Rivane Neuenschwander and Cao Guimarães
Rivane Neuenschwander has always manifested an interest in the ephemeral. She frequently works with perishable organic materials, such as culinary spices, dried fruits and flowers, and desiccated insects, and has on occasion incorporated decay and deterioration directly into her art. (For one series, she released hungry snails onto sheets of rice paper; the finished pages chronicle the creatures' paths of munching and excreting.) More often, disintegration is merely implied in fragile, temporary installations—garlic peels suspended from vegetal fibers, white marble dust placed in the cracks between floor tiles, and clipped insect wings floating in bowls of olive oil and water. Neuenschwander has frequently turned to photography and film to capture and preserve the fugitive. For Belong. Not belong. (2001), she photographed various arrangements of beetles partially encased in soap bubbles. The soap bubble also appears in Inventory of small deaths (blow) (2000), a film Neuenschwander produced with Cao Guimarães that tracks the slow progress of a large, single bubble, as it drifts across a tropical landscape. Set on a loop, the film shows the bubble billowing in the wind, shifting shape, but never popping. The climax of the bubble's death is eternally postponed, so that something fleeting is granted permanence.