Laura Vinci was working as a set designer for a Chekhov play in her native São Paulo when she experienced a vision that blew her away.
It came during a moment in the production when an actor created a chaotic whirlwind by blowing a ream of paper in a swirl above the stage using an electric fan strapped to his body. The resulting dance among paper, air, and space became the inspiration behind an eye-catching installation on view at ArtCenter/South Florida’s Richard Shack Gallery (800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). “Transformative Materials Reconfigure Space and Perception” marks the Brazilian talent’s American solo debut.
A sculptor, interdisciplinary artist, draughtswoman, and engraver, Vinci created a series of four site-specific works for her South Beach exhibition. Together, they’re designed to be read as a single narrative combining elements of architecture, light, materiality, and space in a theatrical way.
Her dramatic display seamlessly re-enacts the chaos and arbitrariness of the Chekhov scene that swept her imagination. The artist anchors her four-act opus with a poetic installation suspended from the ceiling at the center of the gallery. It employs dozens of bleached-bone sheets of Japanese cotton paper attached to pulleys and uses a small motor to make the ghostly pages appear to dance and float in the airy space.
Viewed from outside ArtCenter’s curved windows, Vinci’s wafting sheets yield a magnetic effect that bring to mind a flock of birds migrating South for the winter or even the behavior of humans elbowing one another for a perch at a table at an outdoor Lincoln Road café.
Aug. 1-7, 2014