Tent of dreams


IMG Ernesto Neto Oca De Sonhos 03

In the tradition of the Tupi-Guarani natives who speak this Amerindian language of Rio de Janeiro area, the term oca (house) refers to a communal tent that is built collectively and used by one or more family groups. An oca can also be a meeting place and living area where an entire tribe celebrates rituals and shares their ancestral legacy: a house of knowledge. Neto's oca is a tent inhabited by dreams: this oca is alive; it is an animal in the form of Stone Lips, Pepper Tits, Clove Love, Fog Frog (2008).

In earlier works, Neto used the architecture as a shell. The pieces were the soft part of the “body” and the architecture the membrane or shell covering it. In those works, he added some bone structure and created a room inside a room, and that approach can also be seen in this creation. The dark colors used in Stone Lips, Pepper Tits, Clove Love, Fog Frog bring to mind night on Earth, the star-specked sky, nocturnal animals.

At the entrance to this work, you will see stones stretching the fabric, making the entire piece taut. The presence of two “masculine teardrops” filled with pepper and a “feminine teardrop” filled with clove awaken the visitors' sense of smell and enhance the sensation of daydreaming.