Jiboia, 2015

Climate March, Vienna, 2016 | Photo: Sandro Zanzinger

Hand-dyed crocheted cotton 
Approx. 1610 x 80 cm 

Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto envisions art as an escape, an opportunity to immerse the senses, and an ephemeral journey towards self-enlightenment. His interactive, almost architectural, installations are colorfully knitted, room-sized structures, experienced as a sensuous exploration. As one travels through his captivating works, they encounter aromatic fragrances wafting from the fabric, stretched contours and soft surfaces that beg to be touched, and organic forms that rouse the imagination. 

Jiboia – boa constrictor in Portuguese – was activated for the first time on the occasion of the global climate change march in December 2015. While hundreds of thousands took to the streets across the globe, among the throngs in Vienna a smaller group of activists, including a group of Huni Kuin who traveled from Brazil for the occasion, could be found wearing Neto’s Jiboia. Wearing the woven net, the activists united disparate cultures, joining ancient knowledge and rituals with the new. The timely work is a manifestation of the idea that even the seemingly insignificant actions of one can affect the whole – a testament to the notion that we are all nature and culture is only a sub-product. – Alicia Reuter

*1964 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | Living and working in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil