Cildo Meireles is an artist who makes mysterious and atmospheric installations which invite participation. This exciting exhibition includes a number of large-scale works that engage you with their striking presence and then draw you in with their complexity. A new version of Fontes 1992/2008 includes 6,000 carpenter’s rulers hanging from the ceiling, a thousand clocks and thousands of vinyl numbers. Babel 2001 is a vast and imposing structure of radios - Meireles’s contemporary take on the biblical tower, while Volatile 1994 is an environment that plays with our response to danger. These pieces intrigue, amaze and challenge the viewer and contribute to a rich and fascinating experience in this, Meireles’s first major retrospective in the UK.
Meireles is a Brazilian artist and has been creating sculptures and installations that involve participation since the 1960s, with works ranging from a tiny single object that can fit on a fingertip to vast installations filling large spaces in the gallery. His works include both a sensory and a cerebral side, such as his celebrated Insertions into Ideological Circuits 1970, which he used to spread messages of protest under a military dictatorship. Meireles is a leading figure in the history of conceptual art and this exhibition provides a powerful tour of his most memorable works.