The book to accompany Tomás Saraceno’s exhibition Oceans of Air at Mona: a deep dive into the artist’s contagious curiosity, which ranges from dust particles and spider silk to the very connective tissue of the universe.
This is not an exhibition catalogue, but a book devoted to Leaf, Leaves, Life, Lives, a new artwork commissioned by Mona specially for this exhibition. When Tomás first visited lutruwita (Tasmania), he was struck by how its plant life reflects intersecting Aboriginal and colonial histories. In the book (and artwork), you will see delicate crinkle-cut leaves from Nothofagus gunnii, known as the tanglefoot beech or ‘the Fagus’ (an ancient Gondwanan species, and Tasmania’s only native deciduous tree), alongside those of both native and introduced plants collected in the grounds of Mona and further afield. There are leaves collected from the aftermath of bushfires and cultural burning, or pressed like botanists’ specimens, others picked and dried, still others fallen naturally from the plant. It’s a continuation of Tomás’s work with leaves and other foliage, such as when he picked and pressed poppies growing from poisoned earth around his Berlin studio, built on the site of a former factory famous for making photographic film and dye.
It’s a beautifully illustrated document of an artwork’s conceptual undergrowth, its genesis and development, and final emergence from an island of plant life, people and fire. Alongside all this is a collection of perspectives that influenced the artist’s mind during this gradual process, with essays from Pakana curator Zoe Rimmer, art historian Eva Diaz, Pakana cultural burning practitioner Andry Sculthorpe, local botanist Greg Jordan, and curator Emma Pike.
Printed at Grafiche Veneziane in Venice, on Fedrigoni Freelife Cento Extra White, a recycled paper. Softcover featuring gatefolds and a Swiss bound spine. Designed by Enrico Bardin.
|Tomás Saraceno: Oceans of Air
|Author(s) & contributors
|Zoe Rimmer, Eva Díaz, Andry Sculthorpe, Greg Jordan, Emma Pike
|Black and white/colour
|Softcover, section sewn, swiss binding