COLOMBIA: MILER LAGOS
Miler Lagos’ sculptural works and interventions invite the viewer to reconsider an object’s material properties. By rendering paper and sculpting foam, Lagos produces objects which appear to be made of solid wood or cast bronze. While his works initially seem to be revisiting disputes between the original and its copy, his choices of material or subject matter often engage with local environmental or specific political concerns.
Lagos has made an extensive body of work by developing a technique of carving piles of compressed paper into singular log-like forms. In El papel aguanta todo (Paper can handle anything), 2008, Lagos incorporates various reference books into this process to create an installation of tree-like sculptures. In each piece the books’ spines and titles are left partially revealed, drawing attention to the physical quality of these specialised texts. On the other hand, the abundance of printed material included in the installation points to the homogenising nature of the books format.
Lagos’ Inmersos (Immersed) series, 2007, consists of a number of interventions made to public sculptures in Bogotá and Medellin. The series was made in response to the observation that commemorative public sculptures often feature partially limbless figures with their torsos floating on plinths without legs. Lagos intervenes in these sculptures by adding their legs, which he sculpts from foam and renders to appear as cast metal. The transitory nature of this work, which is often destroyed or stolen by passers-by, stands in contradiction to the fixed function of these monuments.
Miler Lagos’ residency is part of Everything has a name, or the potential to be named, a project comprising of residencies, an exhibition and events. During his time at Gasworks Lagos developed new work that addressed the themes of the exhibition. By printing, compressing and carving thousands of copies of The Trees that were born before Christ, an engraving by Carl Von Martius referring to the botanical explorations of the Amazon in the 19th Century, Lagos sculpted a log like shape that suggests the ‘naturalisation’ of a western belief and its value system.
Miler Lagos was born in Bogotá in 1973 where he lives and works. Recent solo exhibitions include Semillas Mágicas (Galería Enrique Guerrero, Mexico City, 2008), El papel aguanta todo (Galería Nueveochenta, Bogotá, 2008), and Los términos del juego (Alianza Colombo Francesa. Bogotá, 2006). He has taken part in several group exhibitions among which Other Florae (Galeria Nara Roesler, Sao Paulo, 2008), Mentiras Verdaderas (Museo de Arte Moderno de Barranquilla, Barranquilla, 2008)
GASWORK LONDON: http://www.gasworks.org.uk/residencies/detail.php?id=440