Carla Guagliardi (1956 - )

Untitled (1990)

height: 235cm
width: variable

Donated by Carla Guagliardi and Paula Terra Neale 1995


Carla Guagliardi has consistently experimented with placing together - in close proximity - materials of diverse origin; these are both manmade and organic, and include water, plastic, iron, glass, copper, steel, cotton and living plants. Here the combination is water, iron and plastic. The iron rods are placed inside long plastic sheaths (tube-like bags known in Brazil by the name of a river-tree: Mangueira) and each bag is filled with water. As the iron rusts, powder-like fragments of rust fall in a permanent slow motion and collect at the base of each bag. Thus the tubes are slowly differentiated from each other in the process of rusting.

As in many examples of Guagliardi's sculptural work, time is the decisive agent: so much so that the artist lists 'time' as one of the materials from which this work is made. The wall of rods held by ESCALA is a smaller version of a large installation of 152 pieces that the artist produced for a 1990 exhibition. Here a wall of 76 vertical rods faced an opposite wall of 76 rods placed at an incline: a configuration intended to unbalance to viewer's spatial perception. Guagliardi won the PrĂªmio FIAT 1990 for this work, and she regards the process of its making as a vitally important stage in her trajectory, one at which the questions which her subsequent work would address became clear.

Isobel Whitelegg, 2008

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