Tomas Saraceno: « Aerocene » exhibition

 

The Universe is his world…architect and artist, a utopian dreamer and modern adventurer with an interest in science, Tomas Saraceno derives inspiration from space, the sky, clouds, and also all things infinitely small like spider webs, soap foam, etc. He creates graceful works, suspended, floating and flying through the air.

Tomas Saraceno LGC 396 - © Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno

Tomas Saraceno
LGC 396 –
© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno

With this new exhibition, curated by Laurence Dreyfus, Caroline and Eric Freymond offer us another exciting encounter with a fascinating artist at the Espace Muraille.

During his training as an architect and his Space studies at NASA and CNES in Paris, he’s developed the know-how that enables him to design, in collaboration with engineers and experts, great experimental works. He uses ultra-light materials for his ”Cloud Cities” -illustrating a world without gravity- that have been floating above big metropolises (Berlin, Tokyo, Rome, New York), as well as for his inflated balloons able to travel using nothing but wind energy.  Tomas Saraceno is currently working on the “Air Port City” project, which appears as a spectacular transparent structure powered by solar energy. It would serve as a place of exchange without borders, where everyone could pass freely throughout the entire world.

Tomas Saraceno au dessous d'une de ses sculptures volantes Espace Muraille ©Photography by Joachim Sommer

Tomas Saraceno
below his « flying sculpture »
Espace Muraille
©Photography by Joachim Sommer

Through his works, the Argentin artist creates a world apart, where men would live in perfect harmony with each other and with nature. “Turn your life into a dream and your dream into reality”: there’s a bit of Saint Exupéry in the positive, engaging philosophy of Tomas Saraceno », as Caroline Freymond mentions. Indeed, his world resembles that of Le Petit Prince, of his planets where man and his environment live symbiotically.

5 CNC/M Espace Muraille © Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno

5 CNC/M
Espace Muraille
© Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno

With his dreamlike creations Saraceno researches alternative lifestyles to promote the preservation of natural resources and sustainable development. Invited to the United Nations COP21 conference in Paris, he has displayed “Aerocene” in the Grand Palais: a spectacular sculptural installation intended to fly and move with the sun and wind without using a drop of fuel.

Why “Aerocene?” This word makes reference to “Anthropocène,” which characterizes the geological period of the Earth where human activities had a significant impact on the ecosystem. Tomas Saraceno’s activity imprint will focus on air, space, and the sky, thanks to his suspended creations.

At the same time (and until Feb 2016) , Tomas Saraceno showcases 15 pieces of Art representative of his thinking on the world of tomorrow, at the Espace Muraille in Geneva

Foam, 2015 Espace Muraille ©Thegazeofaparisienne

Foam, 2015
Espace Muraille
©Thegazeofaparisienne

Here, the artist has decided to play on the contrast between the minerality of the foundations of the Espace Muraille, and the lightness of his works, explains Laurence Dreyfus. In the entrance of the exhibition, I am amazed by a polygonal “flying sculpture” in bright shades. Turning around it, reflections on the ultra-fine, iridescent Plexiglas walls change one’s perception of color. Sublime!

Tomas Saraceno LGC 396 - ©Thegazeofaparisienne

Tomas Saraceno
LGC 396 –
©Thegazeofaparisienne

Alveolar shapes are a recurring motif in his artistic work. They illustrate the particular structure of foam which results from an improbable and magical encounter between “air and liquid” in nature.

5CNC/M Espace Muraille ©Thegazeofaparisienne

5CNC/M
Espace Muraille
©Thegazeofaparisienne

In the first room, several hanging works complement and interact with each other. One transparent, just hemmed carbon fiber but woven with intertwining threads, another filled with inflated balloons, referencing his “Cloud Cities”, etc. Each one brings an idea and an artistic value of its own. My absolute favorite is the suspension with the enigmatic name of “GJ 15.” A game of transparence between matter and emptiness—mirrored, metallic, monochrome reflections of jewels.

PRE-VERNISSAGE Tomas Saraceno Espace Muraille Genève - 15 .11. 2015

PRE-VERNISSAGE
Tomas Saraceno
Espace Muraille
Genève – 15 .11. 2015

Is it his architect background that has aroused Sareceno’s passion for spiders building incredibly fine and complex webs? Maybe, he says to me with a smile. Saraceno tells me about his fascination with spiders, ones that he feeds, heals, observes, and records.

Semi social instrument 3C 273- built by 3 Cyrtophora citricola- in 5 weeks. Espace Muraille ©Thegazeofaparisienne

Semi social instrument 3C 273- built by 3 Cyrtophora citricola- in 5 weeks.
Espace Muraille
©Thegazeofaparisienne

He raises about 300 of them, of the “social” type, in the Ecuadorian forest. The artist places some of them in a big box and leaves them to weave their webs at their own will. Then sometimes, he turns the box gently in order to modify the gravitational conditions. By doing this, he obtains a new weavings that cannot be found in nature. To display these weavings, he chose a dark room in the basement of the Espace Muraille where only the spider webs, again suspended, are illuminated through Plexiglas boxes.

3C 273 Semi social instrument Tomas Saraceno montrant son oeuvre de toiles d'araignées à Bertrand Piccard. ©Photography by Joachim Sommer

3C 273 Semi social instrument
Tomas Saraceno montrant son oeuvre de toiles d’araignées à Bertrand Piccard.
©Photography by Joachim Sommer

The exhibition ends much as it began, with a powerful colored work called “Iridescent Planet,” a magical, fluorescent meteorite fallen on Earth.

Iresdescent planet, Espace Muraille ©Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno

Iresdescent planet, Espace Muraille
©Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno

Thank You to Eric and Caroline Freymond for having once again surprised and amazed us in their unique Espace Muraille, to Laurence Dreyfus for her outstanding exhibitions, and to Tomas Saraceno, an enchanting artist who brings us into his dreams, suspended between the sky and the earth.

Caroline d’Esneval

Translated by Erica DeMichelWesleyan University, Vassar Wesleyan Program in Paris Fall 2015

TOMAS Saraceno – ESPACE MURAILLE , Genève – until  February 13th 

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