Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s inner experience
Disconcerting and confusing. Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s exhibition, “Did not want to take on any form, flesh or material”, which will be on display until 28 April 2019 at the IAC in Villeurbanne, is not the kind that visitors are used to seeing. There is no imposed path, no material works: here, “you must not find works, the only thing to find is your own experience” says the artist.
Daniel Steegmann Mangrané was born in Barcelona in 1977 and has lived in Brazil since 2004. Fascinated by the Amazonian forest, imbued with a culture that associates human beings and their environment in a peaceful relational space, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané created a deeply mystical conceptual work, seeking the fusion of the elements in “a process of mutual transformation”. A long-term research on overcoming Western dualisms, initiated thanks to his work on phasms. The observation of these mimetic and harmless insects, visible in the video “Phasmids”, leads him to reflect on the intention of becoming one with the environment, as a way of returning to our original state.
The title, inspired by the collection of poems “Reign of Beasts and Animals is My Name” by the Brazilian poet Stela do Patrocinio (1941-1997), invites a material dissolution. The visitor’s habits are blurred and he quickly loses his bearings. So here he is in the obligation to feel and experience the only medium present: light. Passing through the IAC skylights, reflecting the panels of the rooms, the light beam creates a pure atmosphere for everyone to feel “the feeling of the speed of light”. The experience becomes contemplative and meditative. By entering this exhibition free of what holds us back from civilization, of these superfluous things, the visitor lets himself be won over by the essence of emptiness and luminous purity. With no image to cling to, the visitor grabs the play of this light through the rooms so that it finally touches his own inner light.
“I always look for the moment when the visitor no longer looks at the works but at his own experience: the moment when he looks at himself. Exposure is based on one’s own emotional, not visual, feelings. The IAC, an institution of creation, freedom and experimentation, followed Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s project to the end by modulating its spaces and modifying its opening hours according to the rhythm of the sun. These decompartmentalized and rethought spaces invite the spectator to question his place in this environment through an introspective sensory experience until he experiences his own bodily dissolution.
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