Ernesto Neto


This is a work we are installing at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York. The space is divided into two rooms. The larger room provides entry to the installation, but is otherwise completely empty. We are set up in the smaller adjacent space. The piece has no title yet. Maybe in the next twelve hours we'll come up with one...something about a blue cave and the planet Venus. There is a mattress on the floor and hanging polyamide-and-elastic bags filled with Styrofoam balls, which create a lot of static and make your hair stand on end. When you lie down it's like being in a cave or on a comfortable planet. I try to introduce, or re-create for the visitor, the experience of the organic, the topographical, the universal—to think about the body without actually representing it. The skin is our limit, both biologically and metaphysically. All of the sensations occur at this point. I like to speak about sensuality without saying anything too obvious, or too direct. I prefer to let people breathe in the idea of my work. Six weeks ago, the show was supposed to be some- what different. For one, the light source was supposed to come from above. But then we learned that this wasn't possible, so it had to be altered. In this sense, it's kind of like jazz—an improvisation. In a way, the piece directs you. You are working with a wild horse, an animal you have to understand. I believe that art is more powerful than the artist. Everybody tries to explain why we do art, why we make art, why we need art. They ask me, "Why do you take so much trouble?" But the need is strong because there is something else, something bigger in the world besides us. And art is in the middle of it, between this something else and us, poor little human beings.