Entrevendo, 1970/1994 (2013)

Glimpsing, 1970/1994 (2013)
Installation, 300/200 cm de diàmetre

Since the sixties, the Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles has redefined artistic practice through an extension of the sensory experience of the viewer. In addition to the social and ethical commitment against unbridled capitalism and Western colonialism found in many of his works, what Meireles questions is the condition of art itself by incorporating the experiences of touch, sound, smell and taste that demand the total involvement of the public. Entrevendo [Glimpsing], produced in 1970 and remade in 1994, is one such piece.

Entrevendo is a large work that requires the direct participation of the viewer. A system of wooden slats and large circular rings form a huge conical tubular structure. The result is a nine-metres deep tunnel with a mouth of three metres in diameter. At one end is a fan that generates a spiral of hot air through the length of the tunnel. The large size of the system allows a person to access its interior, walk its full length and experience different sensations. At the entrance, the visitor is given two small pieces of ice to be put in the mouth. One is slightly curved and salty; the other is spiral-shaped and sweet. Seconds after entering the installation, the pieces of ice begin to melt in the mouth. The curve and the spiral correspond to the forms taken by the air projected by the fan, a physical reality that, although not visible, is present.

If the human eye could perceive the air stream, the frontal image would be curved, whereas the lateral form would be a spiral. In this sense, Entrevendo creates the ephemeral materialisation of an invisible element: air. As indicated by the title of the work, this is about glimpsing or ‘seeing’, through taste, a physical reality that the eye does not perceive. As Meireles himself explains: ‘Leaving the ice to melt in the mouth means trying to understand the differences between the cubes and the only way to understand this invisible thing: the wind.’ (acervo.publico.pt/temas/jornal/cildo-meireles-quer-o-espectador-por-inteiro-) [consulted: 29 January 2015]

Technical details

Original title:
Registration number:
Meireles, Cildo
Date created:
1970/1994 (2013)
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Wood, fan with heater, ice and freezer
300/200 cm de diàmetre
Edition number:
Ed. 1/3
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Fundación Repsol Collection
© Cildo Meireles
It has accessibility resources:

Accessibility resources
High-relief image
Texts in braille

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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