Monika Bravo
Feb 16, 2014 9:54PM

2012installation view @ stenersen museum oslo80 x 30 x 8" (glass) base 24 x 80 x 8"sculptural time-based installationglass, mirror, aluminum, projectors, mac mini, custom software.texts from Italo Calvino's Invisible cities


"Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny." — Mahatma Gandhi

Landscape of Belief is a sculptural time-based installation that calls into question how we construct our lives according to our belief systems. The viewer experiences the sculpture as animations composed of text projected and floating diaphanously in glass panels. These texts that generate skylines of real/imaginary landscapes are culled from Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, (both a dialogue and description of illusory cities between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan). By carefully overlapping surfaces, a rich non material space of emptiness is achieved throughout the time-based composition. The sculpture presents nothingness as an object thus allowing for the space of the metaphysical to challenge the viewer.I first came upon the idea for the piece after I encountered the title for an exhibition:“Textural landscapes”, I envisioned a space covered with layers of dynamic landscape, as thoughts become actions these define destinies as Gandhi notes above. I thought of text as the potentiality of form; as the space in between, the vehicle of infinite probabilities, not so much as direct meaning, but as abstraction and embodiment of the possibilities of the mind. My intention is to create a parallel between literature and architecture, as they both define, translate and shape physical and mind structures. As the viewer is immersed in the projection, she is given the opportunity to experience the prospect of awareness, of the power of their belief systems and how they define the landscape of their lives. I am also interested in the transparency, the emptiness of space and its potential as the things that are yet to come.What is imperative for Landscape of Belief is the necessity for it to be experienced. No documentation will ever be able to transmit the feeling of the texts floating on the surface of the materials, or the possibility of viewing the sculpture from both sides. It took three years in the making and addresses two important issues in the trajectory of my work, such as the shifting definition of the medium and the physical manifestation of the piece. As seen in this work, for the first time I generated the images solely by drawing. I used the graphic animators (the assistants) as an extension of my brain, they translated my visual ideas into form. The process began with finding the images in google and then recomposing the city’s skyline by meticulously outlining and tracing their architectural components with Calvino’s text. The sculptural aspect is also critical in this work, for I am allowing the materials to become present and centered in the space, expressing my own willingness to expose vulnerability as strength.

"This -- some say -- confirms the hypothesis that each man bears in its mind a city made only of differences, a city without figures and without form, and the individual cities fill it up."— I. Calvino

Monika Bravo