Javier Pérez1998

Guggenheim Bilbao

Guggenheim Bilbao
Bilbao, Spain

In the installation Levitas, an absent figure has left a mysterious trace: a trail of formless glass balls, into which are set the impressions of feet. Levitas is the first work the artist created in glass, a medium that relates to the body, Pérez has noted, via the use of the breath in traditional glassblowing; he describes the "magic of glass" as "a process of the interior moving outward, with all its limitations." In Levitas, the fragile substance of our inner self is thereby embodied in the crystalline spheres. Pérez's use of glass in this work unleashes a metaphorical game: the shape of the foot is trapped within the glass balls, which are like transparent pneumatic chambers, so that although the body's physicality is made evanescent, the quest for contact with the outside world is constricted by another, external skin. The feet may suggest winged steps, referring to man's need to escape from himself, to be permeable to the world—an important notion for Pérez. However, the balls in which they are located tie them to the ground, so that they may never take off. In this way, Pérez refers to our fruitless flight from ourselves toward the exterior.


  • Title: Levitas
  • Creator: Javier Pérez
  • Date Created: 1998
  • Location: Bilbao, Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall dimensions variable
  • Type: Installation
  • Medium: Blown glass
  • Artwork's location in the Museum: Not on view

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