The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, December 22, 2014


Tomas Saraceno Looks to the Sky to Envision New Horizons
Studio prototype of Tomás Saraceno’s Iridescent Planet (2008). Photo courtesy the artist.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- Artist Tomás Saraceno pushes the conventions of art and architecture and their capacities to invoke inventive solutions to complex questions about how we inhabit and coexist in the world. The Walker Art Center exhibition Tomás Saraceno: Lighter than Air, on view May 14 (from 5–9 pm) through August 30, showcases installations, sculptures, and photographs from 2003 to the present. Saraceno’s work was first seen at the Walker in the exhibition Brave New Worlds (2007), and in fall 2008, he brought his Museo aero solar—a continuously expanding solar-powered balloon made from hundreds of reused plastic bags—to the Walker for a residency that focused on a collective investigation to improve the balloon’s flight potential. Lighter than Air is his first large-scale museum presentation in the United States.

Saraceno is internationally recognized for his architectural proposals that frame the interdependencies of systems to ponder ecological questions beyond the natural world. Much of his work has involved conceiving environments that anticipate new socio-cultural platforms for interacting and experiencing our surroundings. “Saraceno is treating the gallery space as a biosphere, where works installed in close proximity sometimes connect through a network of cords and ropes to offer a concrete picture of what the world would look like if he was to design it,” says Walker associate curator Yasmil Raymond.

Following in the tradition of architects and theorists R. Buckminster Fuller, Peter Cook, Yona Friedman, and other visionaries, Saraceno looks to scientific principles and technological innovations to develop ideas for sustainable communities and new models for social interactions. Conceived by the artist as an entire organism, Lighter than Air closely integrates the works on view, formally and structurally, to render a network of relationships as well as illustrate the breadth of his practice. The exhibition’s design is inspired by the ecological theories championed by physicist Fritjof Capra, who argued that “Throughout the living world, we find systems nesting within other systems. And living systems also include communities of organisms. These may be social systems—a family, a school, a village—or ecosystems.” The exhibition integrates indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the Walker building, including staircases and hallways, with a network of electrical cables connected to solar panels oriented towards existing light sources. Electricity generated through this web of cables, receivers, and generators will cultivate the grass growing inside 32SW stay green/Flying Garden/Air-Port-City (2007), a self-sustainable greenhouse equipped with an irrigation system that waters a cluster of inflatable spheres.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is the sculpture Girasol (Turning Sun) (2009). Conceived for both the gallery and an adjacent outdoor terrace, it plays up the interdependencies between the sun, the wind, and technology. A wind turbine located on the terrace will power a video camera attached to a sunflower as it records intermittent views of the sky and the flower’s movement as it searches for sunlight. The captured images will be projected inside the gallery. Foregoing the practical and the plausible, Saraceno seeks to harness the power of imagination—his own and the viewer’s—to make a leap together into forms and vehicles that render the impossible possible.

Also on view will be photographs as well as a wall-sized drawing, Air-Port-City (2009), depicting the artist’s vision for an airborne metropolis floating above an earthbound city. Intrigued by the question of national borders, Saraceno has designed an urban setting where residents circumvent geopolitical boundaries, challenging notions of nationhood, land ownership, and borderlines. As the artist has said, “My idea for an Air-Port-City is to create platforms or habitable cells made up of cities that float in the air. These change form and join together like clouds. This freedom of movement is borrowed from the orderly structure of airports, and it allows for the creation of the first international city. . . . Air-Port-City is like a flying airport; you will be able to legally travel across the world . . . . This structure seeks to challenge today’s political, social, cultural, and military restrictions in an attempt to re-establish new concepts of synergy.”

Such a degree of autonomy is palpable in the sculpture Iridescent Planet (2009), created especially for the exhibition. A balloon anchored to the Walker’s terrace collects its energy from solar panels while depending on the force of the wind for its sustainability. Within this equilibrium, Saraceno strives to formulate systems in which the “cooperation” of individual parts—where one lament is contingent on the other—becomes a model for viewing the earth as a single organism.

