Lais Myrrha

Caixa Cultural, Sao Paulo

By Silas Martí | September 11, 2013

Her works are somewhat an ode to instability. In grayscale and minimalist aesthetics, Lais Myrrha investigates a syndrome that corrodes Brazil since its inception as the project of a nation.

Lais Myrrha

The palette is that of concrete, the Brutalist material that gave modernism its face in this tropical land. But this very modernism becomes fetish, a tradition that catered to the elites instead of ever driving the revolution its frugal qualities were meant to foster.

So in her solo show now at Caixa Cultural, in São Paulo, Myrrha chose as front liner a work in which she blew up eight pages of the country’s Constitution and blurred the text, leaving only one word in focus. She chose the term “exception” as a bold synthesis of what this so called progress amounts to in the end, prosperity concentrated in the hands of few.

Yet this political undertone is barely visible in the pieces. Myrrha works with understatements, subtlety as a quiet weapon, but a very effective one at that. In the room next to the blurry Constitution, stands a podium made of powdered cement, a crumbling structure that will never stand under the weight of potential victors. But Myrrha seems to think no one comes out winning in this contest.

The next room is an array of subverted cartographies. Maps of stars are crowded with new lines, linking main stars in constellations to those around them, a network of denser and and more diffuse traces denouncing a logic unknown to the skies. Myrrha seems to say here one must look elsewhere for orientation, overthrowing concrete as a less than solid platform for progress.