Arts & Entertainment

Argentinian artist immerses New Yorkers in the world of spiders

By Helen Cook.

New York City, US, Feb 9 (EFE).- Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno will over the next two months immerse New Yorkers in the world of spiders with a giant web that invites visitors to experience the senses of arachnids.

The “Particular Matter(s)” exhibition – the artist’s largest-ever in the United States – is displayed at The Shed cultural center in western Manhattan and opens on Friday. It will run until Apr. 17.

The jewel in the crown is a huge dome, 28 meters in diameter and at least 15 meters high, in which stretchy wire mesh has been arranged to float across almost 12,800 cubic meters of space.

One of them, for those who do not feel too comfortable with heights, is suspended only 3.6 meters from the ground and another, for the most daring, at 12 meters.

The interactive installation “Free the Air: How to Hear the Universe in a Spider/Web” invites visitors to walk or lie down on the artificial spider web, with a good dose of balance.

After the first contact with the web, the dome, initially flooded with a misty white light, becomes pitch dark with the aim of creating a touch-centered sensory experience with vibrations and bass sounds that recreate the sound waves caused by arachnids when they interact with their webs.

“Close your eyes, cover your ears and feel the vibrations,” says the 49-year-old artist about the huge installation, created for the exhibition, which occupies three quarters of The Shed, set up in 2019 to give visibility to emerging artists.

In the rest of the exhibition, spread across the second and fourth floors, one can also see the “Arachnophilia” project of the Argentinian.

The project is formed by large and complicated spiderwebs displayed in glass cabinets and illuminated by powerful spotlights to highlight every detail.

Since 2006, Saraceno has been researching spiderwebs, which according to numerous studies are considered an extension of the spider’s sensorial and cognitive systems and not a separate entity.

“At the heart of Tomás Saraceno’s work is a new way of inhabiting and experiencing the world, one that centers on an ecologically post-fossil fuels future. Tomás presents the necessity to reevaluate how we perceive and operate in the world and what to expect from it, which he achieves through interconnected, non-hierarchical collaborations across the human and nonhuman,” said Emma Enderby, The Shed’s curator-at-large.

“The air and the particles that define it, spiders and their webs, and our visitors are all protagonists in ‘Particular Matter(s)’ at The Shed,” she added.

Saraceno’s works are a call for environmental justice and renew man’s relationship with the terrestrial, atmospheric and cosmic spheres.

They also rethink the dominant threads of knowledge in the current Capitalocene era in which human action on the planet is influenced by economic and political relationships. EFE


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