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Tomás Saraceno’s work defies traditional notions of space, time, gravity, consciousness, and perception through architectural, social, and communitarian means that are utopian and participatory in nature. The sky and the earth are interchangeable in his installations, in which gardens float and people achieve their long-standing desire to fly.
Inspired by an interest in affecting change in the way we live and experience reality, each work is an invitation to conceive of alternative ways of knowing, feeling, and interacting with others.
Concurrently, Saraceno appeals to the creative faculty of his viewers, involving them in situations and actions that demand their ingenuity, participation, and responsibility. The projects evidence relationships and introduce interdependent spaces that emphasize the ecological character of not only natural environments but also social spaces.
Above all, the works show us that the possibility to transform the world is always within reach for those who are ready to collaborate in its design and construction. (Text by Rodrigo Alonso)
Saraceno was born in Argentina in 1973. After spending his early childhood in Italy, he returned to Argentina, where he studied architecture and art. Inspired by the presence of the famous architect Peter Cook, in 2001 he enrolled at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, directed at the time by Daniel Birnbaum (who later curated the 53rd Venice Biennale) and then in 2003 at the IUAV in Venice.
Within just a few years Saraceno became one of the artists most in demand at contemporary art exhibitions around the world, participating with his installations at the Venice Biennale in 2001, 2003, and 2009, and at the São Paulo Biennial in 2006.
His works have also been shown at dozens of museums, including the Barbican in London in 2006, the Hayward Gallery, also in London, in 2008, the Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm in 2010, the MACRO in Rome, the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin in 2011, on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 2012 and the HangarBicocca in Milan 2012.
The 2012-13 Architecture Lecture Series is funded by Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; Jensen Architects; John Marx / Form4 Architecture; Perkins+Will; Pfau Long Architecture Ltd.; STUDIOS Architecture; WSP Flack+Kurtz; ARCH Art Supply; BraytonHughes Design Studios; GCI; Long & Levit LLP; SFMOMA A+D Forum; Tom Eliot Fisch; Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture; Blasen Landscape Architecture; John A. Raeber, Architectural Specifications; and Ratcliff.