A project by Willy Verginer for Liquid art system at Art Miami 2017
Curated by Marco Izzolino
“High Waters” is a solo show by Willy Verginer, created by the artist specifically for Art Miami 2017. This exhibition will occupy the whole area of a fair booth: the one of Liquid art system. The idea behind the project is to conceptually turn the booth into a lido for bathers.
The visitor who enters the booth – or simply peeks into it – will be surrounded by sculptures made of lime wood, some kept in natural wood and others painted with acrylic colours. A small pier will cross the area diagonally. The sculptures will give visitors the sensation to be floating between the water and the land.
The project aims at being a sculptural metaphor of Miami urban development. The buildings of this city stretch towards the sky from the level ground, with their foundations steadily rooted into the underground. Nevertheless, from a visual standpoint, these buildings seem to emerge from the waters.
The unique lifestyle of Miami seems to be floating – just like the sculptures of the project – between the water and the land.
But there is a deeper meaning behind this project, behind the liquidity that it shows. It is a tribute to a sociologist who recently passed away, the one who was able, better than any other contemporary thinker, to interpret the international social, historical and political dynamics that the world is currently experiencing. We are speaking of Zygmunt Bauman.
For Bauman, the liquidity represents the very essence of the world we are living: its rapid transformation, its permeability and ever-changing nature. The social peace and the legal certainty, that had ensured the political stability and economic development to the “modern” world, have been dissolving slowly because of that same progress that modernity had supported.
Verginer's bathers stand in the space where the liquidity is not visible but can only be imagined, just like it happens inside society, whose illusory solidity hides a profound uncertainty for the lack of tangible points of reference: everything is variable, everything is uncertain... but everything is also possible.
In his critics to modernity, Bauman also restored the active role of society, by enabling it to act effectively, by making it the protagonist of its future. The man and the collectivity are not passive elements anymore, but they are the actors who can choose consciously thanks to their knowledge.
Just like it will happen to the visitors who walk around Verginer's sculptures: they will not be mere viewers, but they will become a part of the liquid reality built by the artist.