This publication documents the exhibition “Ne voulais prendre, ni forme, ni chair,
ni matière” by Daniel Steegmann Mangrané at the Institut d'Art
Contemporain de Villeurbanne, France in 2019. The catalogue includes
first translations into French of the poems of Stela do Patrocínio, a
poet who has longly inspired the artist in his
Daniel Steegmann Mangrané has created a polymorphous work (drawing,
sculpture, film, installations, etc.). His arrival in Brazil
in 2004 was motivated by his fascination for the Amazonian forest – as a
child he wanted to be a biologist, an entomologist or a botanist – as well
as his discovery of Brazilian artists, Lygia
and Hélio Oiticica. Beginning at end of the 1950's, for the
founders of the Neo-Concrete movement, intuition, subjectivity and public
participation managed to reconcile outdated dualisms, starting with the
commonly acknowledged opposition between object and subject.
Also nourished by anthropology and the poems of Stela do Patrocínio, one
of which inspired the title of this exhibition; in his work Daniel
Steegmann Mangrané mixes natural and cultural forms. He explores how the
living is entangled with its environment, experimenting with space as an
area of the sensitive and of relationships.
Impregnated by the Amerindian perspective of anthropologist Eduardo
Viveiros de Castro – who blurs the distinction between human and non-human
– and by the thinking of Philippe Descola who strives to go beyond the
Nature-Culture dualism, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané intends to totally and
profoundly transform the space of the IAC. And so, the path of the
exhibition generates new vanishing lines, changing perspectives which open
out towards the exterior. Defined by a sensitive geometry, driven only by
rays of natural light that penetrate the gloom, it encourages exploration
and groping and fumbling, as if willing visitors to rediscover the essence
of the living itself. This path through the exhibition also translates the
artist's fascination for the notion of dissolution, a dissolution of the
subject which is likely to lead to an awareness of its surroundings.
Published following the eponymous exhibition at Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne, from February 20 to April 28, 2019.
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.