Foto

What artists are doing now. Ernesto Neto in Rio de Janeiro

Arterritory.com

20.03.2020

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

In the current situation, clearly our top priority is to take care of our families, friends and fellow citizens. Nevertheless, while public life is paralyzed and museums, galleries and cultural institutions are closed, in many of us neither the urge to work nor the creative spark have disappeared. In fact, quite the opposite is happening in what is turning out to be a time that befits self-reflection and the generation of new ideas for the future. Although we are at home and self-isolating, we all – artists, creatives and Arterritory.com – continue to work, think and feel. As a sort of gesture of inspiration and ‘remote’ mutual solidarity, we have launched the project titled What Artists Are Doing Now, with the aim of showing and affirming that neither life nor creative energy are coming to a stop during this crisis. We have invited artists from all over the world to send us a short video or photo story illustrating what they are doing, what they are thinking, and how they are feeling during this time of crisis and self-isolation. All artist stories will be published on Arterritory.com and on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. We at Arterritory.com are convinced that creativity and positive emotions are good for the immune system and just might help us better navigate through these difficult times.

From his studio Atelienave in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto writes to Arterritory.com the following:

“That's the boa – Gaia boa [the Earth goddess’s constrictor snake – Ed.] – stopping human movement. Yes, it is sad that many people are dying, but it is no more than die every day here in Brazil (as in many other ex-colonial countries) from violence and the consequences of this economic structure. At the same time, it's incredible – the invisible virus just suddenly stopped us. Something became more important than making money: life, the old magical and beautiful life, anywhere and everywhere, and we have time to stay home and read a book, take care, and play games with our family. We are all separated yet all together at the same time. It’s beyond culture; it's nature, placing us together, showing us that there is something else, something bigger than us. The boa constrictor of Gaia, of life, is giving us the time to feel, to think; it’s like invisible angels are giving us a chance to stop, breath and ponder: Where do we want to go? What is solidarity? What is important? I hope we survive and become better humans; from Homo sapiens to, who knows, Homo solidarius?

Personally, I'm fine; the studio, Atelienave, is closed. Everything’s a bit dizzy; it all began this last weekend, and the feeling is ‘How we going to go on?’, but art is everywhere, and as Arterritory said, artists never stop working, so it's a kind of common sense. Anyway, it's just been four days of isolation; I go to the studio, and sometimes we go to the supermarket, but the big wave is just arriving here. Let's see what happens next week. Our president is being harshly criticized, and we leaned out of our open windows, loudly knocking pots and pans in protest of Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic. The kids are being great – they’re becoming more collaborative than ever. Well, that's it for now.”

*

Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto is known for artwork that involves almost all of the senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell – letting viewers wander through, touch, delve into, wade into, forget themselves and find themselves anew in his gigantic installations (Neto himself calls them sculptures), whose abstract forms take on nearly human form. Perhaps ‘lightness’ is the most precise description of Neto’s work. Not physical lightness, but the lightness of feeling, of an unleashed mind, of sensuality.

His first exhibition took place at the Petite Galerie in Rio de Janeiro in 1988, while he made his international debut in 1996 in Chicago, California, and Madrid. In 2001, his exhibition Ô Bicho! – in which visitors wandered among stalactites made of nylon fabric and filled with pepper, cloves and turmeric, constantly smelling the air and inadvertently rocking the artwork with their impatient, curious noses – became a sensation at the 49th Venice Biennale’s main exhibition, curated by Harald Szeemann. In 2017 Neto was prominently featured in Vive Arte Viva at the 57th Venice Biennale curated by Christine Macel.

Since 2014 and his meeting with the Huni Kuin tribe living near Brazil’s border with Peru, Neto’s mission has been to renew the long-lost link between indigenous tribes and Western civilisation, between humans and nature. According to Neto, we have almost destroyed the world, and only by returning to our roots can we save it. ‘We are nature. And culture is only a sub-project of nature,’ he explained in an interview with Arterritory.com in 2016. In summer 2018, his large-scale installation GaiaMotherTree was successfully shown at the Zurich train station, in collaboration with Fondation Beyeler, with a month-long corresponding public and education programme that took place inside the work. The 40x28-metre object was made entirely by hand over the course of several weeks, with 17 people from the artist’s studio and 17 more assistants specially invited to work on the project.

Neto’s work is extremely well represented in international museum collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Tate Gallery in London, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Hara Museum in Tokyo, Contemporary Art Center of Inhotim in Brazil, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., Milwaukee Art Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among many others.

