Friday, 13 August 2010

The Edges of the World

Event: 'The Edges of the World' by Ernesto Neto

Venue: Hayward Gallery

When: Until 5th Sept

Price: £11/£9

Rating: ***

As a big fan of installation art I went to the Hayward with a kind of childish glee. The hefty ticket price (even for a student) gains you entry to the both the 'Edges of the World' and 'The New Decor' exhibitions although this post will focus on the Neto exhibition.

Climbing the staircase to the upper floors of the Hayward, a blue nylon begins to encircle you. Reaching the top you're greeted by a vast space with wooden platforms reaching into an unseen domain. However, for me this room has little depth, it is too empty and doesn't present you with anything new or particularly exciting. The picture above was taken from one of the wooden platforms which allows you to see above the nylon ceiling into a vast network of tubes.

The highlight of this exhibition was a maze of tunnels with soft holes for you to peek through, the whole space felt as though you're inside some kind of giant intestine. You can explore further, removing your shoes you climb over a raised nylon floor, roll around on a memory foam donut and press against the soft walls. For the brave amongst you there is an outdoor lido (booked separately) on one of the rooftop spaces.

The exhibition was certainly an sensory experience and somewhat immersive, but I felt it lacked depth. Neto has created an organic playground, but there simply is not enough to play with. Having explored the whole space I felt the outdoor areas seemed disconnected from the large inside space. I left feeling as though there should have been more to see, especially with the expensive entrace fee. Your thoughts appreciated.

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