When I visited Porto, this giant unidentified object, floating over Cidade Salvador Plaza by the beach in Matosinhos, caught my eye right away. Layers of red netting are suspended in the open air many tens of meters above the ground, undulating as if alive. What is that thing? I asked my friend. She told me it was a jellyfish.
Later on the internet, I found out that it’s called, “She Changes,” by Fulbright-winning artist Janet Echelman. “She Changes” is recognized as the first monumental public sculpture that moves fluidly in the air, performing what is described as “wind choreography.” The residents of Porto interpret this work as symbolizing Portuguese lace, fishing nets, rippling water, smokestacks, sails and mast from Portugal’s maritime past, and more.
The art has been left open for them to ascribe their own meaning and story. For me, I do what my friend tells me to do (except when she says no to gas money.) IT’S A JELLYFISH.