03/25/2013 02:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Art From the South: Gabriela Mureb


Máquina #1: batedor (Da série maquinário) / Machine #1: beater (from the series Machinery)

(Photo courtesy of the artist)

Gabriela Mureb is an artist who questions the places and uses of art and life. She has already sewn tight nets around growing flowers to deliberately restrict their development, hammered a mattress against a gallery wall and submitted herself to physical torture. In this exhibition are three of her works that relate between themselves through the methodical analysis of the purposeless, of the free expenditure of energy and of relationships of meanings.


Auto-retrato ou Cabeção / Self-portrait or big head

(Photo courtesy of the artist)

She opens the exhibition with Performance Sem-título, an action in which the artist puts herself in a situation from which she has no escape. Even though she knows she is trapped, she tries to escape. And tries, again and again, an infertile action, useless, in vain. And she knows it. She set the trap for herself and voluntarily put herself in the position she is in. Her trying to escape is perhaps the refusal of all significations, the will to escape the limiting borders of significants. She knows it is an impossible task and that, as in life, the only end to it lies in quitting or in structural failure. She is not interested on reaching her limits but on meeting them. A voluntary contemporary Sisyphus, in her own words.


Performance Sem-título / Untitled Performance

(Photo courtesy of André Sheik)

Auto-retrato ou Cabeção is a photograph that the artist sees as part of a series with Performance Sem-Título. Someone wrapped her own head in elastics bands forming a ball. A physical extension of a body part. An equilibrium of forces between the contradictory forces of expansion and compression of the elastic bands. A huge head, swollen by its own possibilities to its limit. A swelling of perplexity, will and perturbation that is compressed. This time there is no struggle.

Máquina #1: batedor (Da série maquinário) / Machine #1: beater (from the series Machinery), is a machine as the name indicates. It has sound, speed and impulse. It is tense, anxious, dry and again its useless and lonely movement is repeated but this time not to exhaustion: machines don't exhaust, they can fail, but this one keeps on uselessly trying to pierce the wall, repeatedly, vainly.