“Metropolis: Paulista Experience (Metrópole: Experiência Paulistana)”
April 8 – September 18, 2017
Curated by Tadeu Chiarelli, General Director of the Pinacoteca de São Paulo
Lais Myrrha will be featured in “Metropolis: Paulista Experience”, an exhibition designed to celebrate the legacy of Paulista Avenue and its instrumental role in developing São Paulo’s cultural identity, exhibiting the works of artists who exemplify its important place in São Paulo’s historical, political and cultural development. In the exhibition, Lais Myrrha shows a group of works on paper from her series Mitos de Origem entitled “Trópico de Capricórnio”: a series of graphite drawings with acrylic on atlas paper, articulated as cartographic maps resembling at once an urban city plan, the information streams of the internet, and the neuronal pathways of the mind. In this vein, Myrrha’s work integrates the various social, political, existential and structural concerns related to Paulista Avenue, and reflect the many ways in which the residents of São Paulo have come to identify with its various cultural functions.
When asked via a televised poll what image of São Paulo best represents the city, Paulistas chose the avenue as its most important landmark. The General Director of the Pinacoteca, and the exhibition’s curator, Tadeu Chiarelli, makes note of the integral function of the Paulista in establishing a universal touchstone for São Paulo, in which the effects of political corruption and economic violence have fragmented its various demographics. As Chiarelli has stated, it is important to recognize that where “Parisians would have chosen the Eiffel Tower if asked the same question; The Romans would most likely choose the Colosseum; The porteños, the Casa Rosada”, Paulistas chose Paulista Avenue precisely because it is a route of access, rather than a monument or an historical site, owing to the fact that it links the otherwise disconnected and disparate factions of São Paulo through their shared connection to and identification with a central landmark of culture, politics and commerce.
The “Latin-American Megalopolis” that is São Paulo, Chiarelli further opines, “is the synthesis of all the cities of the continent exuding in their obstinate and overwhelming contrasts the sensation of living in the eternal yearning for a less bitter and more solidary reality.” To live and exist in São Paulo, he argues, is “to be in constant dislocation”, and “almost permanently to experience the city in fleeting glimpses, glimpsing order in chaos, chaos in chaos”. It is from this perspective that “Metropolis: Paulista Experience” aspires to highlight the shared cultural points of reference which, despite the pervading sense of dislocation and chaos, orients the community of São Paulo towards a shared cultural identity and history, through a diverse exhibition celebrating the community’s appreciation for the Paulista and its integral location in São Paulo. This shared appreciation for the Paulista, as an amalgamated hub of cultural life and a point of connectivity for the city, extends to the underlying aspiration of the exhibition to uphold this sense of community, and to establish dialogue between the different branches of São Paulo through art.
In celebration of the diversity of perspectives which inform this admiration for the Paulista, and as a testament to its important role in facilitating this sense of communality, the exhibition retrieves nearly eighty works by thirty three different artists, comprised of installations, paintings, photographs, videos and works of other medium. Featuring Sidney Amaral, Dora Longo Bahia, Victor Brecheret, Peter de Brito, Rafael Carneiro, Leda Catunda, Renata Felinto, Luiz Gê, Carmela Gross, Evandro Carlos Jardim, Jaime Lauriano, Nazareth Pacheco, Moisés Patrício, Daniel de Paula, Gustavo Von Ha, Chico Zelesnikar, and Lais Myrrha, among others, each of these artists uniquely demonstrates their thoughtful engagement with São Paulo, its heritage and its history, and testify to the importance of championing the landmark epicenter of São Paulo that is Paulista Avenue.