Born in 1948, Cildo Meireles is one of Brazil's most significant artists of the post-war period. A pioneer of installation art since the 1960s, Meireles is best known for his dramatic and politically charged walk-in environments, which often incorporate sound, smell and touch alongside visual experience, requiring the viewer's full perceptual involvement. His installation Atraves (Through, 1983-89) confronts the viewer with a prohibitive labyrinth of grilles, meshes and barriers of all descriptions, the floor covered in shimmering yet dangerous shards of broken glass. In this and other works, surprises and contradictions combine to scramble our habitual definitions of our environment, resulting in a metaphor of the imperfect, potentially hostile world in which we live. In other works, Meireles offers an alternative - visual, political, sensual - to the real but often disappointing circumstances around us. For several decades Meireles has been included in the most significant international surveys, from the landmark 'Information' exhibition at New York's The Museum of Modern Art in 1970 to the 24th Biennial of Sao Paulo in 1998.
In the Survey, Brazil-based curator and critic Paulo Herkenhoff analyses in depth the specific political and cultural context of Meireles' Brazilian art in counterpoint to the philosophical contexts of Western art history. Havana-based curator and writer Gerardo Mosquera discusses with the artist the context of his work in post-war Latin American art. In the Focus, New York curator and critic Dan Cameron navigates three environments of intense red, collectively titled Desvio para o Vermelho (Red Shift, 1967-84). For the Artist's Choice, Meireles has selected a text that echoes his work's frequent evocation of paradoxs: 'The Garden of Forking Paths' by Jorge Luis Borges. Since the late 1960s Cildo Meireles has written detailed project descriptions as an integral aspect of his work. Ranging from the description of the 'ideological circuits' of information and commodity transactions, to speculations on theories of perception, his texts often bear witness both to individual and social crises and the transformative powers of the imagination.
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(290mm x 250mm x 18mm)
Phaidon Press Ltd
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Author Biography - Jorge Luis Borges
Paulo Herkenhoff is an independent curator and critic based in Rio de Janeiro. Formerly adjunct Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Herkenhoff was Artistic Director of the 24th Bienal de Sao Paulo (1999) and Curator of the Brazilian Pavilion of the 47th Venice Biennale (1997). Gerardo Mosquera, based in Havana, is Associate Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, and an Advisor at the Rijksakademie of Fine Arts, Amsterdam. He was a founder of the Havana Biennial and edited Beyond the Fantastic: Contemporary Art Criticism from Latin America (1996). In 1999 he co-curated a major retrospective of Cildo Meireles' work the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Dan Cameron is a curator based in New York. As Senior Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art he organized such landmark exhibitions as 'Cocido y Crudo' (1994), a survey of from Latin America, and has since gone on to curate the 8th Istanbul Biennial (2003) and the Taipei Biennial (2006). He also serves on the graduate teaching faculty of Columbia University, New York University and School of Visual Arts, New York, and is a frequent contributor to such journals as Parkett, Flash Art and Artforum.