CONJUNCTIONS FEATURING OSKAR METSAVATH, PAULO NAZARETH AND ERNESTO NETO
Francisco Uh May
30TH NOV 2018 - 18TH AUG 2019
After the exploration of invisible spatial coordinates as a gateway into the metaphysical realm in Alignments, followed by a shift to the emanation of earthly creations in Configurations, SFER IK’s third exhibition, Conjunctions, reveals the interrelatedness of human pathways while marking the inauguration of a second exhibition space: SFER IK Francisco Uh May, a 16-meter-high concrete and bejuco dome with a cupola crowned by the Flower of Life. The exhibition features works by Brazilian artists Oskar Metsavaht, Paulo Nazareth and Ernesto Neto which highlight the crossroads of the human journey.
Oskar Metsavaht’s immersive video projection Interfaces II - Man//Cosmos//Forest retraces his inner journey during a ceremony with the Ashaninka tribe. An intricate choreography of geometrical signs is superimposed onto footage from the Amazon rainforest, operating as a passage way between perception and vision. Witnesses of the fundamental union of man and nature, the viewers are invited to reconnect with their innermost selves.
Paulo Nazareth’s oeuvre unfolds into an intricate network of manifold connections. In Conjunctions he explores the link between humans and the elements - earth, water and sky. The performances documented through video and photography stage him as forming part of nature and a foreign body at once, illustrating his quest to reinvest the human presence with a fundamental significance. The interactive installation Sem Titulo: [Rede de Pescador], consisting of three colorful hammocks under a canopy of salt bags, places us beneath an imaginary sea, thus reversing our viewpoint while at the same time pointing to the cycle of life through the continuous movement of water from sea to sky.
Ernesto Neto’s oeuvre explores the elemental structures of the natural and social realms, creating an immersive experience prone to redefining the boundaries between the viewer and the work, the individual and the community, as well as the material and immaterial spheres. Reaching 7 meters high, Every Tree is a Civilizing Entity embraces the visitor in an intricate canopy of delicately woven cotton crochet reaching into the crowns of the trees dwelling inside the exhibition space. On the other side of the dome, the cathedral-like structure of Healing House offers a space for recollection and meditation. The drop shaped sculptures Pray Light and Leaves Life redefine the spaces from which they emanate, whereas Life Blows Life, an ever growing cellular network, is reminiscent of an invisible thread sustaining and guiding the meanders of human existence.
ALCHEMISTRY FEATURING KELLY AKASHI, BIANCA BONDI AND ROCHELLE GOLDBERG
24TH APRIL - 15TH NOVEMBER 2019
In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora.
Now I am ready to tell how bodies are changed into different bodies.
Expanding upon SFER IK’s inaugural trilogy, Alignments, Configurations and Conjunctions, which retraced the stages and strata of manifestation and connection, SFER IK’s fourth exhibition, Alchemistry, focuses on the transformation and sublimation characteristic of the alchemical forces underlying the artistic and human process of evolution and creation. Featuring works by Kelly Akashi, Bianca Bondi and Rochelle Goldberg, the exhibition explores the alchemical process by operating synaesthetic shifts, staging dissolving shapes, revealing the infinite potentiality of materials and transposing matter into the mythological sphere.
US-based artist Kelly Akashi’s oeuvre unveils a constant flow of transformation operating as a metaphor for the transition from one physical or evolutionary state to another. In Pincer, lost wax bronze casts of fractions of her hand contained within a pearlescent organic shape made of handblown glass suggest the origination of complex life forms in creatures of the sea. The fingers evoke a sensorial organ of discovery, implying a possible transition from visual to tactile perception. Shells, a tomographic video uncovering an oscillating microcosm dwelling inside the partitions of a sea shell, points to life’s infinite fragmentation and unity at once, while Big Drip, a lost wax cast of a cathedral-like dissolving structure, and Life Form (Moon Mask), a spherical shape reminiscent of an ancient ceremonial recipient, mark the inception of a teleological narrative.
Paris-based South African artist Bianca Bondi’s work explores matter’s potential of transformation through an instinctive alchemical process resulting in the mutation or even dissolution of her creations. Tegeticula Yuccasella, a translucent purple cloak suspended from the ceiling, insinuates shamanic practices favoring elevated states of consciousness, whereas Here, Not Here (Psíquico), a blue neon installation, lit at times and illusive at others, yields the vacillating promise to access the innermost workings of the soul. Meanwhile the delicate crystal network in This is Jupiter in Sagittarius, Healing and Justice continues to grow throughout the course of the exhibition as a living artwork embracing the infinite generative process of nature itself.
Canadian artist Rochelle Goldberg introduces a mythological component into the alchemical research deployed inside of SFER IK’s meandering space through awe-inspiring masks and demiurgical figures made of ceramic that merge the four elements of earth, water, fire and air. Intralocutor, a life-size representation of a female figure, shaped in the classical contraposto and simultaneously evidencing post-modern fragmentation, evokes a multitude of mythological and mystical inspirations, such as the seven Marys or the disembodied force of Kundalini. In Gatekeeper, the expanding concentric circles of the coated aluminum structure supporting the figure’s ceramic head suggest the inscription into multiple spheres, a theme continued in Swarm, a delicate feathered nylon net, outlining the coordinates of a new space-time continuum the viewer is invited to enter.
CONFIGURATIONS FEATURING KATINKA BOCK, GUILLAUME LEBLON AND GABRIEL RICO
SEPT 2018 - APRIL 2019
After the success of its inaugural exhibition Alignments, an invitation to explore invisible spatial coordinates as a gateway into the metaphysical realm, SFER IK's second exhibition, Configurations, shifts the focus from the human nascence in celestial constellations to the emergence of earthly creations. The exhibition features works by Katinka Bock, Guillaume Leblon and Gabriel Rico, staging poetic emanations mysteriously arising from the ground, subtle aerial systems of balance and the passage of time as reflected in spatial occurrences.
Franco-German artist Katinka Bock’s oeuvre embodies a constant flow of alchemical transformation, while simultaneously conveying a sense of an immutable elemental order and balance. As the water in the archaic ceramic recipient evaporates, the meteor like stone of Lion Balance North gradually descends towards the earth. Junimond, a ceramic sculpture formed from a gesture to embrace the moon, Farben dieses Meeres, Hut, a fossilized hat, and Mot (suspendu), a cone like suspended ceramic held by a dark blue nylon strap, translating an ineffable relatedness, punctuate the space and invite to imagine a narrative which culminates in the questionable presence of two bronze cast fish seemingly washed ashore.
New York City based artist Guillaume Leblon conjures up an imaginary stage of seamless transitions from the real to the surreal. The free standing windows open up onto multiple spaces from where to contemplate the exhibition, drawing the viewer into a scenography of wondrousness. Symbol of the origin of life, seemingly floating as in Cuatro Peces Siguiendo, or fossilized as in Fishes in the Vase, the presence of fish in Leblon’s oeuvre raises the question of the spatial progression of existence and anchoring. At last, Leblon’s Portrait communicates the knowing presence of an invisible omniscient entity able to sense the pulse of the creatures dwelling inside of SFER IK’s curved meandering space.
Gabriel Rico, currently based in Guadalajara, introduces yet another vantage point to the exhibition’s narrative. The artist’s acute awareness of the human condition is reflected in works resembling post-apocalyptic ruins, while the beams of light herald a new story line. The wall-based sculpture Homme II, composed of volcanic stone, mezquite wood, gold leaf and neon, appears like an alchemistic recipe for the creation of a new humanity, while the standing pieces II and III from Teorema de la Incompletitud mend the inevitable breakage point through a circle of light.
ALIGNMENTS FEATURING TATIANA TROUVE, ARTUR LESCHER AND MARGO TRUSHINA
APRIL - SEPT 2018
Tatiana Trouvé, Artur Lescher and Margo Trushina explores the human journey through both physical and metaphysical realms. Redefining the spatial and conceptual parameters of the art experience, the organic shapes and meandering expanses of SFER IK’s unique exhibition spaces immerse the visitor in a meditative state, serving as a gateway to discovery and connectedness.
Artur Lescher reveals an invisible spatial structure through the verticality of his suspended sculptures. In this redesigned space the visitor’s perception of matter is questioned by seemingly fluid floor based marble and basalt pieces unveiling infinity.
The relativity of perception is revealed in Margo Trushina’s works. The apparent solidity of rocks is transcended by undulating polished metal shapes projecting matter into movement, while the flickering neon dissolves the illusion of permanence of the bright white human outline.
A 12 meter high adjacent dome built according to ancient principles of sacred geometry is reached through a passageway across a natural water flow. It houses Tatiana Trouve’s 250 Points Towards Infinity, 250 pendulums descending from the heights of the dome in diagonal lines pointing towards an intricate constellation on the ground as if directed by invisible hands.
While dialoguing with the uneven floor and meanders of the first space the artworks operate as poetic gestures orchestrating an explorative journey, the installation in the dome becomes an invitation to meditate in the presence of a metaphoric union of heaven and earth.