This catalogue documents a project for which Steegmann Mangrané intends to reframe the history of abstraction, inviting us to re-evaluate the traditional division between nature and culture. It features a selection of works inspired by the artist's readings, from Roger Caillois to Merleau-Ponty.
“I was pure gases, air, empty space, time, / I was air, empty space, time
/ And pure gases, like that, see, empty space, see / I had no form / I had
no formation / I had no place to make an head / Make arms, make body /
Make ears, make nose / Make the roof of a mouth, make chatter / Make
muscle, make teeth
I had nowhere to make any of those things / Make head, think about any one
think / Be useful, intelligent, be reasoning / I had nowhere to draw any
of those things / I was pure empty space”—Stela do Patrocínio
The Spiral Forest accompanies Daniel Steegmann Mangrané's 2016
solo exhibition held at The Green Parrot, Fundació Antoni Tàpies in
Barcelona. The artist's multimedia practice encompasses film, sculpture,
video, photography, drawing, and installation. By connecting geometric and
abstract forms with natural elements, Steegmann Mangrané intends to
reframe the history of abstraction through non-hierarchical and
non-human-centric theories of the world, inviting us to re-evaluate our
point of view and reshape the traditional division between nature and
The volume is a compilation of materials built out of a number of
influential texts—including some poems by Stela do Patrocínio, an excerpt
by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a text by Roger Caillois—plus sets of images
illustrating exhibitions, projects, and works, which ask the reader to
build their own understanding of Steegmann Mangrané's practice and concept
Published following the exhibition “Did not want to have human form, human flesh or human matter” at The Green Parrot – Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, from February 17 to March 18, 2016.
Born 1977 in Barcelona, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané lives and works in Rio de Janeiro since 2004. Interested in exploring the complex interdependence of the organic world and human action, Steegmann focuses on the Amazonian Forest of Brazil, while also adopting the theoretical framework of the renowned anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, who argues against the false dichotomy between humanity and the animal world by putting forward the notion that we are all part of a shared equilibrium and incorporating the paradigm of Amerindian perspectivism. With a language close to Brazilian Neo-Concretism, Steegmann Mangrané explores the migration and affinities of forms between nature, art and architecture. Both in his fragile sculptures, made of intervened organic material, and in his creations of augmented reality, he experiments with the correspondences between organic and geometric forms and with the complex network of dependencies that exist in the biological order.
Edited by João Laia and Rose Lleó.
Texts by Vilém Flusser, Roger Caillois, João Laia, Rose Lleó, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Stela do Patrocínio, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, interview with Daniel Steegmann Mangrané by Lauren Cornell.