Salt Statues, 2021
200cmx140cm, hand-tufted, acrylic yarn, jute
“A woman directs us an over-the-shoulders gaze. Next to her, anthropomorphic forms burn in a stony set. A bright scene discloses ahead, where three figures raise their arms in a gesture of adoration.
Specially made for the NICC vitrine in Brussels, the hand-tufted panel by Elen Braga reinterprets the biblical story of Lot fleeing Sodom from the perspective of “Lot’s wife”. The nameless woman, known to have been transformed into a pillar of salt for having looked back at the burning city, looks right at us through the glass of the vitrine at Rue Lambert Crickx 1.
By choosing a new angle for an old and over-represented scene, Braga lends her own face for the depiction of the infamous woman. The new take connects Lot’s wife’s look to that of Orpheus, the mythological poet and musician who visited the underworld to save his beloved, failing on the single condition of not looking back. The pose of the woman also recalls Walter Benjamin’s famous angel of history, who looked at the fallen while pulled away by the winds of progress. Who is doomed in this story?
Trojan Horse Behind Glass
A two-month vitrine program
Curated by Laila Melchior
Trojan Horse Behind Glass is a program between brackets. Together with artists Elen Braga and Lyz Parayzo, curator Laila Melchior proposes a takeover of two months of the NICC vitrine in Brussels. The two chapters of the program propose a dialogue with the urban emplacement of the vitrine and its broader context discussing issues of transparency, visibility, diversity, neighborhood, and strategies for cohabiting among peers.”
Chapter I – Salt Statues, by Elen Braga
Chapter II – Cuir Cuir, by Lyz Parayzo