The BYU Museum of Art’s newest exhibition features two pieces by contemporary artist Monika Bravo. The Liquid Wall and the Landscape of Belief projection installation will be on display until March 15, 2014.
The Liquid Wall, a time-based projection of the reflection of water and oil, greets visitors outside the Monika Bravo Exhibit. The contemporary sculpture, Landscape of Belief, consists of three glass layers upon which projections of different, dream-like cities play. The animations of the cities are made of thousands of tiny words from Italo Calvino’s book “Invisible Cities.” It took Bravo multiple years to find the best way to animate the projections of the cities.
“It took me three years from the time that I first had the idea in my head to the time that I executed the idea,” Bravo said. “There are so many layers to the world. It is so complex. I wanted to find a way to express this, and I had to find ways to make the animations.”
The sculpture sits alone in the middle of a darkened room. The reflections of the different cities play off the glass and onto the walls. It was very important to Bravo to have the sculpture placed in the center of the room.
“My work explains things that have to do with my emotional development,” Bravo said. “In the case of this exhibit, I felt that I was ready to be in the center of the room.”
Bravo was born in Bogota, Columbia. She studied fashion in Paris and photography in London and New York. She stayed in New York in 1994 to begin her career as an artist. Since then, Bravo’s work has been featured in public schools in New York, the University of Texas, Los Angeles World Airports and corporate buildings.
Jeff Lambson, curator of Contemporary Art at the museum, was enthusiastic about featuring Bravo at the Museum of Art.
“Bravo says that you have to look at the landscape around you and start questioning it in a good way,” Lambson said. “Why is this happening? Why do I believe in this? This piece is about discovering things for yourself and really coming to understand what it is that you believe.”
Bravo wants the students of BYU to look at the sculpture and understand the deeper meanings that it holds.
“What I want people to feel when they look at Landscape of Belief is a reflection of themselves,” Bravo said.
Lambson encourages students to visit the Museum of Art to see the exhibit for themselves.
“People are often scared to go into museums,” Lambson said. “They feel like they have to be quiet and careful. It’s true that we don’t want people to come in and touch everything. But we want people to feel comfortable. We (want) people to come and visit. Art is about engaging someone.”
John Soares, a recent BYU graduate, said he feels a mix of emotions when visiting the exhibit.
“To me, I think that way the cities in the Landscape of Belief are designed conveys them like a dream,” Soares said. “They are places that can be so fantastical, but overwhelming and stressful.”
The detailed animations evoke a sense of thoughtfulness, chaos and peace simultaneously. The two pieces are located on the bottom floor of the Museum of Art. More of Bravo’s work can be found on her website, Monikabravo.com.