While Saraceno’s series of inflatable sculptures and environments introduces many of the conceptual concerns echoed in his “flying cities” of the future, his experiments outside the studio are also central to his practice. These investigations, most recently in the form of handmade spheres, provide him with models of the internal mechanics of flying vehicles. In Museo aero solar (an ongoing project initiated in 2007), Saraceno embraces the idea of building a solar-powered balloon constructed of used plastic bags assembled with adhesive tape by hundreds of volunteers across eight cities around the world, including Sharjah (United Arab Emirates); Medellin (Colombia); Lyon (France); Rapperswil (Switzerland); Tirana (Albania); Ein Hawd (Israel); and most recently in Minneapolis while the artist was in residence at the Walker. Conceived in collaboration with writer and activist Alberto Pesavento during a visit to Isola Art Center in Milan, Museo aero solar developed out of a desire to employ a “do-it-yourself” approach towards technology, pursuing a fantastical goal, in Saraceno’s words, “to build the world’s largest flying museum.” The simplest of materials are made to contain energy in the spirit of Fuller’s motto “do more with less.”

Born in Tucamán, Argentina, in 1973, Tomás Saraceno lives in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He has had solo exhibitions at the University of California, Berkeley (2007); Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York (2007, 2008); De Vleeshal, Netherlands (2007); Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain (2006); The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery, London (2006); Portikus Frankfurt (with Marjetica Potrc) (2006); and Pinksummer, Genoa, Italy (2004). His participation in numerous group exhibitions has included Psycho Buildings: Architecture by Artists, Hayward Gallery, London (2008); Greenwashing—Environment: Perils, Promises and Perplexities, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2008); The Liverpool Biennial 2008, Liverpool, UK (2008); 50 Moons of Saturn: T2 Torino Triennale, Turin, Italy (2008); Brave New Worlds, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2007);The History of a Decade that Has Not Yet Been Named, Lyon Biennial, France (2007); Still Life. Art, Ecology, and the Politics of Change, Sharjah Biennial 8, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates(2007); Como Viver Junto (How to Live Together), 27th São Paulo Biennale (2006); I still believe in miracles, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2005); Project Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans van Bueningen, Rotterdam (2005); Dialectic of Hope, Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2005); and Dreams and Conflicts: The Dictatorship of the Viewer, 50th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2003).





Today's News

April 13, 2009

Governor Schwarzenegger Returns Holocaust-Era Artwork to Heirs of Jewish Family

Peter Zumthor of Switzerland Becomes the 2009 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate

Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts Celebrates 10th Anniversary

New Morgan Exhibition Examines the Artistry and Innovation of Twentieth-century Stage Design

The Boston Athenaeum Presents "Portrait Week" in April

New Museum Presents Works by Fifty International Artists for First Edition of "The Generational"

Tomas Saraceno Looks to the Sky to Envision New Horizons

Sensitive Vision: The Prints of Beth Van Hoesen to Open at the Portland Art Museum

Oriental Theme on Tap for Spring Fundraiser La Table des Artistes: Chinoiserie on April 24

Robert Hull Fleming Museum to Open Quadricentennial Exhibition

Raymond Martinez Returns to the London Art Scene with Exhibition at the Gallery in Cork Street

Brooklyn Museum Celebrates Sufism with an Islamic Art Installation

"Fashion Forward: Photographs by Louise Dahl-Wolfe" At National Museum of Women in the Arts

The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia Launches Virtual Museum in Second Life

Seattle Art Museum to Present an Intimate Tribute to the Late Andrew Wyeth

National Gallery of Canada will Consult Photographic Community on Future of Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography

Michener Art Museum To Host Jim Henson's Fantastic World In New Gallery Space

Employment Opportunity at the Nevada Museum of Art, Museum Looking for Curatorial Assistant

Fashion Retailer Barbara Freeling Presents An Artful Approach to Dressing

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt

2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner

3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction

4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million

5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson

6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery

7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum

8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation

9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard

10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach

Related Stories



Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site