The work of conceptual artist Cildo Meireles (Rio de Janeiro, 1948) is an invitation to reflect on our perception of time and space. It offers strong critical commentary on subjects like territory and history, and its primary goal is to “incite, propagate and experience freedom”.
CILDO MEIRELES. Marulho (The Murmur of the Sea), 1991-1997.
The Reina Sofía Museum points out, in the introduction of the exhibition Cildo Meireles, that since the 1960s the artist “has been developing new possibilities for the redefinition of conceptual art, based on a relationship with the viewer’s sensorial experience, the critical use of ideological and economic circulation systems, and also an ethical connection with the world, which are the foundations of the artist’s ongoing critical interpretation”.
The display at the Retiro Gardens, intended to be a sample of the artist’s creative trajectory, presents more than 100 pieces, most of them new, featuring sculptures, large-scale installations, drawings, and multimedia.
His installation Amerikkka, about the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the “new world”, introduces 20,050 wooden eggs under a suspended ceiling of 76,150 empty bullets. One of the difficulties for the display of this seemingly frail piece was the task of collecting the bullets, which were supplied by the Ministry of Defense.
Also on view are stunning examples of Meireles’ epic works. Among them: Abajur (Lampshade), Olvido (Oblivion) and Arte Física (Physical Art), as well as works from the series Espacios Virtuales (Virtual Spaces) and Volúmenes (Volumes).
CILDO MEIRELES. Árvore de dinheiro (Money Tree), 1969.
The exhibition will be open in Madrid at the Velázquez Palace in the Retiro Gardens until September 29th, 2013. It will then travel to the Serralves Museum of Contemporary art in Porto, Portugal (October 26 to January 27, 2014), and subsequently to Milan’s Hangar Bicocca (March 6 to June 15, 2014). ■