Upon entering the Museo de Artes Visuales (MAVI), the [re][des]arm[o] exhibition stands out immediately as a burst of color, light and sound. The installations by Chilean artists Roberto Larraguibel, Yto Aranda and Nury Gaviola are aesthetically pleasing as well as user-friendly.
The first display is composed of large monitors with multi-colored, digitized works appearing at random. The speakers play a jungle-esque sound, complete with crickets and weather noises. The bright aquas, pinks and yellows of the monitors capture attention in the darkened room.
Moving past the dividing black wall is a similar digitized rectangle, but this one lies on a carpet-shaped monitor on the floor. Guests are invited to step on the large cerulean screen and watch as their footprints appear as neon yellow circles. Groups of kids jump on the monitor and move about quickly, as their steps appear after a minute of time delay.
The back room has a series of pedestals, all with double-sided mirrors standing upright on the bases. Different phrases are written on the mirrors in careful, almost steamy Spanish. The mirrors are activated by movement, and re-produce digitized, electronic mp3 tracks which correlate to the amount of movement detected. If there is no movement, no music plays. When excessive movement occurs, synthesized sounds play.
To the left of the standing mirrors is a wall composed of twelve more mirrors, all at slightly different angles. The piece is tall, measuring at least a head or two above all of the visitors. The mirrors are mounted on metal frames, and react and shift when movement is sensed. In their reflection you can watch the slight motion of the mirrors as other exhibit attendees evaluate their hair and makeup.
In the next room, guests move on to see a simple, modern, black table. Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that this is no average coffee table. This table allows one to play a digitized game that is screened across the table. But instead of reacting to motion, the screen reacts to noise. The four sensors generate digital images triggered by the sounds it consumes.
The back room houses a giant, two sided machine, which has two functioning computers at each end. The tall, metal shelf in the center holds all sorts of wires, cables, machinery and lights. One computer processes text entered by guests creating a variety of lights and noises. On the other computer, the user is invited to leave comments on the exhibit.
Although the show only includes a few elements, they are all very accessible and fun to try to understand. Though not necessarily profound as art pieces, this exhibit is worth a visit. It’s definitely a far cry from your typical, look-but-don’t touch exhibit at most museums.
Museo de Artes Visuales (MAVI)
José Victorino Lastarria 307
Plaza Mulato Gil de Castro
Metro Bellas Artes
Ends June 21