Daniel Steegmann Mangrané “A Leaf Shapes the Eye” Kiasma / Helsinki

May 1, 2023

Using light, movement, form, scent, flavour, sound and materials, artist Daniel Steegmann Mangrané creates immersive, experiential environments that engage the viewer’s senses, highlighting the delusive condition of our perception. His subtle and often fragile works invite us to contemplate our place in the world. Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma is presenting the largest survey of the artist in the Nordic countries to date by marking his Finnish debut.

Deeply influenced by the socio-natural context of Brazil, the work of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané looks into ecology as a tool to analyse the relationships of mutual transformation. The exhibition in Kiasma includes a wide array of media such as collage, drawing, holograms, installation, moving image, photography, sculpture, sound, and poetry.

Employing ostensibly opposite ideas such as belonging and dissolution or opacity and transparency, the artist creates immersive environments by materializing liminal states in which the visual and the material coalesce. The exhibition is a unique opportunity to engage with Steegmann Mangrané’s expanded body of work, a cohesive albeit diverse place of experience and a reflection on the multiple networks defining life on the planet.

Echoing the use of bodily, perceptual and sensorial strategies as a means of political participation by such 1960s Brazilian artists as Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, Steegmann Mangrané creates sensual, playful situations, which overcome artificial dualisms that have historically defined our reading of the world. According to him, such dichotomies are not only false but also hierarchical, placing mind above body, rational thought above emotion, and culture above nature, ultimately enabling noxious worldviews. In opposition, Steegmann Mangrané proposes an integrated approach to address the critical moment of ecological crisis we are currently experiencing.

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