Monday, May 18, 2009

Ernesto Neto and Hawley Hussey workshop at the Park Armory

My first impression of Neto's installation was that it is gigantic. The canopy alone is 69 feet high; 192 feet in length.

The floor sculpture (the "body" of the piece) is also impressive: 122 feet in length; 27 feet high.

There are 43 spice drops throughout the installation, filled with 1650 lbs. of spices as well as river stones, rice, sand, black gravel...

Neto during the artist talk.

The translucency of the material plus the holes (which reminded me of breathing 'cells') afforded an interesting play between interior/exterior space.

The drops in this room are filled with cloves, affording what Neto calls an "environment of smells." During his artist talk he said that it was his intention to "get inside of you. The spices are a way to touch a person without touching. A way of hugging without hugging." He said that the scents not only invoke memories and excitement, but "open up our bodies." I certainly found this to be the case.

The spices Neto incorporated: lavender; chamomile; clove; black pepper; red pepper; cumin; ginger; tumeric.
One of the many areas in the installation where people can interact with the space.

The play of spice colors, weight and scent...

36,000 plastic balls means a good time for all!

Anevay said the piece reminded her of a body...

This drop is filled with sand. I'd say at least 300-400 lbs. of the stuff!

Artist Hawley Hussey leading a workshop that we participated in.

The armory is filled with all sorts of bizarre side-rooms- some of them are filled with cabinets of silver. The one in which we had our workshop was filled with trophys, such as this poor eagle.

And this bobcat.
Anevay drawing what "weight feels like."

The installation was embroidered together!

1400 pieces of wood ("bones") went into constructing the floor sculpture.

Choosing colors for drawing in one of the bunkers off the main room.

I giggled a bit at the moderator of the artist talk's drawing... I wasn't alone!

The task was to create an environment inspired by what we had seen in the Neto installation. Note Anevay's use of 'bones'.

Hawley and the director of the Park Armory. I met many interesting people over the course of the afternoon, including Wade and Angela Thompson, the philantropists behind the renovations of the Park Armory. I have to say, both of them were charming. Angela said that Anevay's piece reminded her of a longhouse.

Many people were impressed with the environment Anevay created.

Some of the other completed works.


The title of Neto's installation (installed in the Wade Thompson Drill Hall at the Park Armory), 'anthropodino', draws upon the human body as a central concern. For more information about this work or the armory, click here. If you only see one thing in NY the next couple of months, make this be it. The pictures don't convey the complete sensorial experience.

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