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Tomás Saraceno – 14 Billions (Working Title)

30.04 – 23.08/2015
Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Oslo

Sørlandets Kunstmuseum is proud to present a work by the renowned Argentinian artist and architect Tomás Saraceno. For the installation 14 Billions (Working Title) (2010) Saraceno has created an oversized model of the web of a Black Widow spider.
14 Billions (Working Title) is one of several works the artist has made using the spiderweb as a starting point. His fascination with the spiderweb and how astrophysicists use it to explain the origin and structure of the universe was the impetus for the installation. Astrophysicists claim that there are significant geometrical similarities between the two phenomena.
Saraceno asked a challenging question: Was it possible to accurately draw and measure an actual spiderweb, translate this information into digital data and then create a three-dimensional model? This had never been done before. In collaboration with astrophysicists, arachnologists (experts on spiders and spiderwebs), engineers and architects, Saraceno spent two years developing 14 Billions (Working Title). The exhibition also presents some of the research material that was produced during this period, giving the audience an insight to the process.
In addition to providing us with a dramatic, sensory and aesthetic experience, Saraceno’s work causes us to reflect on how far reality actually extends. He draws parallels between the nature that is close at hand and astronomical constellations. In this way, his work invites us to reflect upon interactions between things in our immediate surroundings and those that are distant and difficult to comprehend, between micro- and macro-cosmos. Saraceno’s art should not be understood merely as an illustration of scientific discoveries, but as an active element in their development. One important side to his work is the ethical dimension: by stimulating science, new ideas can be generated and used to create a more sustainable society.
Saraceno works within the art world, but was originally trained as an architect. Through his makings the artist dialogues with and elaborates on earlier visionary architects’ theories—for instance those created by Richard Buckminster Fuller, Yona Friedman and Frei Otto. As with the work of these creative minds, many of Saraceno’s installations can be seen as explorations of possible visions for a better world. His utopian installations challenge our perception of the environment and the social landscape, and they figure as models for alternative types of social spaces and habitats.
14 Billions (Working Title) is owned by Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm. In connection with the exhibition at Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, we would like to thank Bonniers Konsthall for its generosity in lending us the work.
Born in 1973 in Tucumán, Argentina, Tomás Saraceno currently lives and works in Berlin. He studied architecture at Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in Argentina from 1992 to 1999 and received postgraduate degrees from Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de la Nación “Ernesto de la Carcova,” Buenos Aires (2000) and Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main (2003). In 2009 he attended the International Space Studies Program at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. 14 Billions (Working title) is a development of the work Galaxies Forming Along Filaments Like Droplets Along The Strands of A Spider’s Web which Saraceno presented at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009, as part of the group exhibition, Fare Mondi//Making Worlds, curated by Daniel Birnbaum. In recent years he has held several large solo and group exhibitions both in Europe and in the USA.
Saraceno’s works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in Luxembourg, Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

This post is also available in: Spanish