Solange Fabião is a New Yorker Brazilian-American, artist and design architect.

My art has a journal aspect to it, not only of my own life but it has proven to be a timeline that forecasts some of the trends of our time. It is a result of my commitment to my intuition. After many years I am now able to recognize a foresight pattern of contemporary subject matter. Below is how I find to be a proper way to describe my work, without including painting, which nevertheless is an important part of it. I will list a selection of twelve art and architecture/design projects that may illustrate this pattern:

WASHER is a 1996(on going) photography series where I spontaneously engage with the theme globalization. This abandoned element, the common washer placed next to a bolt or screw is transformed into a link when photographed on the streets where they are found. I first photographed a washer when crossing a street in Rome by chance in 1996. By viewing the multiple-location photographs of this series —over one hundred photographs in more than thirty cities— a washer-link is effectively created in our minds. By being aware of the existence of this physical yet symbolic element circulating throughout the globe one may mentally connect them forming a World Washer Web. This work is about the chance of an encounter and yet the unavoidability of this type of encounter. This element holds the primal, symbolic force of the ring, its openness. It is as iconic as it is cosmic, a black whole. This is a post-cataclysm object, of an unremovable human mark even though considered disposable.

CYBERCLONE 2000 is a global art piece that calls for our understanding of the other (our human counterpart) when we are looking for similarities and understanding differences, here in a playful way. CC2000, a collaboration with Trixi Schaumberger, is a 1996 social network made for one to look for his/her body double through the internet and gather together in NYC in the year 2000. It was formed in the early years of the internet —as a reference Facebook was created in 2004. Besides facial recognition, the project engages and discusses the implications of cloning as well as the future of the internet and our own future. The scientific breakthrough, the birth of the two sheep-clones Molly and Dolly was coincidently happening in England while CC2000 was being created in New York in early 1996. These events were synchronized. In 1997 CC2000 was presented at the Venice Biennale partaking in the first web-based exhibition of its history.

1999 X-Tower is my first work for an architectural competition as a design architect. It is my first collaboration with the New York architecture firm Steven Holl Architects(SHA). Our collaborations would span for over a decade. Xky Xcraper received an honorary mention given by the Finnish Association of Architects but wasn’t built. For this project I introduced the dialogue between the inclined and the orthogonal geometry in the tridimensional/habitable space, the vertical and the inclined towers are united as one. The vertical tower supports the inclined tower. This design is a result of my exploration of the integration of forces, the concrete and the ephemeral, of the moment and the movement. This search started at the time I was still living in my country of origin Brazil in the 1980’s, following I lived in Berlin, Germany, in the early 1990’s where I arrived six months before the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In 1994, after experiencing the five initial years of Germany’s Unification, I moved to New York. My first conceptual art project the Diagonal System and also my early set designs i.e. Waltz no.6 call for this type of integration and dialogue. There I looked for a dimensional intersection. When one compares the WTC – The Twin Towers before September 11th with the new building designed today or with some of the New York mid-town Hudson Yards towers one may see my work pointing towards a tendency. From late 1980’s throughout the 1990’s I was exploring the diagonal, i.e. inclination as a [geometric] force. Another architectural collaboration with SHA that received a New York AIA Project Award was the Loisium Visitors’ Center in Langenlois in Austria in 2001. For this design my main contribution was the site analysis and concept development for the hotel and winery, focusing on the project’s integration. Based on the force I’ve been exploring, I pointed to the solution of tilting the Visitors’ Center by 5 degrees. The in-ground inclined cube, which was located between the underground wine vault system and the aboveground hotel, made the connection of the three buildings apparent.

DURATION 3:5 (1999) was a breakthrough video I filmed while driving through the desert in Arizona. In this video I literally try to hold a moment within the movement through the manipulation of the camera with a back and forth and following [an object], zig-zag movements, creating a hyper-dynamic video. This video denounces the tragedy of the Saguaro: when in the final sequence, a truck calmly carries this missile like cactus away with a promise of it being transplanted but already aware of its  heading to its end. Saguaros don’t survive transplantation.

TRANSITIO 2000-2008 is a global dialogue of a City within a City. I had the idea of applying my recently discovered filming system to the cityscape. The non-edited Broadway-portrait filmed from a taxi perspective in one shot, Duration: 1 hour and 3 minutes – Location: 17.3 miles was filmed on March 2000 and exhibited at the Paul Rogers Gallery in NYC in 2001. The exhibition opened in New York nine days after September 11th, with the Twin Towers as the closing image. My first solo show was extremely sad, but obviously much more than that, this was a devastating time in our lives. Until this day, more than fifteen years have passed and I still resist going to the WTC site. At the time I considered cancelling the show, instead, I decided to have the exhibition as a homage to New York’s diversity and for our solidarity. This video ultimately is the absorption of information and shows the thing in itself, how things were in New York City in 2000. I was struck when I realized that the image-sequence stills that were part of this exhibition told us a story, of which the last image, the video’s last frame, was a reflection of the twin towers.

