TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT February 1997

MAXIMA MORALIA: CILDO MEIRELES

REMOVING BOTH SHOES and socks and pushing open an immaculately white door, you step into a dark enclosure. Once inside, the room’s dimensions remain indistinct, and the material that makes for the deep, almost spongy quality of the floor unidentifiable. Though it recalls sand—and the experience of trudging along a beach on a moonless night—it is finer, silkier. The granules of this nameless substance have wafted into the air, making the atmosphere dense and close. That it is a bit difficult to walk—and to breathe—leaves you feeling vulnerable and for, slightly anxious. After your eyes grow accustomed to the darkness, a faint flicker of light is discernible at the far end of the room, where the air is suffused with a distinctive odor, subtle enough not to have been perceived until that moment. It is the smell of natural gas. This first room is connected to another, at whose end a lit candle,

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