Trojan Horse Behind Glass

06.05.2021 - 24.06.2021

Elen Braga, Lyz Parayzo, Laila Melchior

Trojan Horse Behind Glass

Trojan Horse Behind Glass

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

06/05/2021, 6 pm – 25/05/2021

Opening 06/05/2021, 6 pm

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?

Chapter II – Cuir Cuir, by Lyz Parayzo

27/05/2021- 24/06/2021

Opening 27/05/2021, 6 pm

Cold metal and soft pink leather meet each other in Lyz Parayzo’s new series of sculptures. Blending desire and violence, attraction and repulse, her sculptures can either dance, hanging from the ceiling, or lay still, as if in intervals of action.

Parayzo has notably worked for a long time with her Bixinhas, a series of sculptures whose title translates in Portuguese as little critters and as the little gays. Their forms stem from the Critters, milestones by Brazilian artist Lygia Clark. Circular saw blades with meeting axes, the Bixinhas add a touch of organicity to Clark’s work insofar as they imply not only folds and interstices but also very specific and socially prejudiced forms of life.

For the presentation at the NICC vitrine in Brussels, which marks Lyz Parayzo’s first exhibition in Belgium, the addition of leather in works that carry some of the forms referencing Clark’s sculptures point a subjacent step towards organicity in these works. The new series highlights duplicity that is not binary as the materials alternate indefinitely, and the folds and interstices suggested by Clark now look like flesh. Parayzo presents a disassembled body made of metal, which is not the armor but that is rather gutty, a prosthetic machine that dances.

Cuir Cuir deals with non-binarism bringing together the Latin American version of the Queer Theory in its attempt to decolonize and phoneticize the term into Castellano and Portuguese notion of Cuir. It also contemplates the material in the sculptures, the link to the dynamics of power, violence, and desire referencing to erotic fashion, such as BDSM, in which leather garments are present.


Elen Braga (o1984 – Brazil)

Lives and works in Brussels. Elen Braga is a multimedia artist. Interested in issues related to the self, she researches themes such as strength, ambition and resilience. Her practice often involves self-imposed tasks, as well as intense labor-requiring endeavors. She delves into mythological narratives, revisiting them to examine the ways in which they survive in contemporary behavior and beliefs.

Laila Melchior (o1988 – Brazil)

Independent curator and researcher investigating the fields of contemporary art, audiovisual and aesthetics. She works on projects related to arts, film, and theory, looking to incorporate the perspective from the Global South into her projects. Formerly an assistant professor at the Cinema and Digital Media’s undergraduate course at IESB (BR), she has published, presented academic works, exhibitions and public programs in collaboration with several institutions. Master’s degree in Communication and Culture from UFRJ (BR). Postgraduate degree in Curatorial Studies from KASK & Conservatorium (BE). Based in Brussels.

Lyz Parayzo (o1994 – Brazil)

Lives and works in Paris.

NICC Vitrine