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DiVerso was a an exhibition of Brazilian contemporary artists organized by the Consulate General of Brazil to celebrate the opening of new premises in San Francisco.
My friend Mariangela Smania is an artist born in Rio De Janeiro. I collaborated with her in “Enlightenment”, the mixed media piece she displayed at DiVerso. My task was to help to conceive the installation and then design and build the box that creates the light effects and supports the fiberglass panel.
Here is the text I wrote to introduce the piece at the exhibition:
“Enlightnement” (Mariangela Smania, Mixed Media, 2009)
Philosopher and Scholar Marshall McLuhan stated that “The Media is the Message”, that the most important effect of an expression should be attributed to the medium itself, more than the content it carries. He also wrote “The serious artist is the only person able to encounter technology with impunity, just because she is an expert aware of the changes in sense and perception.”
In this piece, Mariangela Smania combines unlikely medium components to create a work that is both minimalistic and complex. She lets the medium carry the message and leaves space for us to interact with it and get to our own conclusions. Using its own light source, Enlightnement is not a work of art passively waiting to be observed and interpreted. It grabs and brings us in to imprint its effects on the observer.
While using new experimental medium, in this work Mariangela brings her signature element from her previous work: pieces of tree bark and natural fibers, creating layers of texture and representing moments and experiences in our lives.
The combination of light, water and life is full of energy and impetus, but also surprising peace and balance. On a different dimension, the juxtaposition and harmonious integration of electronics, resin medium, and organic bark elements seems to suggest our minds of the need to create space for nature in the synthetic environment we live in.