An interview with Ernesto Neto will appear in the forthcoming publication titled Arterritory Conversations: Detox and Healing for the Planet, and will also soon be published on our website.

Photo: Eduardo Ortega

Related articles

What Artists Are Doing Now. Joana Vasconcelos in Lisbon

visual arts — Articles — 27.07.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What Artists Are Doing Now. Susan Kleinberg in New York

visual arts — Articles — 11.06.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What Artists Are Doing Now. Contemporary art collective Fallen Fruit in Los Angeles

visual arts — Articles — 26.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Liliane Tomasko in New York

visual arts — Articles — 14.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Rachel Libeskind in USA countryside

visual arts — Articles — 11.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Stas Ginzburg in New York

visual arts — Articles — 07.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Irish artist Aideen Barry in rural Tipperary

visual arts — Articles — 30.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Pakistani artist Waqas Khan in Lahore

visual arts — Articles — 30.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov in Sofia

visual arts — Articles — 27.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Christian Eisenberger in Austrian countryside

visual arts — Articles — 23.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. The American artist Christine Wang in San Francisco

visual arts — Articles — 21.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Swedish painter Andreas Ribbung in Stockholm

visual arts — Articles — 17.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Malagasy artist Joel Andrianomearisoa in Paris

visual arts — Articles — 14.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Bob and Roberta Smith in London

visual arts — Articles — 07.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Erez Israeli in Berlin

visual arts — Articles — 01.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Marko Maetamm in Tallinn

visual arts — Articles — 25.03.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now

visual arts — Articles — 19.03.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What Artists Are Doing Now. Italian photographer Massimo Vitali in Lucca

visual arts — Articles — 17.07.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Beya Gille Gacha in Paris

visual arts — Articles — 03.06.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Belgian conceptual artist Kris Martin in Ghent

visual arts — Articles — 21.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

From Homo sapiens to Homo solidarius

visual arts — Interviews — 12.05.2020.

An interview with Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto

What artists are doing now. Romanian artist Edith Torony in Timisoara

visual arts — Articles — 08.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. American artist Alice Attie in New York

visual arts — Articles — 06.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Korean artist Jong Oh in New York

visual arts — Articles — 30.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Artist duo Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz in Spain

visual arts — Articles — 29.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. The multimedia artist Egill Sæbjornsson in Reykjavik

visual arts — Articles — 24.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen in Genk

visual arts — Articles — 23.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. French artist Laurent Grasso in Paris

visual arts — Articles — 21.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Indian artist Sudarshan Shetty in Mumbai

visual arts — Articles — 16.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Erkan Ozgen in Diyarbakir, Turkey

visual arts — Articles — 09.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Deimantas Narkevičius in Vilnius

visual arts — Articles — 06.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Erwin Wurm in Limberg

visual arts — Articles — 31.03.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Eva Schlegel in Vienna

visual arts — Articles — 24.03.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

An uncomfortable green light

visual arts — Articles — 30.05.2017.

Olafur Eliasson’s and Ernesto Neto’s projects at the 57th Venice Biennale

What artists are doing now. Spanish artist Lois Patino in Madrid

visual arts — Articles — 06.07.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What Artists Are Doing Now. British artist Liz Rideal in London

visual arts — Articles — 27.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Francisca Yanez in Santiago de Chile

visual arts — Articles — 14.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

From Homo sapiens to Homo solidarius

spiriterritory by arterritory — 12.05.2020.

An interview with Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto

What artists are doing now. Dutch artist Erik van Lieshout in Rotterdam

visual arts — Articles — 07.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Spanish artist Gabriela Bettini in Madrid

visual arts — Articles — 05.05.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Austrian artist Andrea Bischof in Vienna

visual arts — Articles — 30.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Linas Jusionis in Vilnius

visual arts — Articles — 28.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Aidas Bareikis in New York

visual arts — Articles — 24.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. The Italian artist Alessandro Valeri in Rome

visual arts — Articles — 22.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. The Scandinavian artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset in Berlin

visual arts — Articles — 20.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Hungarian artist Csaba Nemes in Budapest

visual arts — Articles — 15.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Dagoberto Rodriguez in Madrid

visual arts — Articles — 08.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Nives Widauer in Vienna

visual arts — Articles — 03.04.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Arturs Virtmanis in Jersey City

visual arts — Articles — 26.03.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

What artists are doing now. Kaido Ole in Tallinn

visual arts — Articles — 23.03.2020.

An inspiration and mutual solidarity project for the creative industries

Live light!

visual arts — Interviews — 15.03.2016.

An interview with Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto