Sunday 4 January 2009

Cildo Meireles

I went back to the Cildo Meireles exhibition at Tate Modern today for my second visit. It's easily my favourite show of 2008. Meireles is Brazil's best known conceptual artist. He's now 60 years old and began his career during the miltary dictatorship in Brazil in the 1960s. Consequently, much of his work is political in nature but not in any narrow, hectoring way. His artistic interventions are subtle and very beautiful. Many of his pieces involve meshes of different kinds. Sometimes they are soft like fishing nets or webs of material, sometimes not. My favourite work is called "Through" and consists of a number of see-through barriers which create a labyrinth leading to a ball of brightly lit cellophane at the centre. In order to reach the centre point you are required to walk on glass. Consequently, you feel slightly disembodied, as if you are floating through the space and, simultaneously, you are reminded of your physicality. Other highlights of the show include a tower of old radios entitled "Babel" and a room of rulers and clocks, all of which have had their numbers rearranged. In this film, the artist reminds us that, whilst the eyes are important in art, we have other senses which we must use in order to obtain a better comprehension of art (and life).

The reason I've chosen to write about this on the Creative Tallis blog is because I think we should investigate some of the strategies used by Meireles in his art to inform our thinking about the "Food for Thought" project this summer. The exhibition ends soon, but I would encourage you to try to get along and see it. You won't be disappointed.

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