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The largest gallery in Guggenheim Bilbao is the Arcelor Gallery which measures 30 meters wide and 130 meters long (98 ft × 427 ft).


The gallery houses Richard Serra’s monumental installation “The Matter of Time” – eight pieces of torqued ellipses made of weathering steel, weighing a total of 1034 ton.


That is more than 100 ton per piece, and we walked among them without thinking much about our safety, as the pieces are standing by themselves, balanced without support.


We were intrigued as we wander into each of the gaps wondering how the “walk” will finish – where will we emerge ?


Or is there an exit ?


There were groups of kids running around the pieces, playing hide and seek.


The surfaces of each piece bear different weathering treatment – some looked like etching by acid and some looked scratched.


What we wrote below is taken mostly from the museum’s web site.


The metal sculptures are “unexpectedly transformed as the visitor walks through and around them, creating an unforgettable, dizzying feeling of space in motion. The entire room is part of the sculptural field.”


“As he has done in other sculptures composed of many pieces, the artist has arranged the works deliberately in order to move the viewer through them and through the space surrounding them.”


“The layout of the works along the gallery creates corridors with different, always unexpected proportions (wide, narrow, long, compressed, high, low).”


“The installation also includes a progression in time. On the one hand, there is the chronological time that it takes to walk through and observe it from beginning to end.”


“On the other, there is the time during which the viewer experiences the fragments of visual and physical memory, which are combined and re-experienced.”


These photos do not do justice to the experience of walking between these steel structures – go to Bilbao and see it for yourself.


By the way, a couple of the pictures here are placed not in its natural orientation.

Our earlier posts about the museum are here and here.


One Comment

  1. The echo is amazing when you sing while walking between those huge metal plates!

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