K21 Ständehaus in Düsseldorf shows spectacular Saraceno-Installation

Tomás Saraceno Installation in Düsseldorf - between art and science

Looks like a gigantic spider net: Tomás Saraceno: "in orbit" at the K21 Ständehaus in Düsseldorf

Tomás Saraceno Kunstsammlung NRW

Tomás Saraceno's fascinating installation work entitled “in orbit,” has been opened to the public in the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen today. A net construction at a height of more than 20 meters above the ground has been suspended, within which visitors can walk around on three levels - until September 2014.

This net, which covers altogether 2500 m², spreads itself out across three levels below the massive glass cupola of the K21 Ständehaus. The levels are held apart from one another by a series of “spheres,” airfilled PVC balls measuring up to 8.5 meters in diameter. “To describe the work means to describe the people who use it – and their emotions,” explains Tomás Saraceno concerning his largest installation to date, planned over the past three years in collaboration with engineers, architects, and arachnologists – experts on spiders and spider webs.

Saraceno’s net construction resembles a cloud landscape: those bold enough to clamber high into the web set beneath the glass cupola perceive the museum visitors far below them from the lofty heights as tiny figures in a model world. Viewed from below, the people enmeshed in this net seem to be swimming in the sky. The various materials underscore Saraceno’s basic ideas of flow and lightness: “When I look at the multilayered levels of diaphanous lines and spheres, I am reminded of models of the universe that depict the forces of gravity and planetary bodies."

With ‘in orbit,’ proportions enter into new relationships; human bodies become planets, molecules, or social black holes.” “in orbit” is one of the lightest projects realized by the artist to date: The work summons associations with the fineness and the stability of spider’s webs and soap bubbles – despite the fact that the net structure alone weighs 3000 kg, and the largest of the “spheres” weighs 300 kg.

For their own safety, visitors  will receive instructions. No more than 10 individuals may be present in the net structure at any one time. Stable shoes (with grip soles), the use of the overalls provided by the museum, and a minimum age of 12 are requirements for active interaction with the installation.


Tomás Saraceno in his gigantic installation "in orbit". photo: Federico Gambarini