; Cildo Meireles

Marulho (4)

Cildo Meireles, Marulho, 1991/1997, installation view at Fondazione HangarBicocca, 2014. Photo Agostino Osio. Courtesy Fondazione HangarBicocca, Milan; Cildo Meireles

 

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