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  • Cildo Meireles Fontes (detail) 1992/2008
    Cildo Meireles Fontes (detail) 1992/2008
  • Cildo Meireles, Fontes (detail) 1992/2008
    Cildo Meireles Fontes (detail) 1992/2008
  • Cildo Meireles Fontes (detail) 1992/2008
    Cildo Meireles Fontes (detail) 1992/2008

Fontes 1992/2008

With its 6,000 rulers, 1,000 clocks and 500,000 vinyl numbers, Fontes demonstrates the aesthetic of accumulation which is a feature of many of Meireles’s installations. However, the rulers and clocks undermine their very purpose: the order of their numbers and the spacing of their measurements are illogical, so that the ability of these almost-Readymade objects to measure either time or space is subverted.

The structure of Fontes follows the spiral formation of the Milky Way, with the centre of the work most closely hung with rulers, decreasing in density towards the edges. Like the giant cellophane ball in Through, the spiral embodies the infinite, the phenomena of time and space that mankind attempts to limit or measure using the very systems that Meireles subverts in Fontes.

In addition to the physical elements in this galaxy of numbers, there is also a soundtrack of different clocks ticking in different rhythms. Just as there are four different clocks, four different systems of numbering the rulers and marking their measurements, so too there are four channels to the soundtrack. Depending on where in the spiral you stand, each of these sounds will be more or less dominant. By introducing sound as an element, Meireles underlines the interrelation of space and time, questioning the different ways in which these can be figured.