Max Estrella has the pleasure to present Colombian artist Miler Lagos’ (Bogotá, 1973) first solo exhibition in Spain. His work is part of the collections of MUAC Museo de Arte de la Universidad Autónoma de México, Harvard University, the Colombian Republic Bank, the Rubell Family Collection and the CIFO Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, among others. Experimentation with materials is at the center of his practice and it is through this action that triggers central matters in his discourse.
The works shown in this exhibition belong to the series titled Lagos, and it is the result of a work process using watercolor paper and resin. Paper as medium plays a main role here, as in previous series (Time Rings, Foundations or Fragments of Time). Resulting from an industry that sacrifices 4,000 million trees every year, Miler Lagos’ discourse brings self-awareness on the conservation of the environment. This runs across his entire artistic practice.
Through applying tension on paper, Miler Lagos creates sculptural spaces. These are geographic metaphors, abstractions that evoke mountain formations and lakes in Colombian Andean landscape. The artist’s hand replicates acting forces in nature, and develops an intimate dialogue with the medium. It also represents social and political conflicts derived from mining industry’s impact on many of the 1,800 lakes in Colombia. The work opens a discussion on the tensions caused by large corporations’ abuse of power and impunity to operate without minding the negative impact inflicted on the population.
Miler Lagos reflects on the processes that transform matter, either caused by natural tensions or the industry. It is here where water serves the artist to stage the tension between expansion and containment. Tension between opposite force vectors affects a liquid and its container, and in Lagos results in the solidification of water represented by resin. This allows the artist to change the landscape’s axis position, making it vertical: a reflection on the way humans alter, modify and turn nature into a suitable environment, into raw material, into a mere vehicle.
For indigenous Colombian civilizations, water was a precious good. With his critique, the artist anticipates the return to a future time when this substance will be a precious good once again, because of its scarcity and the difficulty to access clean sources for its consumption.