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Edgar Orlaineta

Muscheln und Schirme / Seashells and Umbrellas.
Jean Arp; Sophie Taeuber-Arp; Jan Tschichold.
Meudonval-Fleury: (Selbstverl.), 1939
On View
May 14- July 15, 2016

What if the soul is not a substance, not a "thing", but a function (not unlike the "zero" in mathematics)? What if "soul" (anima in Latin) is another name for the very medium that makes reciprocal exchange possible, for what happens in the very in-between, the event of communication? Would that not also change the very meaning of what it means to animate? Anself Franke 


Poetry is the chant of meaning.

Jean Cohen


Poetry is not only another language, it is another gaze.

Jean Cohen


KaBe Contemporary is pleased to present for the first time in Miami Mexiavn Artist Edgar Orlaineta New Exhibition Muscheln und Schirme / Seashells and Umbrellas.


History is the central element in Edgar Orlaineta’s work. It goes back and forth operating through different media as historicized, hybridized, and syncretized forms that express an obsession with modern art and design. 


His present project is based on the work of Sophie Taeuber-Arp, an artist that has been hard to define or format into modern western tradition. Taeuber-Arp represents the creative mind that Orlaineta is attracted to. She produced utilitarian art, design, illustration, art and even dance to create a universe of meaningful expressions that could coexist in a single plane without framing them as "works of art" to be relevant. 


In 1939 Taeuber-Arp created a series of drawings that were featured in the independent publication titled Seashells and Umbrellas, which was made by the artist in collaboration with her husband Hans Arp. The book, designed by Jan Tschichold and printed in Czechoslovakia, features Arp’s poems and its title references Taeuber-Arp’s 1939 drawings.


Orlaineta used Arp’s book as the point of departure for his new project. The publication serves as a symbolic stanza to produce different objects and an excuse to talk about poetry as a way to explore and question the world. Orlaineta uses Arp’s poetry as a conceptual background for the exhibition but it is Taeuber-Arp’s drawings and DaDa sculptures that he references to elaborate the specific direction of the project and its objects. The works featured in the exhibition have a dual nature and relate to the symbolism suggested in Taeuber-Arp’s drawings: Shells and umbrellas. 


Shells and umbrellas are strange and complex objects. One comes from nature (shells) and the other is a man-made object (umbrella). Shells can be seen as a female object and umbrellas as a male object –the female sex represented by shells and the umbrella as the male fallus–.


Arp’s book is an important historical record because it represents the collaboration between two artists, a woman and a man, in a period of the avant-garde that was mostly male-dominated. It is a book that was published between wars, a historical moment where the individual was thinking beyond itself and was questioning the world and its social and political realities. Arp’s poetry and Taeuber-Arp’s drawings are important because they symbolize the spirit of openness in search of an unexpected newness; openness that after one hundred years is still desired and needed.


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