P.S.1 is pleased to present two dreamlike environments conceived by the Brazilian artist Tunga. Juxtaposed for the first time, the monumental installations Laminated Souls (2004/07) and Á la Lumière des Deux Mondes (At the Light of Both Worlds) (2005) explore imaginary laboratory aesthetics. This exhibition is on view from May 20, 2007 through September 24, 2007.
Laminated Souls, presented in the Second Floor Kunsthalle gallery, is a hypnotic experiment centered around interconnected modules and instruments from the artist’s own vocabulary: two live fly vivaria, multi-layered glass slides, enlarged pins and resin wings, an atmospheric soundtrack, flickering lights, and lamps from which flies cinematically project their shadows. Frenzied sound and motion tap into feral instincts as metallic screens overlay human and insect perspectives with primeval notions of metamorphosis.
Presented in P.S.1’s duplex gallery, À la Lumière des Deux Mondes (At the Light of Both Worlds) is a massive suspended assemblage that entombs talismanic objects with ornate theatricality. Beneath three oversized iron canes, a distended skeleton, gilded comb, and bundled skulls cascade from long tresses of black metal wire. Also sheathed in mesh are bronze replicas of Classical sculptural heads from the collection of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, where the installation was shown in 2005. Implicit in this delicate balance is a visceral meditation on vanitas and the equilibrium of life and death.
Tunga (b. 1952) belongs to a generation of Brazilian artists who rose to prominence after the pioneering work of Hélio Oiticia and Lygia Clark. Working in performance, installation, sculpture, video, and poetry, he has been making art for over twenty years and has exhibited internationally, including the 49th Venice Biennale (2001), Documenta X (1997), Biennale of Kwangju (2000), and the16th International Bienal of São Paulo (1981). He was also featured in the 2001 exhibition Brazil: Body & Soul at the Guggenheim Museum and has had solo exhibitions at Luhring Augustine, New York; Musée du Louvre, Paris; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; MARCO, Museum of Contemporary Art, Monterrey, Mexico; and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo and Brasilia; among others. Tunga was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize 2000.
This exhibition is organized by P.S.1 Director Alanna Heiss.