‘HYBRID SOLITARY… SEMI-SOCIAL QUINTET… ON COSMIC WEBS…’, 2015 – Tomas Saraceno, Tanya Bokandar Gallery,

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Tomas Saraceno is an artist concerned with mapping societal complexities and possibilities, often utilising the symbol of the ‘web’ to consider the fragility, and inter connectivity of such a broad concept. Within this exhibition he creates an immersive universe of installations that take inspiration from science fiction, naturally found geometric forms, and more recently, the ‘web’. His work is at once ethereal, and yet deeply grounded in reality. One feels the tension within the web, which can be seen quite literally as a thought process; much like a mind-map, one finds the different threads of thought spreading out from one another, seemingly collating information by connecting at certain important points. We can also see another design that Saraceno holds dear to his work, and that is of the ‘cloud city’, a utopian idea for sustainable cities and societal growth within the future. Spiderwebs are a form of research for Saraceno that allows him to rediscover the connections between Humanity and Nature. In this space, there are a series of glass cubes holding a series of webs constructed not by the artist, but by a series of spiders from different species. The exhibition’s description  ‘Formed of complex interwoven geometries suspended in air, each piece appears as a unique galaxy floating within an expansive, infinite landscape. The works’ titles reveal the technical basis for each sculptural element, like the genus and species of the spider collaborators and the amount of time needed to construct their webs. During the building period of each sculpture, each cube is turned onto its various sides, dislodging gravity and interweaving concepts of freedom and control within the work. ‘

This is fascinating, as I find myself becoming increasingly interested in the different ways that gravity effects the tubes and wool that I am utilising in my sculptures. There is something incredibly interesting about the way that it falls and interacts with one another; either through the process of wrapping and/or connecting, in which not only gravity effects the material, but the material itself. As the materials interacts and touches one another, as they support each other, they fall or gain a heightened tension. I hope to highlight this idea of tension within the work.

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Within the next room, there are a series of experiments towards a form of future architecture, in which works like Foam 48B/15p are composed of complex geometric structures of transparent foil that suggests the cell-like membranes of bubbles that emerge when oil is shaken with water. Like a biological microcosm, each work is composed of many similar building blocks that come together to render singularly distinct forms. This is absolutely fascinating, as the resemblance to biological forms and creations harkens back to ancient homes like caves, or rounded mud huts, whereas current architecture is distinctively rectangular. It’s almost like a neo-primitivism, inspired by our better understanding of the minuscule forms surrounding our existence in nature. I explored these ideas before, within my tumorous forms, which were inspired by the tumours and cellular growths within the body.

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