Galeria Nara Roesler | New York presents Laura Vinci: Diurna, the artist’s New York solo debut. Featuring delicate sculptural installations, the exhibition reflects on our evolving relationship with nature and on the urban environment that mediates it.
Laura Vinci’s artistic production focuses on sculpture and site-specific installations that comment on the connection between body, space and ephemerality. The artist, who also works in theater as an artistic director, perceives space as a complex organism that mediates bodies and is susceptible to the constant passage of time. Her projects are typically designed to investigate processes of change or movement; she seeks to bear witness to the transience of matter in space and invite the public to reconsider the environment that surrounds them.
In Diurna, the artist’s installation Folhas Avulsas [Loose Leaves] (2018), 72 golden leaf sculptures will surround the gallery’s newly open windows, inviting the city’s natural summer light into the exhibition space. Vinci’s leaves curl, as if frozen mid-motion, eternalizing the movement of a light wind on foliage, and reminding the viewer that summer is followed by fall. According to Vinci, “Diurna creates a movement of migration by hinting at a transfer of leaves from a virtual autumn in the Southern Hemisphere to celebrate the new season in the North. These scattered, brass-cast, and gold-plated leaves punctuate the architecture of the space, as if blown in through the newly opened windows.”
While it might seem counter-intuitive that objects meant to symbolize transience and movement should be pinned to the wall, the sculptures were carefully designed to allow for them to become a structural component of the gallery space, physically rooting them in their geographic location. As Vinci explains, “The loose leaves are attached directly onto the walls by thin pins, like relics of a future in which the singular eccentricities of our Earth have ceased to be noticed. The external light takes shelter in the gallery space, varying in its intensity and tonality and establishing a solar coloration in the environment. Diurna invites the viewer to see themselves as an integral part of this pulsing environment, where the viewer’s own body present within the continuum.”
Yet Vinci’s investigation into processes of change, movement and ephemerality, is rooted in a desire to question the choices we make and have made regarding the environment that surrounds us. The artist’s fragile sculptures Morro Mundo Mundo [Hill World World] (2018) present a minute gold-plated outline of the world, contained by crystal-clear glass globes. Meanwhile, Morro Mundo Pin [Hill World Pin] (2018) depicts the outline of the world, coiled and contorted. As Vinci points out, “In Portuguese morro is both a verb (first person of present tense of to die: I die) and a noun (hill). In my title I used it as a verb. Mundo is world, as in the Latin mundi. The installation is about this feeling involving the world right now. Poet Carlito Azevedo describes it beautifully: ‘Morro Mundo is both political and a dialogue with the present hour…’.“
The political undertone of the exhibition is echoed by the pieces Onde Estamos? [Where are we?] (2017), and Duas Medidas [Two Measures] (2017). Pinned to the walls, these sculptures of compass and scale (respectively) evoke devices that gauge direction and weight, reiterating the question concerning our current position in the world. Yet the artist also suggests the need for change and transformation by including minute fragments of garnet in these sculptures. The garnet stone, a symbol of motivation and determination, evokes a desire for change. Vinci explains, “these small objects configured as measuring tools, can help us continue our journey.” Therefore, the exhibition’s ultimate message does not concern change or permanence, but the elements that led us to the present and will guide is into the future.
Laura Vinci was born in 1962 in São Paulo, Brazil, where she lives and works. Main solo exhibitions and site-specific projects include: Diurna, Farol Santander, São Paulo, Brazil (2018); Morro Mundo, Espaço Cultural Porto Seguro (ECPS), São Paulo, Brazil (2017); Untitled (from the series Papéis Avulsos), Art Center/South Florida, Miami, USA (2014); Lux and No ar, Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa, Lisbon, Portugal (2010); Clara-Clara, Laneway Commissions, Melbourne, Australia (2006-07); Máquina do Mundo, Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy (2004); and Estados, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB), São Paulo, Brazil (2002). She has participated in the 2nd, 5th and 7th editions of the Bienal do Mercosul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (1999, 2005 and 2009); and 26th Bienal Internacional de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2004). Her works are represented in the permanent collections of: Instituto Inhotim de Arte Contemporânea, Brumadinho, Brazil; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (MAM-SP), São Paulo, Brazil; Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; among others.Photo Pierce Harrison. Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler