about the exhibition
New Works 01.1
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
March 15–May 13, 2001about the artist
Rivane Neuenschwander was born in 1967 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, where she lives and works. She studied at the School of Fine Arts, UFMG, Brazil and the Royal College of Art in London, England. She has exhibited her work internationally, including solo exhibitions at IASPIS (the International Artists Studio Program in Sweden), Stockholm, Sweden (2000); Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England (1997, 1999); Galeria Camargo Vilaça, Sao Paolo, Brazil (1998, 2000); and Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2000). She has participated in numerous international biennials and festivals, including the 5th International Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (1997); the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale, South Africa (1997); XXIV Biennale of Sao Paolo, Brazil (1998); SITE Santa Fe, NM (1999); and the First Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, England (1999). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1995); The Museum of Fine Arts of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1996); The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (1997); The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY (1998); Kunstforeningen Copenhagen, Denmark (1999); Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Germany (1999); and the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2000).
Merging the traditions of sculpture and drawing, Rivane Neuenschwander’s work combines precise handicraft with natural and found sources. The results are discrete objects and temporary, material-based installations.
Rivane Neuenschwander was chosen for her ArtPace residency by the March 1998 panel consisting of Dan Cameron, Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, Amada Cruz, Kellie Jones, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, and Nancy Rubins.
about the project
Language is at the core of new work by Rivane Neuenschwander. During her residency, the artist created two installations. The first, Omission Points, was a temporary installation that occupied her studio space for only two days. The artist drilled holes into the gallery’s walls, creating a horizon line of negative space. The line did not stop for the architecture—it continued through the casement windows and metal doors of the gallery. With this simple gesture, Neuenschwander implied an interruption and an imminent disruption. The holes seemingly perforated the space, splitting it into a top and a bottom. The holes also referenced language, creating a chain of ellipses, which rather than connecting thoughts, simply gave space for a pause.
Only a trace of Omission Points remains in the gallery—the holes in the windows. For the exhibition on view, Neuenschwander presents a large-scale labyrinth of cardboard boxes. The boxes are only knee-high, so the viewer does not get lost as in a formal garden maze. One can follow the predetermined path or simply climb over the edges. The course leads the viewer to a walled-off space for a video projection. The film, made in collaboration with Brazilian filmmaker Cao Guimarães, shows an army of ants marching across a room each carrying a piece of paper inscribed with text: on one side, “WORD,” on the other, “WORLD.”
Also produced during her residency are photographs of beetles with soap bubbles. Shot from above, they recall geometry and algebraic diagrams. The insects appear in pairs: at times, within a bubble and, at others, separated by its edge. While the arrangement is by chance, the metaphor for human relationships is inescapable. Neuenschwander also presents new sculptures made from empty grapefruit peels. The artist has carved letters of the alphabet into the fruit skins, which are hung from the wall in plastic bags. This containment of language reflects Neuenschwander’s ongoing investigations of control—or lack of control—in nature, in language, in society.