Carlos Sfeir Vottero
Hours and dates
- From 10am to 6pm daily
Carlos Sfeir’s practice is inspired by his interests in magic, science, territory, and cultures. He strives to create new bridges between human perception and natural phenomena. He believes art is a tool for questioning our certainties, discovering new meanings of nature and decolonising ourselves from ageing preconceptions.
Sfeir’s work ranges from sculpture, painting and installations, and is marked by a continuous dialogue between memory and experimentation. The data, objects and phenomena observed in the field research, which forms the basis of all his work, are constantly being recreated, intertwined and challenged in the subsequent studio manipulation.
Not constrained by the urge for completeness that often drives the artist’s act, Carlos Sfeir’s works are rather interactive prototypes. Without finiteness, but alive and imperfect, they invite people to be accomplices in processes of uncertain outcomes, embracing the unexpected instead of fearing it.
“Steel Life” aims to explore how the challenges of the steel industry can be transformed into a new narrative that addresses the current planetary crisis. The convergence of iron and carbon, which propelled human industrialisation, has also accelerated our detachment from the natural world, resulting in our subjugation of the environment and its resources. Too often, we have viewed ‘nature’ as a commodity to be exploited, with steel serving as a powerful tool in this process.
The installation wants to uncover the imaginative possibilities at the intersection of science and art, demonstrating how minerals can be coaxed into flourishing. By replicating the electrochemical methods employed in the refining of stones, the project gives rise to a fresh form of iron that blooms into dazzling crystalline structures. This metamorphosis symbolizes our ability to generate unpredicted growth and aesthetics, inspiring us to reimagine our relationship with the world we inhabit.
The project is part of research conducted in Wallonia, the French-speaking region in southern Belgium. During the Industrial Revolution, these territories were second only to the United Kingdom in Europe’s drive towards modernisation. Vast deposits of coal and iron brought wealth to the region and made the culture and economy of the entire country flourish. In recent decades, following the nation’s transition to a service economy, Wallonia’s industry has decayed into a rusty wasteland of flourishing remains.