This sculptural time-based electronic installation invites viewers to explore how we base our everyday actions, habits, and words on established personal belief systems.
Thursday, September 5 | 4 pm
BYU MOA Auditorium
Come listen to artist Monika Bravo address ideas of spirituality in her work, Landscape of Belief.
EXHIBITION OPENING CELEBRATION
Friday, September 6 | 7-10 pm
Join us at the BYU Museum of Art on the First Friday of September for an evening of art, food and live music performances as we celebrate contemporary art and the opening of a new exhibition:
e.g. Monika Bravo: Landscape(s) of Belief
Free and open to the public.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
Landscape of Belief is a sculptural time-based installation that calls into question how we construct our lives according to our belief systems. The viewer experiences the piece as an image created with projected text that is floating diaphanously in glass panels. These texts that generate skylines of real / imaginary landscapes are culled from Italo Calvino’s book, Invisible Cities (both a dialogue and description of illusory cities between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan). By carefully overlapping surfaces, texts and cartographies, a rich non-material space of emptiness is achieved throughout the time-based composition. The sculpture presents nothingness as an object thus allowing for the space of the metaphysical to challenge the viewer.
I first came upon the idea for the piece after I encountered the title for an exhibition: Textural Landscapes. I envisioned a space covered with layers of dynamic landscape, as thoughts become actions these define destinies as Gandhi notes above. I thought of text as the potentiality of form, as the space in between, the vehicle of infinite probabilities; not so much as direct meaning, but as abstraction and embodiment of the possibilities of the mind. My intention is to create a parallel between literature and architecture, as they both define, translate and shape physical and mind structures. As the viewer is immersed in the projection, she is given the opportunity to experience the prospect of awareness, of the power of her belief systems and how she defines the landscape of her life. I am also interested in the transparency, the emptiness of space and its potential as the things that are yet to come.
What is imperative for Landscape of Belief is the necessity for it to be experienced. No documentation will ever be able to transmit the feeling of the texts floating on the surfaces of the material, or the possibility of viewing the sculpture from both sides. It took three years in the making and addresses two important issues in the trajectory of my work, the shifting definition of the medium and the physical manifestation of the piece. As seen in this work, for the first time I generated the images solely by drawing. I used graphic animators as an extension of my brain, they translated my visual ideas into form. The process began with finding the images in Google and then recomposing the city’s skyline by meticulously outlining and tracing their architectural components with Calvino’s text. The sculptural aspect is also critical in this work, for I am allowing the materials to become present and centered in the space, expressing my own willingness to expose vulnerability as strength.
“This — some say — confirms the hypothesis that each man bears in its mind a city made only of differences, a city without figures and without form, and the individual cities fill it up.”
— I. Calvino
Image at top: Monika Bravo, Landscape of Belief (2012), Glass, mirror, aluminum, projectors, Mac-mini, custom software, texts from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, 80 x 30 x 8” ; Base, 80 x 24 x 8, image courtesy of the artist