14 | Eurekinside, poolball, 2010
A large violet net is filled to the brim with pink plastic balls. Many of us have probably not seen anything like this since we were children – or have we never even succumbed to the fun of swimming in a sea of pink plastic? Was this what you thought you would experience when planning your trip to Astrup Fearnley Museum today?
Neto seeks to disrupt our expectations about what an art experience can or should be, and has, on several occasions, presented similar ‘pools’ of balls in his exhibitions. The feeling of floating weightlessly amongst candy-like balls reminds us that our bodies are always surrounded by something: usually air and atmosphere envelop us, other times it is water or textiles. Neto draws parallels to his everyday life in Rio de Janeiro, where people often pack together, especially at the beach. Beach life is extremely social and you can’t help but bump into others when so many people congregate in the same spot. Such an environment is experienced as simultaneously relaxing and hectic; everything happens in the moment. Neto believes his ball-pool offers a similar experience. The balls surround us and the play and chance events instigate contact with others.Meanwhile, this can also be read as a sculpture, which, in form and structure, relates to other sculptures in the exhibition. The net keeps the balls together and the balls give shape to the net, much the same as do spices, glass beads, sand or beans. The difference here is that people constitute a key shaping-component: our bodily actions help shape the sculptural form of the work.