Press Release

Serpentine is delighted to present Web(s) of Life, the first major exhibition in the UK of artist Tomá Saraceno and collaborators, among them the interspecies communities of Salinas Grandes and Laguna de Guayatayoc, Argentina, Somié Cameroon, Aerocene, Arachnophilia, and the Royal Parks.



International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2023

Tomas Saraceno, Web(s) of Life

Serpentine South, The Royal Parks, London (U. K.)

01.06 - 10.09.2023




Tomá Saraceno will create a porous environment where Serpentine's building and operations will respond daily to the immediate landscape of the surrounding park and weather conditions. It will bring together new and recent interactive works to propose how it is possible to take a more responsible, and responsive, approach to one's actions in relation to other people, inter-species co-habitation, and the climate injustices unfolding across the world. Challenging the ways in which exhibitions are conceived and enacted, Web(s) of Life will become a 'living organism' that responds to the weather outside and the gallery's unique location in the biodiverse habitat of the park and beyond. Energy will be generated by solar panels on Serpentine’ roof; equipment used to control temperature and humidity will be switched off and some doorways will be opened to the outdoors to allow natural ventilation and the movement of different forms of life.

In Web(s) of Life, Tomás Saraceno asks: "In the context of the environmental crisis and the need for a just, eco-social, energy transition, can the socio eco(nomical) debt of the global North be equitably taken into account? Can techno-diversity and biodiversity interact differently? Can systems of power move beyond the inequalities of capitalism and the reproduction of neocolonial extractivism of minerals and data? Can the privilege of digital memories over ancestral memories be overcome? Enter the spider's dream, a space with codes of another ritual... It is high time some of us change our habits and not the climate!"

Inside the galleries, Saraceno will present a constellation of intricate spider webs woven in his Berlin studio, in collaboration with multiple spider species. A new work will repurpose a disused confessional booth, traditionally found in churches, as a space for communing with the vibrations of a spider. Upon entry, in order to slow down and use other senses, visitors will be invited to relinquish their mobile phones before encountering a projected film by the spider diviners of Samié Cameroon that presents their intergenerational practice of nggàm dù.

Central to the exhibition is Saraceno's filmic installation Fly with Pacha, Into the Aerocene (2020-23) which documents the artistic performance and flight of an aerosolar balloon sculpture over the salt flats in Salinas Grandes, Argentina. The first ever fossil-free human flight without batteries, helium, hydrogen or lithium, this was the result of extensive, collaborative research carried out by the Aerocene Foundation (an interdisciplinary group founded by Saraceno that seeks to devise new infrastructures of planetary mobility and ethics) and the indigenous communities of the Salinas Grandes and Laguna de Guayatayoc basin in Jujuy.

Outside in the Royal Parks, visitors will encounter interactive sculptures from Saraceno's Cloud Cities series that engage with the park's rich biodiversity of birds, insects, foxes, ducks and other species. Highlighting the decline of urban wildlife populations and their role in the collapse of ecosystems, newly commissioned cloud-like sculptures populate the park, the rooftop and facade of the building, offering spaces of inter-species encounters and co-habitation.

Weathervane, 2023; Cloud Cities: Species of Spaces and Other Pieces*, 2023; In the shadows, 2023, & Cloud Cities: Species of Spaces and Other Pieces*, 2023; ArachnoAnacróArcano, 2023; World(ing)WideWeb(s).Life, 2023; Fly with Pacha, Into the Aerocene, 2017;

Installation view at Tomás Saraceno In Collaboration: Web(s) of Life, Serpentine, London, 2023. Photography by Studio Tomás Saraceno.

Tomas Saraceno, Web(s) of Life, Serpentine South, The Royal Parks, London, U. K.

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 01 June - 10 September 2023. Serpentine South Gallery, Kensington Gardens - London W2 3XA. Hours : Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm. Open Bank Holidays. Free and open to all.