Cildo Meireles, born in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1948, where he still lives and works, is one of the leading South American Conceptual artists. Back in the sixties – and drawing on the work of Brazilian neo-Concretists Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark and Lygia Page – he pioneered experimentation with immersive and multisensory installations requiring full public participation. Since then, his capacity for experimentation has been constant, focusing on issues of social justice and developing an intense critique of capitalism and Western colonialism. Meireles has addressed the social mechanisms that articulate the circulation of consumer goods and information, as well as the accumulation of capital and exploitation.
Another of his major interests has been to broaden the perception of art, incorporating key materials in terms of their sensory, symbolic and semantic functions. With extraordinary poetic ability and an avowed ethical commitment, his works extend the normative formal registers of art, demanding the participation of all the senses: his installations are to be heard, smelled or eaten, becoming an authentic sensory experience of great social and conceptual power.
Meireles has presented his installations in the leading exhibition spaces of America and Europe. He has participated in exhibitions such as Documenta, Kassel (1992, 2002), the Venice Biennale (1976, 2003, 2005), the São Paulo Biennale (1981, 2013) and the Istanbul Biennial (2003). His work is in many collections, such as the Stedelijk Museum, Ghent, Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, Museu Serralves, Oporto, Tate, London, LACMA, Los Angeles and MACBA, Barcelona.