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Poly-sensoriality in Ernesto Neto’s Bio-organic Installation: Focusing on the Aesthetics of Grotesque and Softness

  • Journal of History of Modern Art
  • 2019, (45), pp.7-36
  • DOI : 10.17057/kahoma.2019..45.001
  • Publisher : 현대미술사학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Art > Arts in general > Art History
  • Received : May 1, 2019
  • Accepted : May 27, 2019
  • Published : June 30, 2019

Shin Young Sung 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This is a study of Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto’s gigantic bio-organic installation as a representation of the world that elicits a poly-sensory experience, including visual and tactile perception. Neto’s work continues 1960s Brazilian Neo-Concretism traditions with its minimalist approach and social and cultural significance, and the interconnectedness of poly-sensoriality and the symbolic semantic system function as a union of the simultaneous experience of the senses and mind. In particular, this paper focuses on the artist’s awareness of the world as a “body without organs” and interprets his strange creation within the framework of grotesque aesthetics. The unfamiliar visual experience of the grotesque body’s introduction to the world stimulates spectators’ imaginations and engages their minds, providing an opportunity to be confronted not only by history, society, and culture, but also by the essence of the world, such as the cosmic life; this is in line with the ontological characteristics of grotesque aesthetics. In addition, Neto uses soft and elastic fabrics and natural spices to elicit tactile, olfactory, and kinetic experiences that allow our imagined world to be acquired and rationalized through intimate body-to-body interactions. Consequently, the spectator will realize that we exist as an inseparable organic continuum with the world.

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