Presentation of the exhibition "Ao amor do público" - 3-7/2016

**Infinite mathematics**

Contested by thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle, the concept of infinity took a while to be

accepted as real, or even intelligible. Only at the end of the 19th century, the Russian

mathematician Georg Cantor developed his set theory and, starting from this, managed to

define and rationalise the idea of infinity. He created the Aleph ( ), the transfinite number

that symbolises, with one digit, the infinite natural numbers. He proved that there doesn’t

exist just one infinity, but there are different types of infinity: large infinities, of whole

numbers; and unlimited small infinities of, for example, two numbers in a straight line that

when divided produce new numbers, that in turn produce other numbers and that, in these

endless divisions, constitute fractional infinity.

The question of infinity expanded, however, much further than the field of mathematics. Its

representation, for example, the lemniscata – known popularly as the “horizontal eight” – is a

symbol that goes crosses the most diverse cultures. As one of the aspects of the experience

of infinity, its representation finds a place in several works in the significant nucleus that

MAR dedicates to infinity, as can be seen in the works by Tunga, Cláudio Paiva,** Gauthier
d'Ydewalle** and Detanico & Lain that are presented here. The lemniscata goes beyond the

infinity of numbers, also symbolising eternity, the sacred, the balance, a continuation

without beginning and without end; a simple shape that contains within it the possibility of

timeless time, in which past and future are mixed; existing only an endless now, the eternal

present. Collecting infinity is one of the most exciting challenges for the Museu de Arte do

Rio – MAR.

**Marcio Turano Torres **