A column made of decomposing tropical fruits wrapped in plastic bags greets visitors to Daniel Lie‘s site-specific takeover of all three floors of the Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP). The exhibition title, “Pact with the Future,” is ambiguously optimistic in its nod to mortality and procreation, especially in the Darwinian sense. Lie’s plant-based sculptures suggest that the point of life lies in its future, as those lifeforms aim to nothing but the endurance of their own species. For a human viewer, aware of death, Lie offers little more than hope in the form of a metaphor: an elaborate pulley system installed throughout the building that rigs up fruits and plants.
Lie’s time-sensitive, multi-floor installation of living plants that hang from the ceiling in the empty space between the building’s ramps create a floating forest. Down in the library, big pieces of Brazilian crystals hang from a similar structure, connecting the building’s bottom floor to its ceiling, trespassing all the exhibition levels.
Lie explored the building well: while the plants are from CCSP’s original landscape project, the whole of the installation is dependent of the architecture. Despite its three-dimensional character, the lines created by the yellow ropes, and complemented by the yellow signalization on the floor, allude to drawing, the artist’s first medium. But more than creating a beautiful visual effect, “Pact with the Future” manages to level opposing disciplines and concepts. A mathematic mechanism is used to create an artistic piece; human-made and environmentally questionable plastic bags sustain natural material, be it vegetable or mineral. The structure created by Lie unifies rational precision and organic outburst—much like life.
“Pact with the Future” shows through August 9, and is the second part of a trilogy of simultaneous exhibitions held by the artist, all of which relate to the issue of time. The first one, “Meus sentimentos,” is on view at the Oficina Cultural Oswald de Andrade, and the third, “Lie Liong Khing,” at Casa Triângulo.
Caroline Carrion (1986) is a São Paulo-based curator and art critic. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Sao Paulo, where she is currently pursuing a second degree in philosophy, after having studied management et communications intercuturelles at Université Paris IV (Sorbonne). Caroline has been working in the art field since 2008 in different segments of the market, such as cultural centers, museums and art galleries. She has developed and coordinated the production of exhibitions, integrated publishing projects on contemporary art and has extensive experience with cultural journalism and institutional communication. In 2015, she curated “Eccoci!,” an urban-intervention project by artist Berna Reale held in public areas of scarce touristic access in Venice, during the opening and closing weeks of the 56th Venice Biennale; and was one of the emergent guest curators of the Prêmio CNI SESI SENAI Marcantonio Vilaça para as Artes Plásticas. She is the author of texts for exhibitions and artists books, presented in Brazil and abroad; and is a member of the PIPA prize 2016 Nominating Committee. She regularly writes for Newcity Brazil, and collaborates with the contemporary art platform My Art Guides.
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