Tuesday 15 September 2009


Give a magician enough rope they say and he'll cut it up and restore it! Give an artist enough rope and he fills a room with it - at least Tomas Saraceno does...

Our number one favourite exhibit at the 53rd International Art Exhibition in Venice was Saraceno's 'Galaxies Forming along Filaments, like Droplets along the strands of a Spider's Web', an entire room woven full of spider-webbed constellations made of elastic ropes.


Visitors wandered amongst the strands, climbing over and through, ducking under and to a man, woman and child - wondering at the geometric perfection and the the complexity of construction.



Personally, I was intrigued not only by how Mr Saraceno managed to string it all up, but also by the challenges posed by the issue of how such a work is stored when it's not on show...

I kept thinking, "What do you do with it all when you take it down?"

In fact, I had sudden painful memories of trying to untangle our friend Sophie's string of 50 Christmas tree lights a few years ago: a process that took several hours and tried one's patience (and one's seasonal spirit) to near breaking point!

Anyway, if you happen to find yourself in Venice, you've still got best part of three months to check out this and the rest of the Binennale.

And if you're not an art-fancier, then there are still plenty of other things to look at and enjoy in the Giandini della Biennale: for example...



Images: Brian Sibley and David Weeks © 2009 unloaded by flickr.


scb said...

I wonder how many times the artist muttered to himself "Oh what a tangled web we weave... ... ..."

That is truly amazing, but I do wish we knew the answers to your questions about how he did it in the first place, and how on earth he'll ever get it taken apart without it turning into a, well, mess. (The image that is coming to my mind is the High-Behind Splintercat of Julie Andrews Edwards' "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles", who weaves a cat's cradle around the hands of one of the children, and gets her almost inextricably tangled.)

Thanks for that last picture! ;-)

SharonM said...

I think that sun worshipper would have been too tempting even for me not to snap.
I suppose that's the thing about a lot of modern art - you can't hang it in a gallery or place it on a plinth afterwards.

Brian Sibley said...

SCB - And how many hands did it take to help create this particular cat's cradle? It must have been like helping several hundred grannies to wind wool - all at the same time!

SCB & SHARON - As for the last picture, I've absolutely no idea how that got in there. No wonder Herr Wagner, above, looks so disapproving!

SharonM said...

Of course, it was probably Buttons who grabbed your camera and took the photo whilst you weren't looking - just to make a little mischief.
He was probably rather miffed that you didn't bring him with you to see me and meet Nick Swan at the weekend.

Unknown said...

There are some pieces by this guy in Tate Modern I think... if not I'm sure I can lay my hands on some tangled Christmas lights for you!

Brian Sibley said...

NO! P-L-E-A-S-E!!!!

Suzanne said...

Yes, but is it Art? Sorry to be so conventional!
How about a giant vacuum cleaner to clear it all up - it usually works at home!
reconsp: the knack some people have of tangling AND untangling the monstrous knots found in Christmas lights!