Hugo Canoilas’s installation nestles against the bank of the Danube Canal like a concave canvas, opening up a perspective onto the unknown world of the deep ocean. Vividly colourful corals, fish, worms and other creatures bustle about in a painted, dreamlike underwater world. The inspiration was provided by creatures only recently discovered, an event followed by the artist himself, in part via live stream.
The handrail invites viewers to prop themselves up with their arms as if on a balcony in order to enjoy the titular ‘beautiful view’ (Italian: bel vedere). The work itself is shaped by its surroundings: the water flowing past, the reflections of the sunlight and the changing skies above. With the ‘looking out’ motif, the artist also references the history of painting, with the landscape initially depicted merely as the view glimpsed through a window. Here as with most of his works, Hugo Canoilas has once again painted onto fabric, affording the picture an organic quality and echoing the flowing movement of the water. In a subsequent step, the artist photographed his painting and then arranged it as a digital collage before printing it directly onto Perspex.
Hugo Canoilas’s site-specific installation acts as a reality filter by superimposing the familiar view with a different perspective, creating an awareness of what is there, what is not there (any longer), and what could be there. His deep-sea panorama evokes a sense of wonder about nature and what surrounds us and toys with the blurred haziness between imagination and reality, with little elements incorporated that are not part of the scientific discoveries. Belvedere is therefore also an invitation to reflect on what is natural; it explores new forms of existence and of living together. Or in a nutshell, new visions for a shared future.
* 1977 in Lisbon, lives and works in Vienna and New York.
KURATORIN BARBARA HORVATH IM GESPRÄCH
mit den Künstler:innen Hugo Canoilas und Claudia Märzendorfer
Im Dialog mit den teilnehmenden Künstler:innen, Kuratorinnen und Wissenschaftler:innen werden die Kunstwerke und Installationen im öffentlichen Raum erfahrbar. Eine interaktive Erkundung im Gehen.
→ MI 6.9. 18:00
Man's egalitarian interaction with nature and his environment are the main theme of artist Hugo Canoilas. His site-specific installation "Belvedere" on the Danube Canal unfolds like a panorama and provides a view of new forms of life that have been discovered in the deep sea in recent years. The artist's painted, dreamlike underwater world asks for new forms of being and living together, in short: for new visions for a common future.