tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania

TOMÁS SARACENO ‘OCEANS OF AIR’ AT MONA

 

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania, presents ‘Oceans of Air’, a major new exhibition by Tomás Saraceno. The multi-sensory show, which is open until July 24, 2023, includes both existing works and new commissions created specially for MONA, and is a call for environmental action on the Earth, its atmosphere and beyond. Inspired by knowledge systems that are rooted in their location, ecology, communication between species, the fight for climate justice, and more, Saraceno interweaves many scientific and artistic disciplines in search of shared understanding among the threads and tangles of worlds. The exhibition draws from his interdisciplinary approach, revealing the interconnectedness of art, our environment and contemporary life.

 

‘We live entangled lives, and as Torricelli, a student of Galileo once said, we are all always ‘living submerged at the bottom of an ocean of air’. The air itself is restless, constantly in motion,’ notes the Argentinian, Berlin-based artist. ‘The humans of the Capitalocene, caught in the undertow of extractivist ethics and the rhythms of capitalism, have toxified the air, rendering it unbreathable for many and forcing new regimes of inequality upon us all. Oceans of Air flows towards shared responsibilities with the worlds we inhabit, knowing that not all have the right to breathe, and that not all breathe the same air.’

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
Aerocene 2.5, 4, and 5, 2018, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist with the Aerocene Foundation, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

all images by Mona/Jesse Hunniford, courtesy Studio Tomás Saraceno and MONA Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

 

 

A MAJOR EXHIBITION OF EXISTING WORKS AND NEW COMMISSIONS

 

With air—invisible yet all around us—as a central theme, Tomás Saraceno’s artworks spread throughout the deepest floor of the MONA’s subterranean galleries. The exhibition includes artworks and community projects, from tiny dust particles to large-scale installations, all informed by various perspectives. ‘Once upon a time artists used to make beautiful things,’ says David Walsh, the museum’s owner and founder. Now, mostly, they want to change the world. Of the artists I know, Tomás Saraceno is the most likely to change the world. And he makes beautiful things.’

 

‘Oceans of Air’ features Saraceno’s lighter-than-air aerosolar sculptures, fine particle pollution from the skies of Mumbai, air quality samples from across Australia, as well as dust from the museum and radio waves streamed from First Nations Argentina. In addition, the exhibition highlights the artist’s long-standing interest in, and work with, spiders. Saraceno’s international community research project ‘Arachnophilia’ has seen him collaborate with humans, spiders and their webs for more than ten years, charting a multitude of ideas and concepts. At MONA he has installed a series of intricate hybrid webs—dynamic living structures woven through with ‘tension and attention’. When a spider departs, the web it leaves behind forms ‘a material memory and diagram of the spider’s drift through the air’. Saraceno believes the webs model old and new ways of tuning into and sensing the world.

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
Aerocene 2.5, 4, and 5, 2018, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist with the Aerocene Foundation, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

 

 

‘First and foremost, Tomás is a collector of perspectives, looking at the world through many eyes,’ MONA Senior Curator Emma Pike says. ‘He is as invested in the conversations which form the foundation of his works as he is in their astonishing outcomes. As a recovering arachnophobe, I have Tomás’s gentle and beautiful interspecies collaborations to thank for reminding me of my own connectedness, from pollution particles to sound waves to the cosmos.’

 

The exhibition also includes a new lutruwita / Tasmania-specific commission created from plant specimens that have been gathered from sites around nipaluna / Hobart, including cultural burning locations, places that have been burnt by bushfires and hazard-reduction efforts, and MONA’s grounds. These herbarium diptych works are the focus of a new publication featuring a collection of perspectives from writers, scientists and thinkers about plant life and the relationships that different cultures have built with nature throughout history.

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
A Thermodynamic Imaginary, 2022, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

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A Thermodynamic Imaginary, 2022, Tomás Saraceno | Aerosolar Circinus | Calder Upside Down 30/20/15/12/8 | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
Leaf, Leaves, Life, Lives, 2022, Tomás Saraceno | commissioned in lutruwita (Tasmania) by Mona for Oceans of Air | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
Leaf, Leaves, Life, Lives, 2022, Tomás Saraceno

oceans-of-air-tomas-saraceno-mona-exhibition-tasmania-designboom-largr

Silent Spring, 18052021, 2022, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
Particular Matter(s), 2021, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
How to entangle the universe in a spider/web?, 2022, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist with thanks to Arachnophilia, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

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How to entangle the universe in a spider/web?, 2022, Tomás Saraceno

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
Webs of At-tent(s)ion, 2022, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist with Arachnophilia, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
Webs of At-tent(s)ion, 2022, Tomás Saraceno

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
We Do Not All Breathe the Same Air—Western Australia, Australia, 2022, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
We Do Not All Breathe the Same Air, 2022, Tomás Saraceno

tomás saraceno exhibits oceans of air at MONA in tasmania
Tomás Saraceno

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A Thermodynamic Imaginary, 2022, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
A Thermodynamic Imaginary, 2022, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
Aerocene 2.5, 4, and 5, 2018, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist with the Aerocene Foundation, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
Aerocene 2.5, 4, and 5, 2018, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist with the Aerocene Foundation, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
The Politics of Solar Rhythms: Cosmic Levitation, 2018, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
The Politics of Solar Rhythms: Cosmic Levitation, 2018, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
Arachnomancy, 2018–ongoing, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, with thanks to Arachnophilia, Andersen’s, Copenhagen; Ruth Benzacar, Buenos Aires, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, Pinksummer Contemporary Art, Genoa, neugerriemschneider, Berlin
Arachnomancy, 2018–ongoing, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist, with thanks to Arachnophilia, Andersen’s, Copenhagen; Ruth Benzacar, Buenos Aires, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles, Pinksummer Contemporary Art, Genoa, neugerriemschneider, Berlin
Cosmic Filaments (working title), 2013, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist
Cosmic Filaments (working title), 2013, Tomás Saraceno | courtesy the artist

project info:

 

name: Oceans of Air

artist: Tomás Saraceno

curator: Emma Pike and Olivier Varenne

venue: MONA Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania

duration: December 17, 2022 – July 24, 2023

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