Flaming Heart

Opulent and exuberant, as it enters our field of vision, Flaming Heart seems to pulsate unmeasurably with its various shades of red, fuchsia and purple. Its tentacular arteries invade the viewer's space, contaminating the surrounding architecture in a game where the building turns into a living organism. The LED lights carved into the piece, coordinated with the rhythm of human beatings, exponentially increase the throbbing of this metamorphic body gravitating imposingly.

Faithful to Joana Vasconcelos' visual vocabulary - covered in shiny sequins and adorned with colorful fringes, amorphous crochet elements and intricately embroidered fabrics –, Flaming Heart generously showcases a variety of textures and a wealth of details alluding to the traditionally feminine craft techniques.

The site-specific installation was conceived to interact with the 16th-century cloister in the Church of Santa Caterina a Formiello. This connection becomes clearer as we get to know that the king of Naples, Ferdinand I (1751-1825), had transformed the space into a flourishing wool factory. And Flaming Heart is now suspended from a wonderful latticework of wood used to dry the wool in the past. This rare example of Neapolitan and industrial Renaissance architecture, which operated until the end of the second phase of Italian unification (1861), is now an integral part of Fondazione Made in Cloister, that has restored and reconverted it, transforming the historical monument into an innovative exhibition center for the city. A new lease of life allowing contemporary art to shine through.

Flaming HeartFlaming Heart
© Francesco Squeglia
Flaming HeartFlaming Heart
© Tang Contemporary Art
Artwork Details
production date
Handmade woollen crochet, fabrics, ornaments, LED, power supply unit, controller, polyester, steel cables
Heart: 250 x 250 x 120 cm, Tentacles: (4x) 800 cm, (4x) 900 cm, (4x) 1000 cm
Artwork exhibited at
Through Mountains and SeasThrough Mountains and Seas
11/07/2023 > 06/08/2023Through Mountains and Seas
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