Already in the beginning TRANSITIO was envisioned as a public art project having exchanges in Mexico City and in Tornio in Finland inside the gallery space in 2002 and 2003 as a video-sculpture. It was in 2004 that the first public art piece of the series, TRANSITIO_BEIRUT took place. Videos of New York and Nanning/Shanghai were alternatively projected onto an abandoned building in Central Beirut, at the City Center Dome, aiming integration of East and West Beirut and the meeting of East and West. In 2005 TRANSITIO_NYC brought Nanning and Shanghai, the two Chinese cities to Canal Street in New York. This project was made possible by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council with support from The September 11th Fund, the first art project that had access to that fund; was selected to participate in the 2006 Venice Architecture Biennial to represent NYC at Cities, Architecture and Society Exhibition. For TRANSITIO_NYC, I was interviewed by Brian Lehrer Live, as well as by the German ARD Television for the Nacht Magazine. Articles were published by the local and international press and on the Internet, reaching people beyond the art world and beyond the city boundaries. This exchange of information is composing part of the artwork. And finally, TRANSITIO_MIAMI showed Rio de Janeiro in Miami in 2006 with this third public site event I was able to demonstrate the range of infinite dialogue combinations possible in our world. The series is composed by ten filmed cities.

In 2005 I was invited by SHA to lead the collaboration for the design of the Cité de L’Ócean et du Surf in Biarritz, France. We won the competition and the complex was opened to the public in June 2011. As other projects I did in collaboration with SHA —Upbuilding (2001), 42nd & 5th Avenue Tower(2003) and the X-Tower(1999) are examples— the Cité has an integrative capability. The Cité’s initial idea came to me through a dream as many works of mine do. I had a dream of the underside and the above of an encased wave, the essence of ocean dynamics. It was based on this dream that I developed the first 3D rendering for the museum. This dream was an example of works of art that have grown from a dream in the Answers in Your Dream article by Deirdre Barrett in the Scientific American Mind November/December 2011 issue. When I say integrative, it is to say that the fact of the limit between air and water, this intersection, the sea’s profundity when it touches the open sky, these two sides of the great curve in the museum continue through the landscape all the way to the shoreline to engage with the actual ocean(planetary.) It was of no surprise for me to be invited to co-design a project about the ocean. An unknown project of mine ED-ES [Empty Desert – Enclosed Substance – END OF THE EMPTY SPACE] (Nature and (Cosmic) Communication) as well as Duration 3:5 relate to Nature’s struggle. Our oceans are a single body of endangered water.

AMAZÔNIA (Projecting on Black), a series of 14 HD-videos shot in the Amazon region was filmed in the dry and wet seasons in the years of 2006 and 2007. The dramatic changes that occur during sunrise and sunset were projected on a black [painted] surface revealing a new kind of depth to the projected image. The single-direction unedited ca. forty-minute videos focus on the invisible through sound and light, dis/appearance of the Rainforest. The project’s intention is to transport the viewer while creating a sensorial environment which evokes awareness to an Ideal Nature, our Sehnsucht. In 2008 AMAZÔNIA (Projecting on Black) was exhibited at Western Bridge, a non-profit space in Seattle and in 2011 was on view at the Simon Fraser University Gallery in Vancouver, Canada.

Giving continuity to planetary interaction, integrating public art installation and architecture, Elementar no.1 – Path to Henry Hudson is a philosophical yet experiential outdoor installation, the first of a series that focuses on the planet’s DNA causing one to ponder about one’s life journeys while experiencing the Earth’s ground in darkness or above under the open sky. It was part of “Ahoy! Where lies Henry Hudson,” an exhibit curated by Linda Weintraub, of Henry Hudson memorials in Woodstock, NY, in 2009.

NO REPLY ZONE, my latest project available is a broad format analytical art which forecasts a breakdown in the communication system, now seen in many ways, i.e. Edward Snowden’s leakage of classified information in 2013 and the consequences of “open” communication in the U.S. Elections in 2016 or our own personal experience in relation to what communication became. NRZ was created in 2011. Back in 1996, Cyberclone 2000 had the same prognostication efficiency as NRZ, here it forecasts Social Media structure and the questioning of the integrity within the internet exchange, which can be named today as “Fake News.” TRANSITIO Series integrated difference and similarities breaking ground when calling for the understanding of diversity and time/space in the globalization era.

Thank you.

 

Solange Fabião is a forecast artist that has followed her intuitive path creating in the fields of art including painting, video, performance and public art, architecture and design. Fabião studied architecture, received her BFA in set design. Fabião worked as set designer for the Brazilian Network Rede Globo and designed sets for theater in Rio de Janeiro and in Berlin, Germany. Fabião studied digital media and art history at the HDK and Freie Universität Berlin, arriving in Berlin seven months before the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In 1994, after experiencing the five initial years of Germany’s Unification, Fabião moved to New York where she lives since.

 

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