Maria Laet, Earth, 2015
Maria Laet, Earth, 2015

O silence lined up. Calm listens between the cracks in the asphalt and smoothes the veins with the viscous liquid that leaves the mark of a dense but delicate graphic. Maria Laet and her work have the rare identity between author and work. Both act in silence and with an extended time. She is among the guest artists at the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo with a video not yet revealed, but which can touch the reflection of the present and its fleeting duration, taking silence as an object of reflection.

His work is to pendular in the art system, intimate, thought out, without haste. From any angle you look at it, it conveys lightness and reveals itself as an invention of the gaze recovering erasures in the city. The idea that the present is composed of the juxtaposition of distinct realities and disconnected layers appears in Leito (2013), in which the surface of the sidewalk or street is camouflaged and becomes a “map” by receiving the milk in its cracks, constituting a fluid channel. Against the tide of spectacularization, Maria works in stillness and formal transformations appear naturally and acquire an accumulative existential quality, through a subtle cycle.

The body is a source of message in itself and highlights one of his unique works. The appropriation of the concrete poem galaxies, by Haroldo de Campos, written without punctuation, opens several possibilities for reading the verses that she transforms into fragments. Accompanying the enclosed CD, Haroldo reads 16 pages of his work which, according to him, should be read aloud, like a songbook. These pages make up the artist's work, and the holes correspond to the silences that punctuate the brief pauses that Haroldo makes while reading. They are spaces for breathing, they make the invisible visible, as the limit that is not a limit, as a limit where the encounter takes place. The holes are where the paper itself breathes, through which light and air passes.

What attracts the most in Maria's work is this lightness of time that permeates both nature and man, in a way as fluid as a mist, as if memory was diluted in thoughts. The seams, the cracks that suck sand, liquids that look like veins filled with some undue erasure. When I saw her work, in a documentary on an art channel, I could better understand the effect of time on her making. “I spend a lot of time alone. And even when I'm not, there is an intimate silence, a state of solitude that remains”, says the artist. Contrary to some statements, I don't feel random in her drawings, everything seems like rivers that slide silently, reinforcing grooves. The present in her work is composed by the superposition of timeless realities, however everything seems harmonious around a time of ephemeral or temporary conditions. What would be the key to the concept? “I am interested in elements, structures that are not closed to the other, that allow themselves to be marked, transformed and permeated, speaking at the same time of limit and continuity”.

In a flight over his work, the analogy between the image, subject and gaze is perceived. But would there be a phenomenological search for continuous presence? “My language is visual and my process is driven by perception, intuition and feeling. I don't have questions of a philosophical nature as my starting point, as something to guide me. But of course the work can be interpreted from a philosophical point of view, and that is welcome.”

In video or installation, she thematizes time and seems to capture fragments of the irritable contemporary world that, for the common, hurried citizen, seems like non-productive, wasted, surplus time, a suspended temporality. But in his universe it is quite the opposite, because it is precisely this slow cadence that gives rhythm to the continuous and restful pulse of his art.

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