Liechtenstein Modern Art Museum 2-2022 Vaduz, Liechtenstein

A mixture of poetry and vibrant works of art relay the richness of Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander’s latest exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein in Vaduz that explores “cultural, psychological and sociological questions, processes in nature and global interconnections.” The title Knife Does Not Cut Fire comes from a poem of the Portuguese poet Herberto Helder and reflects the social and political relevance within her work that “no knife can open people’s hearts, let alone put out “political” fires.” The knife when used as a weapon instills fear, anxiety, and results in anger. Its opposite hope relays optimism, well being, and implies growth. These themes are readily apparent in her work such as “I Wish Your Wish.” The installation piece is made of colorful ribbons printed with wishes on them that adorn an entire wall within the space. The work is informed by the Brazilian Church of Nosso Senhor do bonfim in San Salvador where ribbon displays appear throughout the city and state of Bahia. The custom of tying a ribbon to a wrist or ankle two times and tied with three knots symbolize both faith and tradition and is imbued with the power to make three wishes come true when the ribbons break and fall on their own. Another project The Name of Fear in which Neuenschwander worked closely with local school children to help them express and overcome their anxieties by designing creative capes for them to protect them from what they feared.  Another interactive piece titled Chove chuva (Rain rains) speaks to the sustainability of our natural resources, in this case water. Silver buckets are placed at differing heights throughout the space collecting the rain droplet that drip from the ceiling. After hours they need to be emptied implying the cycles of nature and raising questions of global water supplies.