In the spotlight

Lygia Pape, Tteia 1, B (prata-lunar), 2000/12 at Frieze Masters

Lygia Pape, Ttéia 1, B (prata-lunar), 2000/12

I’ve written about Lygia Pape’s web installations here before, I know, but having seen her exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery last spring seeing Ttéia 1 again – albeit a slightly different, silvery, version – in the Galeria Graça Brandão space of Spotlight at Frieze Masters was a welcome chance to interact with the work in a rather different way.

Here too, the light catches the thread and makes it sparkle and standing in front of what seem to have become criss-crossing beams of light carries the same sense of enchantment. But whereas in the Serpentine Gallery the work was effectively put on a pedestal (albeit in the form of a slightly raised floor), as something to wonder at rather than interact with, here it simply criss-crosses a corner of an art fair stall.

Lygia Pape, Tteia 1, B (prata-lunar), 2000/12 at Frieze Masters

What makes the work magical here is partly the sheer beauty of the thing, of course. And the silvery threads with their connotations of beams of moonlight also make the work simpler and, for my mont, both more minimal and more beautiful. And despite the hubbub of the art fair, it’s possible to feel alone with the work and to spend time contemplating it. It’s also possible to get close; the pins that hold the thread are visible. These are beams of thread that have clear, fixed ends. They are contained, and in a much smaller space than I’ve seen one of these installations occupying before. Nonetheless, the piece enchants me afresh.

Lygia Pape, Tteia 1, B (prata-lunar), 2000/12 at Frieze Masters

Best of all, unlike the preciousness of the golden installation of Ttéia 1, C (Web) at the Serpentine Gallery, here it was possible to interact with the work physically, getting past and under the beams of thread. When I saw Ttéia 1, C (Web) in Venice it was also possible to navigate the installation but with a work that inhabited the space this felt more like a journey. Here, with Ttéia 1, B (prata-lunar) installed in a corner, navigating the web means getting caught in it. It’s possible to escape of course, but only by retracing one’s steps. Carefully.

Lygia Pape, Tteia 1, B (prata-lunar)

Stranded in the corner, looking back out at the fair, gives an interesting new perspective. I am now on view, the subject of the gaze of those now visiting the Galeria Graça Brandão stand; in a very real sense I am trapped by the work, but I am also protected by it.

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