Daniel Steegmann Mangrané saturates Kiasma in scent, mild and uncanny geometry

by Editors Staff

Close to the beginning of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s new present, ‘A Leaf Shapes the Eye’,  a wide range of small, unusual objects are scattered throughout a white desk: hybrid cigarette packaging shaped of two hexagonally reduce packs; shredded strips of journal bundled like a plant; seeds and different undeclared pure spherical types reduce with geometric patterns; leaves with laser-cut circles scarring their floor; and several other contorted and twisted twigs. It’s an eclectic mixture of discovered and manipulated objects displayed as an inventive house of exploration, with concepts transposed from studio to gallery.

Steegmann Mangrané’s present is a 25-year survey of the Spanish artist’s apply unfold over two flooring of Kiasma, the Finnish nationwide gallery of latest artwork. He’s an artist keen on extracting or revealing the uncanny from objects and locations, not solely to create curious aesthetic kind however to deeply penetrate concepts of nature. These contorted twigs on the desk just do this, every clinically cut up in half alongside the stem earlier than the artist makes use of wire to reconstruct it, a void separating the slivers.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Desk with Objects, 1998-ongoing

(Picture credit score: Finnish Nationwide Gallery / Petri Virtanen)

‘One of many key questions of the exhibition is the blurring of the boundaries between tradition and nature that Western considering has established as opposition,’ explains João Laia, chief curator of short-term exhibitions at Kiasma. The void Steegmann Mangrané has inserted into the twigs exemplifies this: a well-known, even mundane, pure object, now reworked by way of a refined cultural act, creating house to contemplate its relationship to the human.

Elsewhere, the eyes of feral canines which reside in a brutalist Dhaka constructing are actually hooked up to bushes throughout the Brazilian Mata Atlântica rainforest, seemingly releasing the animals’ spirits not solely into nature 14,000km away however into the very trunk of a brand new residing being. In the identical rainforest, a 16mm movie follows a wonderfully geometric line by way of the chaos of nature. It creates a chic capturing of place, however one which can be sinister and unnerving in its easy, medical gesture so at odds with the wilderness it surveys.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané – A Leaf Shapes the Eye

(Picture credit score: Finnish Nationwide Gallery / Petri Virtanen)

This half of the exhibition is stuffed with discrete experiments introduced in a conventional white wall hold. There are montaged photos, geometric color experiments, and a movie of stick bugs residing inside a world of twigs and geometric development, the digital camera’s shifting focus softening the excellence between every. A slideshow of 54 images presents Calafet, the japanese Catalonian panorama of Steegmann Mangrané’s childhood, exhibiting a spot of fixed destruction and reformation by way of quarries, development, and motion. 

It’s a panorama which involves thoughts within the second, and distinctly completely different, half of the exhibition. Having explored the creative elements, instruments, and modes of notion utilised by Steegmann Mangrané, the customer ascends a ramp and opens a door to seek out themselves in a form of artifical Calafet–however one transmogrified, belying expectation and geometry. With home windows lined in blue movie, Nordic spring mild floods throughout artificial blue grass laid to an irregular topology. The Stephen Holl-designed gallery turns into an area of dislocation, the slopes of the synthetic garden forcing the customer into self-awareness of physique and gravity.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané Phasmides 2008–2012

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Phasmides, 2008–2012

(Picture credit score: Daniel Steegmann Mangrané)

‘Issues begin to dissolve the standard opposition between thoughts and physique, or geometric and natural,’ the artist says of the house interrupted by 5 taut vertical lights flashing, flickering, and flowing in response to the exterior local weather and inside exercise. Parts seen throughout the earlier flooring recur however extracted from a conventional hold into this otherworld: a cut up twig sits on a rotating mirrored circle and a leaf stands proud with a single beam of sunshine singing by way of its excellent circles. On the ground, a cellular-pattern jigsaw of 200-million-year-old Italian marble is rearranged, questioning the division between pure and artifical, on the partitions holograms give a sci-fi glow to elementary nature.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané Holograms

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Holograms, 2021

(Picture credit score: Finnish Nationwide Gallery / Petri Virtanen)

This can be a seek for the cosmos throughout the elementary, and wrapping all of it is an otherworldly sound with echoes of distant house and historic occasions. In truth, it’s a loop recording of flautist Joana Saraiva, a musician Steegmann Mangrané introduced with recordings of the extraordinary noise of an under-construction oil rig which she then transposed into the haunting soundscape. ‘More often than not she was deaf to what she was taking part in, the sound she was listening to was so loud she couldn’t hear what she was taking part in, she was deciphering by way of the vibration of her chest, lips, and fingers,’ the artist says of the collaboration which returned a human scale to an immense equipment created to extract nature. On the far aspect of a room-dividing chainlink curtain–which requires the customer to chop by way of because the linear movie sliced the rainforest–a twisting metal sculpture stands. It shadows the actions development staff repeated and repeated in establishing the rig, fixing their choreography into a fragile kind.

Steegmann Mangrané’s manipulations and explorations of nature, and humanity’s entanglement with it as observer and consumer, raises questions past a topic/viewer dialectic, encouraging us to see ourselves of nature, not from it. ‘All the pieces has a potentiality of being a topic, the whole lot has its personal viewpoint, the whole lot must be revered, and the whole lot must be handled with the identical manner we should always deal with our friends,’ the artist says, and at a time when nature from rivers to mountains are being afforded human and authorized rights to combat anthropogenic destruction, it’s a pertinent proposition.

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané Elegancia y renuncia 2011

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Elegancia y renuncia, 2011

(Picture credit score: Finnish Nationwide Gallery / Pirje Mykkänen)

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, ‘A Leaf Shapes the Eye’, till 10 September 2023, Museum of Up to date Artwork Kiasma. kiasma.fi (opens in new tab)

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