Sunday, 9 February 2014

Expansion: Et In Synesthesia Ego

Things Discussed: Rudolf Stingel; Carpets; Sailors; Lightbulbs; the Softening Sound of Your Own Steps; Patterns Repeated.

Rudolf Stingel: when you think about art and space, his is the name that comes to mind. No distance between space and the work displayed. 

There's no work displayed: the work dresses the space. It makes the space behave differently.

I had one of the most meaningful experiences of art in my life in New York in February last year, at the New Museum. The show was called NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and no Stars.

As usual, there were entirely forgettable works, along with some remarkable ones. But that's what they were: works. Until I entered the Orange Room. 

 Félix González-Torres and Rudolf Stingel at the New Museum, via Contemporary Art Daily

That wasn't even its name. It didn't have a name. It was just one of the floors. You are in the elevator. You get out of the elevator. There is a black and white sky all around you, an absorbing orange carpet under your feet, and a song inside your brain. On your left, a small bunch of lightbulbs cascading from ceiling to floor.

The lightbulbs and the sky were by Félix González-Torres. The song was Kristin Oppenheim, with her haunting version of Sail On, Sailor.

And there was the carpet. I didn't know it then, but that's when I fell in love with Rudolf Stingel

It took me a couple of months, another continent and an entire Venetian Palace to finally realise it. 

Palazzo Grassi is many things: one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world, one the most important institutions in Venice, one of the most beautiful works of restoring and restructuring by two great architects, Tadao Ando on top of Gae Aulenti's work, and one half of the Pinault collection showcase. The other is Punta della Dogana

It is a huge building, possibly one of the biggest palazzos in Venice, The exhibition space spans from ground floor to two full storeys upstairs. 

In April 2013 I saw there the exhibition Rudolf Stingel. The place was entirely covered in carpets. In a carpet, a double-level one: industrial carpet printed with image and patterns of a persian rug. The space was now halfway between a living room and a temple. 

These are the things my iPhone and I selected that day.


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