Cryptosphere (open sculptural system)
modular plywood components
Installation views at Objet Perdu, Plataforma Revolover, curated by Mario Caeiro
Though the formal economy of Julião Sarmento seems not to be related to the ornamental dimension of a work which literally fills the eye, it is not so different to Simeon Nelson’s praxis. Cryptosphere [2008-2010] is, like Sarmento’s, a rhetorical reaction to the social constructo. It departs from an examination of a historical asset – the monumental collection of early modern maps of the Royal Geographical Society – to relativize, through a design exercise, a puissant cultural heritage which constitutes the graphical sum of world representation. The production of Cryptosphere resulted from an artistic residency lasting 15 months in the RGS, including much debate with scholars. The result is the ironic compaction of sequential philosophical and cultural mutations inherent in Western cartography during a period of more than a thousand years. It is a commentary on problems of the representation of space, for instance about the absurd localization of mythical places – El Dorado, Eden, Utopia, Hell. The piece is to a certain extent an anti-object, the sum of all withheld and hidden information in a given system .
By exercising the ornamental, the modular and a scientific beauty, Cryptsphere rejects in its kairotic rhetorics any superfluous elements, in order to counterpose to the vanity of cartography a cryptic modality of drawing and the conventions of western sculpture. Arguing for the validity of ornament (filtered out by minimalism) and the validity of art in the exclusive territory of science, it is about an interdisciplinarity which high culture hesitates to accept. Nelson’s cognition, just as Sarmento’s, is a shot into the dark…
excerpt from Mario Caeiro catalogue statement