Brazilian of Italian descent, based in Berlin since 1996, Carla Guagliardi weaves her artistic practice with the threads of different cultural mindsets and disciplines. Daughter of a renowned pop-singer who used to perform with her father, music and performance constitute the fabric of her activity in that harmony, rhythm and poetry imbue her work as visual artist. With persistence and unprejudiced curiosity she observes natural phenomena and puts herself in the role of facilitator for balance, gravity, pressure and tension to act as the main agents for her sculpture and installations. Art is for her an area of suspension of disbelief where she can devote herself to trying out new connections and see where they lead.
Fuga (2014)—an installation conceived for Diehl Cube—and the sculpture Partitura (2012)—also displayed in the exhibition—pivot on the principles of connection and balance, dynamism and tension, suspension and distribution. They use lines and spheres like punctuation of a language devised with the purpose of visualizing space. Fuga (escape, fugue) employs copper pipes as were they needles piercing the Gallery walls to let through a taut rubber elastic band in a loop that stitch together the exhibition space, optically linking the outside with the inside by means of subtle lines that designate an otherwise invisible expanse. The graphic pun brings to mind the Parcae’s metaphorical thread of life and Ariadne’s logical method of selecting amongst multiple ways of proceeding in the labyrinth of existence. Like a song or lyric, Partitura (music score) naturally holds together by means of a sequence of balancing pressure between foam balls of different sizes and wood partitions hanging from the wall with hinges on one side of their edge. Displayed like notes in a music score the spheres are placed under and between the partitions, remaining in place only because they are gently squeezed between the wood and the wall. Rhythm, a definition normally used in music and poetry, can be applied to the visual flow and counterpoint generated by repetition, variations and harmony encapsulated in these sculptures.
Attentive and reflective, rather than forceful and provocative, Carla Guagliardi brings into visual art wisdom and tranquility, connectedness and care—qualities that induce grace rather than friction and lend themselves as metaphors for life-condition and philosophical considerations. An art of broad perspectives and elation, it opens up mental doors rather than closing in on compartmentalized views showing how, on the other side of the threshold, new dimensions expand.
Carla Guagliardi’s optic and tactile language is akin to her Brazilian predecessors rooted in 1960s’ conceptualism, namely Lygia Pape, Helio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, who adopted an ‘anthropophagous’ model which adhered to Modernism and the vanguard grafting indigenous culture and popular elements into them. Her interest in natural science and her cyclic rather than linear conception of time are informed by the overwhelming exuberance of nature in Brazil, which prevaricates the immediacy of urban digital culture.
One-person exhibitions of Carla Guagliardi’s work have been hosted by institutions that include the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro and Haus am Waldsee in Berlin (both in 2009), whereas her participation in group shows spans from Haus der Kulturen der Welt (1998 and again in 2006), Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2010) and Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster (2011).
The exhibitions will be accompanied by a booklet.