A Matter of Time, 2018
Site Specific Installation at Faena Beach
A series of bronze sculptures, cement brick, dimensions variable
Luna Paiva was born in Paris in 1980, and she’s based in Buenos Aires,Argentina. She has a Licence in Art History and Archeology from La Sorbonne and studied film at NYU.
Her artistic mediums are sculpture, installation and photography, and has been shown in exhibitions through Latin America, Europe and the United States and fairs: Art Basel Miami Beach, PAD London, Buenos Aires Photo, ArteBA, SPArte Sao Paulo.
She was awarded at Maurizio Cattelan's collaborative installation, Eternity 2018, Art Basel cities curated by Cecilia Alemani. As a photographer she worked for editorial media such as Vogue Italy, L'officiel Art, Barzón and The Skirt Chronicles.
Set designer for the opera Hercules en el Mato Grosso, CETC/Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires 2014 and Hercules in Mato Grosso, Dixon Place New York 2015 selected and co-produced by Americas Society, New York.
She also made two installations for Hermès artist's window in Buenos Aires 2014 and Barcelona 2016.
A Matter of Time is an immersive environment that allows viewers to move within the remnants of a typical home or cabin—the bronze left overs memorialized: a chimney, plastic picnic chairs, curtains and carpet.
The shimmering objects are outside of time, a threshold between past and future, a reflection on the quickly fading symbols and mythology that surrounds the “American Dream”.
These artefacts of comfort and solidity become almost like the contents of a shipwreck, or what is left after an apocalyptic storm. An archeological meditation, a vision of what remains after everything else is stripped away, the work is inherently hopeful as it makes space for the organic—a large bronze cactus—to grow out of what has been left behind.
As a Latin American, I have always perceived a weighty quality in the American aesthetic, which is also reminiscent of the political and economic dominance of the US itself. But I’d like to think there’s also an element of hope in this space, as the organic elements seem to be flourishing.
Words by Andrew Berardini
Even if the meaning of ancient totems disappeared, their meaningfulness has not. A human hand altering nature with purpose, these ancient stacks of stones mark a path or honor a god, measure the stars or memorialize war.
We can’t really know for sure. Stand in the shadow of a megalith and you feel its force, an ancient energy still at work, blunted by our ignorance but no less powerful in its shifted mass. We know it means something important, even if we’ll never know precisely what. In stone cairns scattered across a planet, we find evidence of our ancestors, a simple shape we still make in the few wildernesses we have left. It is a basis of communication and expression with material, the beginning of sculpture.
Here these sculptures by Luna Paiva angle with their own obscure and powerful spirit. We can feel their rough and towering presence. Their mystery are their power. Cast in bronze, Luna’s shimmering totems take on the aura of their material. Tooled and statued, formed and fetished, the casters of idols and statues prefer bronze for its particular properties.
Composed of copper and usually tin, the ductile and enduring bronze when setting expands just slightly to fill a mold’s finest details. It can be poured into grand and dynamic poses. The finish of patinas can make that metal turn a hundred chemical colors, transform cold hard metal into supple flesh with fresh bruises and stained blood, give the static statue the illusion of shifting movement and coiled animal grace. A perfect material to shape and tribute the gods. The cults are gone, the idols desecrated. Very few of the most beautiful of the ancient bronzes survive. The body of the god boiled into weapons and money. So go all religions. Many a bronze crucifix has melted into the belly of a cannon, the pocket of a priest. But the metal of many uses persists and is used again, bending to each new need. And just as easily bent back.
Bronze’s primary component, copper still moves the flows of energy across continents, linking house to house, station to station. A bringer of Luciferian light, lace it together into the electrical grid and this metal illuminates modern life, turning shadowy cities into bejeweled circuit boards. This power makes Aphrodite’s element essential for modernity and more than one landscape has been despoiled to satisfy a mechanized world’s gluttonous and irreparable desire for more.
Ever a medium to what lies beyond, a pure attraction of energy across space and time that cannot linger, tensile and conductive, copper bends and carries but does not keep. The lust that shivers through it dissipates in consummation with other metals, but alloyed it births the powerful bronze and the all the expressions that artists can shape with it. Bronze endures. The burnished brown whispers origins we’ve since forgotten, but that survive in this alloy. As history passes into legend and myth before its forgotten, only a few artifacts remain to teach us the tales of our ancestors and how we came to be.