October 26, 2014 - Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck - Ernesto Neto
October 26, 2014

Ernesto Neto

Ernesto Neto in dialogue with the sculpture Torso-Profil by Hans Arp, 1959. Video: David Wesemann, 2014. © VG-BILD-KUNST Bonn, 2014. © Ernesto Neto, 2014.

Ernesto Neto
Haux Haux

26 October 2014–25 May 2015

Opening: Sunday, 26 October, 11am

Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
Hans-Arp-Allee 1
D- 53424 Remagen

T +49 (0) 22 28/94 25 0
F +49 (0) 22 28/94 25 21
info [​at​] arpmuseum.org
Press: Kathrin Luz Communication, kl [​at​] neumann-luz.de


Visitors are drawn into organic spatial bodies surrounded by textile membranes. Inside, they encounter the singing rituals of the Huni Kuin people from the Amazon basin, who have travelled here especially to consecrate the spaces. The title of the exhibition is also borrowed from their culture: Haux Haux (English: beginning, end, harmony) comes from the Huni Kuin’s Song of connection with the spirits of our nature.

Humanity and nature—it is in the context of this dialogue that Ernesto Neto (born in 1964, lives and works in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) addresses the manifold ways of perceiving our body as part of the theme year “Human Dimensions” at the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck.

In the process, he turns his sculptures into physical spaces of experience: warm colors and soft shapes combine to create cave-like rooms, whose plush floors invite the visitor to stay and savor a sensual, rich experience. He stimulates our sense of smell with numerous bags of herbs and spices made of lace and nylon as part of installations which hang from the ceiling and protrude into the space below. The involvement of the observer in active perception and social encounters thus becomes part of the artwork.

Neto connects Arp with the Here and Now
Neto’s organic room-scapes correspond with Hans Arp, the museum’s eponym—and build a bridge from modernity to the here and now: the Brazilian Neto, who represented his country at the Venice Biennale in 2001 and only recently won widespread acclaim for his major exhibition at Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, sees his works as closely related to those of Arp, in both spiritual and formal terms—their works share both an interest in natural processes of transformation and a preference for a biomorphic formal language and a tendency toward minimalistic abstraction. Therefore, Neto has deliberately juxtaposed some of his works with those of Hans Arp for the exhibition. Furthermore, he has produced two videos for the exhibition at Rolandseck, one of which shows him in a “affectionate” embrace and dance with one of Arp’s sculptures.

The Cooperation with the Huni Kuin
Ernesto Neto has been working for some time with members of the Brazilian indigenous people Huni Kuin, who consciously wish to present their culture and lifestyle to a western audience. Now they are accompanying the artist to his first major museum exhibition in Germany and perform a traditional singing ritual in his installations.

For the exhibition in the Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Ernesto Neto has also produced two video works in which the Huni Kuin also play a role. In one video Txana Bane, the son of the Huni Kuins’ chieftain, sings a song of healing for Hans Arp’s sculpture Kauernd [cowering] (1960). The title of the exhibition, Haux Haux – beginning, end, harmony comes from the Huni Kuins’ Song of connection with the spirits of our nature. In the second video, Ernesto Neto himself performs a pas de deux around the darkened room with Arp’s bronze sculpture Torso Profile (1959), thus entering into a personal dialogue with the statue. The works demonstrate in exemplary fashion the ease with which Neto incorporates the most diverse cultural influences into his work. Hence Hans Arp, whom Neto names as one of his main artistic influences and a protagonist of European modernity, enters into a direct conversation with the rites of Brazil’s indigenous people.

The Huni Kuin—the name means “real people”—are an indigenous people from South America who live in about 33 villages in the rain forests of the northern Brazilian state of Acre and neighboring north-eastern Peru. They fish in lakes and rivers, grow and gather plants in the woods and cook outdoors at open fires. They produce most of their day-to-day utensils by hand. For the Huni Kuin, life takes place in the familiar surroundings of the village community, based on a sense of belonging and mutual support. They celebrate their solidarity and connection with nature with herbal medicine and traditional healing songs.

Some Huni Kuin will be present at the opening of the exhibition as guests of the artist and will “consecrate” his work with traditional singing rituals. Visitors will also be able to take part in these rituals. Following these rites, some of the tribe’s women will demonstrate how they produce jewelry from seeds, beads and cotton according to traditional “Kene” (natural patterns). Traces of this indigenous people will be reflected throughout the entire duration of the exhibition in the form of narrative drawings of their myths and audio recordings of their songs.

Ernesto Neto
Born in 1964 in Rio de Janeiro, Ernesto Neto continues to live and work there. From 1994–97, he studied at the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro and the Escola de Artes Visuais Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro. The Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck is showing the first museum exhibition dedicated to Ernesto Neto in Germany. Most recently, the artist’s work was on show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010) and in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2014), among others.

Curators: Jutta Mattern and Astrid von Asten
A catalog with current pictures of the exhibition will be published shortly after the opening.

The exhibition is taking place with the generous support of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, represented by the Kreissparkasse Ahrweiler, the Sparkassen-Kulturfonds des Deutschen Sparkassen- und Giroverbandes and the Kultur- und Sozialstiftung der Provinzial Rheinland, as well as the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) [Institute for Foreign Relations] and the Deutsch-Brasilianische Gesellschaft Bonn [German-Brazilian Society].

Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
Share - Ernesto Neto
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York