Sarasota Art Museum to Present Immersive Installation by Carlos Bunga This Summer

July 13, 2022

SARASOTA, Fla. (July 13, 2023) – Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design will transform its galleries with the exhibition Reassembling Spilt Light: An Immersive Installation by Carlos Bunga, on view July 23-Oct. 29. The solo exhibition will include a site-specific installation, abstract paintings, videos, and photographs.

Carlos Bunga is best known for using mass-produced materials such as cardboard, adhesive tape, commercial house paint, and other common household items to create one-of-a-kind installations inspired by urban architecture. He constructs the works onsite without prior planning or direction, giving the space a vital role in shaping the imposing, monumental artwork. He also designs the installations to be easily deconstructed to mirror the delicate nature of makeshift housing, urban decay and displacement.

“Through his work, Carlos Bunga not only encourages viewers to rethink their experience of space and architecture, but he also evokes the transient and fragile nature of urban structures. In our current moment of migration and climate crises, Bunga is tackling contemporary humanitarian issues through his work,” said Virginia Shearer, executive director of Sarasota Art Museum.

Bunga’s artistic practice is inspired by his childhood as an Angolan refugee in Portugal. He grew up in Portuguese government short-term housing that often deteriorated, and the living conditions left a lasting impression on him. Bunga draws from his experiences of displacement and the lack of predictability that comes from living in makeshift housing, forcing himself to work through spatial constraints and permanent objects in the gallery such as lights and security cameras. The space ultimately shapes the outcome.

“As I work, intense and contradictory emotions always emerge,” Bunga said. “Everything happens while the structure is being built, and the gallery becomes my studio. Improvisation and rationality must coexist, and at the end of each installation, I’m physically and mentally exhausted.”

Carlos Bunga, Photograph by Bruno Lopes, 2019. Courtesy of EDP Foundation.
Carlos Bunga. Photograph by Bruno Lopes, 2019.
Courtesy of EDP Foundation.

After completing an on-site installation, Bunga turns to drawing to explore ideas that may have been hindered by the physical space. This phase of his artistic practice allows him to reflect on his work, share his process and document his temporary installations. He also uses the drawings to explore the connection between people and place and to consider the relationship between a subject and the means of documenting it.

Light will be the focus of Bunga’s installation at Sarasota Art Museum. The structure will showcase the natural light that floods the third-floor gallery from floor to ceiling. The work will also be void of additional colors not already found in the material, encouraging visitors to focus on the power of light interacting with architecture. “When I work in a space, I feel that I sculpt light with my hands — the immateriality of light that cannot be touched but felt. My work is always related to this idea of feeling,” Bunga said.

Bunga’s other works in the exhibition will draw attention to the metaphorical notion and physicality of light and emphasize the ways in which light and darkness coexist. Shadow (2002), a video work, uses light to trace the physical memory a building leaves behind. In Lamp (2002), another video piece, Bunga smashes a lightbulb with a hammer, gathers the broken pieces and reassembles them with glue and tape, illustrating concepts of destruction and reconstruction.

Lamp powerfully encapsulates Carlos Bunga’s perspective of the world: its wholeness and brokenness and the presence of courageous, makeshift actions to rebuild a semblance of wholeness to find light and hope in the darkness.,” said Rangsook Yoon, Ph.D., Sarasota Art Museum’s senior curator. “Reassembling Spilt Light speaks to our time — a time that desperately requires us to reimagine the future. Bunga’s transformative installation and poetic, thought-provoking conceptual works invite viewers to consider how we shape our surroundings and how our surroundings shape us.”

Bunga lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. His work has been featured in notable exhibitions and at renowned institutions such as Pérez Art Museum Miami (2009); Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2011); Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City (2013); Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zürich (2015); the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) in Barcelona, Spain (2015); Whitechapel Gallery in London (2020); Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto (2020); Secession in Vienna (2020); and Palacio de Cristal, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (2022).

Reassembling Spilt Light: An Immersive Installation by Carlos Bunga is organized by Sarasota Art Museum and curated by Rangsook Yoon, Ph.D., Sarasota Art Museum’s senior curator. Audiences can learn more about Reassembling Spilt Light: An Immersive Installation by Carlos Bunga by visiting the below exhibition page.

Related Public Programs:

Artist Talk With Carlos Bunga
Saturday, July 22
1 pm
Meet in the Sarasota High School Alumni Auditorium
Members: FREE; Not-Yet Members: $20 (includes Museum Admission)
Registration Required



Be among the first to experience Carlos Bunga’s new site-specific work at Sarasota Art Museum and join us for an informative and lively conversation between Sarasota Art Museum’s Senior Curator Rangsook Yoon and the artist. A Portuguese artist based in Madrid, Spain, Bunga is internationally renowned for his ephemeral, site-responsive installations employing such mundane materials as cardboard, masking tape, and commercial house paint. Inspired by urban architecture and designed to be easily deconstructed, his transformative installations mirror and evoke the delicate nature of makeshift housing, urban decay and displacement.

About Sarasota Art Museum

Sarasota Art Museum is Ringling College of Art and Design’s dynamic laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. Sarasota Art Museum shares the Ringling College Museum Campus with Ringling College’s Continuing Studies program comprised of the non-credit Studio and Digital Arts program and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Ringling College.
Located in the historic Sarasota High School, Sarasota Art Museum opened to the public in 2019 and features 15,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition space, the outdoor Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza, the Great Lawn featuring temporary sculpture and site-specific installations, Bistro, and SHOP. Sarasota Art Museum is home to a robust portfolio of education programs for all ages, including the Studios @ SAM, a vibrant studio arts program, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Ringling College, which offers a variety of courses for adult learners.

Sarasota Art Museum is located at 1001 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34236. 

To stay in the know:

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Media Contact:

Branan Jacobs
Phone: 941-713-9191 ext 2
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