Cildo Meireles

Like a needle in a haystack

Kunsthal 44, Møen, Denmark
July 19 - September 14, 2014

Like a needle in a haystack, curated by Julia Rodrigues, was the first solo exhibition by the celebrated Brasilian artist Cildo Meireles in Scandinavia. Meireles (b. 1948) is internationally regarded as one of the leading figures in the development of conceptual art. Since the 1960s he has built on a rich and complex corpus of work, which often involves the viewer’s participation through the sensorial experience of the body. His artistic language, which has influenced generations of artists, is articulated between a sense of playfulness and a rigorous political stand.

The exhibition at Kunsthal 44 Møen presented a selection of works that spams from the early 1970s to the present day and explores ideas of space and scale: a single oversized canvas ‘occupies’ a whole room in the work Occupations (1968/2004/2014) or a huge pile of hay is encircled by a golden wire in the case of Fio (1990). At one end of the wire, a single 18-carat gold needle was inserted into the hay, also inspiring the title of the show.

The work La Bruja (The Witch, 1979–81/ 2014) was the central-piece in the exhibition and suggested the idea of ‘material thought’: a household broom leans against the wall, but instead of short bristles the shaft held 1.000.000 meters of black cotton threads, which covered the gallery and the rest of the building in a monstrous mess.

Early works in the show included Insertions into ideological circuits (from 1970), a body of work in which the artist used to print statements on glass Coca Cola bottles or stamp them on money and than return them back into circulation, challenging capitalism by its own means.

A room of the Kunsthal was also dedicated to a selection of Meireles’ sound works dated from 1970 to 2011. By introducing sound as an element in the exhibition, Meireles emphasized synesthesia as a relevant element of his work and of our experience of the world through art.

The exhibition was kindly supported by Kvadrat and produced by Kunsthal Møen in collaboration with South into North.

Kunsthal 44 Møen is an international exhibition space based in Møn, Denmark. It was initiated by the German curator and art-collector René Block and since 2008 has had an ambitious agenda, bringing key figures of the international art scene to the Danish countryside. Previously featured at the Kunsthal: Mona Hatoum, A. K. Dolven and Kim Sooja among others.

VIDEO Installing of the Exhibition, courtesy of Kvadrat