Forty eight bales of hay, one 18-carat gold needle, and fifty-eight meters of gold thread
Meireles creates sculptures and installations that tie everyday materials to larger political and philosophical concerns. Thread is a modular cube, a form evocative of the geometric rationality of Minimalist art, but it is constructed of a material generally associated with agriculture. A gold wire encircles the mass of hay. At one end of the wire, a single 18-carat gold needle is inserted into the cube, recalling the common expression, "Like finding a needle in a haystack." The pairing of substances with vastly different monetary values but that here, are nearly indistinguishable suggests the precariousness of economic relationships, and the minute needle embedded in the massive cube may call to mind the place of the individual within a larger social system.
Braided steel wool
Bridge may have the appearance of a primitive rope bridge, but it is constructed of steel wool, a modern industrial product. This is the most ambitious of the works in Pascali's last series, Reconstructions of Nature: besides Bridge, it includes a human trap, jungle vines, and an animal skin all crafted of unlikely materials such as rubber and fake fur. An Italian critic coined the term "Arte Povera" in 1967 to describe the work of Pascali and other Italian artists who worked with "poor", nonart materials. These artists renounced the separation between art and life and aimed to expand or dissolve the traditional parameters of painting and sculpture. "I do not believe you make shows in galleries," Pascali said, "you mke the gallery, you create the space."