The sheet of paper leafed through by time
Between birth and death we experience the many, as many as possible, variations of time that direct our journeys, whose lengths expand or contract depending on the levels of affection, anguish, attention, intelligence or curiosity.
There is a time that survives the course of our whole lives, and there are times that are deleted from our memories or even from History. Between the already deleted past and the not always felt present, lays a hidden time that is constantly repeating itself, that is particular, as it is superior to all forms of life, without making a distinction: A time that sometimes appears dead, sometimes is the main reason for our insistence on breathing, on learning only to err once more, and learn again, in a cycle that is greater than years, centuries, than millenniums…
This exhibition is born precisely from the attention given to a time that is not mine, but that was shared with me by the artist in her nude colored studio, shrouded in a comfortable atmosphere, distant intimacy, languor and permanency. It was on that afternoon – not too brief, not too long, but long enough in order to drag itself to the present – that this immersion project was born, in a world which, once public, makes itself private again. It is in this time/cycle that the work of Maria Laet situates itself – a time that is felt, shared and which promotes an eternal return to the artist, but not without first passing by nature, man and woman, by all of us.
Just like the human adventure, art can also be seen as a great game; and this was how the artist and I proceeded to spend time to join the dots, align the parts, to reach a larger labyrinth, a cosmogony of visible, audible, tactile, sensorial elements.
If, by chance, you did not know Maria, it would be quite possible to believe that she was an oriental artist – perhaps Japanese? – who was responding to an ancestrality and to a time that does not seem to be the same as ours. There is something intangible in her silent, phantasmatic, liturgical action, I would say – a presence and a protagonism that transpose us onto another plane, if not austere, millennial, esoteric, mystical.
Nooks, folds and kinks, tacks, whites, greys and blacks, gusts, metals, paper and more geometry, curves and straight lines, dust, sand, needle, skin and thread, in a ritual that is pagan because it derives from all altars, from the West to the East, from crafts to the forest, and from there to mathematics. It is in that which breathes, sleeps, hibernates – to later project itself in material – that Maria Laet’s work lives.
Enter, lie down and let yourself be nurtured, approach, listen, breathe, murmur, sleep with this sound – of the forest, the tomb, the sheet of paper to be leafed through, nature to be penetrated, of time to be forgotten and remembered, as a blank sheet of paper will never be the same as another once they have been let loose in the wind.
Bernardo José de Souza