Saturday, April 10, 2004

Ernesto Neto show at the Fabric Workshop 

There is an installation by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto at
The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, which runs until May 29, 2004.

The show at the Fabric Workshop, one of my favorite art spaces in the city, is worth going to. Neto's art is highly approachable and is often made with fragile materials (nylon, stockings, styrofoam etc.). It is an art where everything feels to be related to everything else: the piece, the room and space, and you.

In the spring of 2001 I wrote Neto over 40 letters about his work after guarding one of his sculptures for two weeks, which he calls "the blue cave," and at the time was calling: "only the amoebas are happy." The letters are now in a book -- Letters to Ernesto Neto -- designed with artwork by Nicole Michels, and will be published by Germ Folios in May 2004.

Here is a poem I wrote at the time:

Only the amoebas are happy

It's difficult to walk right
into the amoeba.
A surprising lack of give.

Wading through
two feet in
to this biomorpic pillow--

not what you expect.
Not not for kids,
but not really.

Shoes, bracelets, headphones,
boots; everything on the floor,
every thing a pile.

Body displaces the place
you land -- beads, white
spandex habitat buttons.

Something does,
something does not hold
its shape.

The Big Bang
of bean-bags--
a lot of sewing going on.

Barra-bola, styrofoam making
its escape patterns over
the poured concert.

--Tom Devaney

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