Normally, a gallery’s white walls are meant to foreground the art. In the case of Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira’s latest sculpture, Baitogogo, they are the art.
The giant Gordian Knot is currently installed in Paris gallery Palais de Tokyo, and it fits into Oliveira’s canon quite nicely. The artist is known for massive organic installations that will completely transform a space, many of which look just about as tree-like as Baitogogo. This piece in particular makes the building a part of the sculpture, which seems to grow out of the ceiling and walls. The curators at Palais de Tokyo say:
Through a kind of architectural anthropomorphism, Henrique Oliveira reveals the building’s structure. At Palais de Tokyo, he plays on the space’s existing and structuring features, prolonging and multiplying pillars in order to endow them with a vegetable and organic dimension, as though the building were coming alive. The artist draws inspiration from medical textbooks, amongst others, and particularly from studies of physical pathologies such as tumours. Through a formal analogy, these outgrowths evoke the outermost layers of the bark of a common tree. The texture of this wooden tapumes installation inevitably calls to mind certain tree essences from Amazonian, humid tropical forests: the rivulets and other nodes constitute uncontrollable networks, in a logic that Man can no longer suppress.
Here’s a neat short video about the installation process for the piece:
Baitogogo is on display until September 9. The massive tangled structure is probably not the kind of thing you’d want to see in person if you have poor impulse control — it’s like a twisting tree just begging you to climb it. [Palais de Tokyo via Colossal]