Monday, August 29, 2011

Susana Solano´s submerged metal slab keeps curators guessing

"Untitled," Susana Solano´s mysterious metal work rests below stationery row boat at Art on Lake Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)
Submerging a 50-meter rectangular metal slab below the surface of City Lake Park in Budapest as her work for Art on Lake (22 May – 4 September) seemed like a good idea, on paper.

That was in 2009 when Catalan contemporary artist SusanaSolano visited Budapest and at their invitation, met with curator Dr. Alexander Tolnay and LaszloBaan, director of the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest, which sponsors the unique show of 25 contemporary sculptors planted in 35,000 square meters of water, half a meter deep.

At a time when her “Untitled” was still a work in progress, early Art on Lake literature noted: “Solano, however, is yet to try her strength against the conditions in Budapest.”

That means algae, green, thickening, soupy and slimy waters in late July and August.

“Untitled” intends to create a “feeling of a soft sandy sea bed where it´s good to get out of the boat and come into contact with nature with one´s feet,” according to this literature.

You can rent boats and row over her “Untitled.”

The strong shine envisioned did exist for awhile, co-curator of Art on Lake Peter Fitz told me.

But by mid-June, little of the metal could be easily seen. Algae and nature appeared to prevail.

Solano, age 65, “…is fascinated by contrasts and by contradictory pairings, like stability-instability, openness-closeness and mobility-permanence,” curators wrote in the Art on Lake Catalogue released earlier this month.

Curators (Fitz, Tolnay and Krisztina Jerger) put a happy face on the algae, however, noting in the catalogue that the algae changes colors of the water and thus constantly changing. “The theme of constant change is part of the essence of Solano´s works.”

Solano, who studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Barcelona, has exhibited in the Venice Biennale (1988 and 1993) and widely throughout Europe and the United States.

Art on Lake contemporary art exhibition in central Budapest (22 May - 4 September) Photograph by Stefan van Drake (2011)

Rock on and practice peace and love.
Stefan, the ArtTraveler ™

ArtTraveler notes:

After living at the Hotel Queen Mary in Budapest (3.5 stars), I heartily recommend it: old on the outside, otherwise totally modern (23 rooms); 

The owner and staff are affable and speak English and German. Tel: 0036-1-413-3510;;

Visit Andalusia for a walking holiday or week-long sculpture or mosaics workshop. 

"Spanish Life Stilled," photograph by Stefan van Drake (2009)

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