Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ernesto Neto

The Edges of the World, a series of installations by Ernesto Neto is showing at the Hayward Gallery until 5th September. The major piece in this exhibition is the immersive installation in gallery 6. Prior to reaching this, one encounters Just take me out of the ground (left) a series of steps/sculptures that invite the visitor to rise up into the canopy and enjoy a different view of the installations skin.
Not content with challenging the visual senses with the fluctuating shades of green in the translucent membrane walls Neto asks the audience to engage their sense of smell. As they pass through Flavour flower womb domus a series of aroma pockets, resembling wet sand-slips, (right) are filled with pungent materials including lavender and chamomile.
All three roof terraces have installations, my favourite of which is Walking to the future which contrasts a tropical palm with a temperate hawthorn symbolising two different culture as well as different climatic regions. Again audience participation is invited; the trees are surrounded by a wall in a continuous double loop which the audience is encouraged to walk along as if it were a path in an urban park. Unfortunately in the day I visited the weather was decidedly not tropical.

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