concrete, brick, glass
200 × 200 × 200 cm
Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Serbia
The work Pilgrimage implies a concrete spiral that frames an empty space, incorporated into a hole in the ground 2 meters deep and wide, in the park in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art. The upper portion of the work is at ground level, enclosed by glass and invisible from a distance. The sculpture Pilgrimage is not static, hermetic, or constant, but lives in harmony with its surrounding – the surrounding defines and expands it. It absorbs rain, overflows around itself, and disappears under grass and leaves. The form was shaped through a concrete physical effort, but due to the effects of nature the eternal process of the sculpture’s construction, existence and disintegration continues. We recognize a thesis – cycle as a metaphor of nature. The sculpture Pilgrimage follows the aesthetics of land-art works with romantic tendencies that can be recognized in the works of Walter de Maria, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson and Daniel Warren. Wada’s work moves in the framework of metaphors with multiple meanings: technology and nature, history and myth, space and time. Monumentality and crudity are only means by which the state of a concrete form is being re-examined, all in the sense of searching and insisting towards new aspects, new perspectives of space, environment, and time.
The lucid title of the work Pilgrimage, as a type of rhetorical decorativeness, introduces a dialogue on the meanings of sculpture, art and life in general. The work’s title alludes to the symbolic meaning of the sculpture: pilgrimage as a metaphor of life through the form of a spiral buried into the ground whose bottom cannot be seen, and that maintains a constantly renewing relationship of emptying–filling, fluidity and flow, as a natural life cycle. Besides the intriguing form, it is clear that Wada equally cares about the contents, the story and statement by metaphor, parable and irony. This work, as well as the other objects of Reijiro Wada, states that a sculpture should never be limited and deprived of its hidden or symbolic meanings.
Una Popović, Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade