Ryoji Ikeda planted a black monolith in Serralves gardens: “It’s almost like having my own little museum”

Anyone who goes to Serralves unaware of its program and with the simple intention of wandering through its gardens may be shocked by the sudden glimpse of a black box that, perhaps just arrived from the ends of the cosmos or from a parallel dimension, seems floating over a carefully trimmed grass carpet, in a geometric game of complex mathematics that captivates and intrigues in equal measure. The situation could perfectly fit into a new Netflix creation, perhaps into any science fiction mystery, but it is, in fact, a very real proposal by the Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda who, together with the architect Nuno Brandão Costa and a vast team of collaborators, he erected a pavilion there that sucks us into a carefully calculated vortex of light and sound, providing visitors with a transformative immersive experience in which experimental music, video art, architecture, philosophy and science combine in an absolutely unique way. .

“There are many planes in this sky”, comments Ryoji Ikeda, who chooses a corner of the Serralves gardens, a bench that shelters him from the São Martinho sun that cuts the trees with glorious white light, to talk exclusively with the Expresso. The multifaceted Japanese artist now based in France is one of the most original and sought-after creatives in the labyrinthine universe of contemporary art and is very used to crossing the world to present his challenging works, but even so, he seems surprised by the number of planes that incessantly take to Porto an endless flow of tourists, some of whom will certainly find themselves out of breath, with their feet on the brink of the virtual and digital abyss with which “Micro | Macro” confronts those who agree to dive there at least until September of next year. “For any artist, the possibility of building a pavilion like this is like a dream come true. That’s why when Philippe [Vergne, diretor do Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Fundação de Serralves] presented me with this challenge, I was naturally very happy”, admits the artist.

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