JUNE 30 – JULY 29, 2018
From June 30 to July 29, 2018, the Fondation Beyeler is showing an installation by the Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto (b. 1964 in Rio de Janeiro) in Zurich Main station. The monumental work GaiaMotherTree, a sculpture made of brightly colored hand-knotted cotton strips, resembles a tall tree, extending right up to the ceiling of the station concourse, which is twenty meters high. It is a walk-in structure that functions as a meeting place and a venue for interaction and meditation. A varied program of events for adults and children, with music, workshops, guided tours and talks, will take place inside the installation.
Ernesto Neto and his oeuvre
Ernesto Neto is one of the most important contemporary artists. Spirituality, humanism, and ecology are among his principal concerns. His work since the 1990s has been characterized by the use of unusual materials and techniques. His sculptures and installations often feature biomorphic forms and organic materials, with transparency and sensuality playing a major role. Viewers can touch the works and walk through them or set them in motion; in many cases, they also appeal to the sense of smell. The visitor is invited to concentrate on his or her own perception and interact with the work and its environment.
The traditions of the Huni Kuin
In recent years, Neto has turned his attention to a new series of works, which he is realizing in cooperation with the Huni Kuin, an indigenous community living in the Amazon region near the Brazilian border with Peru. The culture and customs of the Huni Kuin, their knowledge and craft skills, their aesthetic sense, their values, their world view, and their spiritual connection with nature, have transformed Neto's conception of art and become integral elements of his artistic practice.
GaiaMotherTree was made entirely by hand. Strips of cotton were colored, and then knotted together with a finger-crocheting technique to form a giant transparent structure. The upper part of the work, shaped like the crown of a tree, will cover the ceiling of the station concourse. At the base of the tree there is a large space where visitors can linger and rest on seats arranged in a circle. Drop-shaped elements hanging from the branches are filled with aromatic spices and dried leaves.
The Fondation Beyeler thanky Ernesto Neto and his team: Carmen, Leandro, Elisa, Jocilene, Marcia, Dalva, Ana, Daniel, Jorge, Bruno; as well as to the team in Rio who contributed to the realisation of GaiaMotherTree: Crene, Sara, Selma, Teresa, Sonia, Zilda, Arqueiro, Cupim, Teela, Eid, Bibi, Arleia, Monica, Carla, Rafael, Rafaele, Carlinhos, Chaves.
Public Programme, July 2–29
Talks & Lectures
Music & Performances
Forum for interdisciplinary and intercultural exchange
- 12-3pm at Zurich Main Station
- 3-10pm at Oncurating Project Space
Workshops & Meditation
Modern Call & Response singing from the heart: Sing, dance or listen. Places are limited.
Gong Master Leo Cosendai takes the visitors on a unique sound journey into the subconscious, accompanied by Gong Master Christina Degele (aka Cris Chandra). Places are limited.
«A mirror of simple souls». Relaxation with words, silence and music. Places are limited.
Introduction to the GaiaMotherTree installation. Daily at noon, starting July 2, students from the Art Education masters course at Zurich University of the Arts.
Monday to Sunday
Young people can exchange their thoughts on themes relating to «GaiaMotherTree» in a relaxed atmosphere with others of the same age
Young Art Club and Art Lab Workshop on Saturday, July 7
Knotting and macramé workshops for children, families and adults, offered by Anna & Juan (ecept Saturday, June 30)
- 2-4.30pm Uhr
All events take place at Zurich Main Station. Free admission.
Events and Tips
Ernesto Neto "We are all Children of the Earth" on Charity Ebay
The new work "We are all Children of the Earth" (2018) by Ernesto Neto, a numbered, with printed artist's signature, limited edition for $620, is available from July 23 to August 2 exclusively on eBay. By purchasing an edition, you are supporting GaiaMotherTree, the public art project by the Fondation Beyeler at Zurich Main Station. The sale runs from July 23 to August 2 or (if sooner) until the edition is sold out.
Artist Talks: Ernesto Neto
Artist Talk with Ernesto Neto in conversation with Paulo Herkenhoff. Artist Talks is a program organized by the Fondation Beyeler and UBS in which internationally renowned contemporary artists speak about their work.