La Pocha Nostra workshop
2010 performance workshop by LA POCHA NOSTRA, hosted by LA PERRERA, Oaxaca.
last year Saul Lopez Velarde and I were invited to participate in the Mexican version of performance “Snake Oil”. The boys are Wisa Knuuttila, Lassi Absurdus and Jussi Paradise, all form Finland and into body modifictaion.
2009 – 2010
piece for the CORPUS AETERNUM show in Oaxaca. The show went parallel to the exhibition of Dr. Lorena Ocampo’s, (researcher at the medicine faculty, Oaxaca) specimen collection.
Her research specimens are along the lines of what you would find at the MUTTER museum in Philadelphia.
Preview photos for “La Bombonera” performance. Super hot performer form San Francisco Lula Chapman in sweet mellows.
The performance was presented July 16th, 2009, at la PERERRA, Oaxaca. With Saul Lopez Velarde, Lula Chapman, Isis Rodriguez, Emilienne Tempels, Rafa Xaneiro and me.
2008 – 2009
with the repetition of a body part, I create skins, surfaces and volumes as ornamentation.
2008 – 2009
In 2007, after living in Mex for more or less 4 years, (I was living in Oaxaca by then) the tortilla price went up almost to double. Now, this may not seem too important when you are not familiar with Mexican culture, but tortilla is the base of the diet here, is the most important staple in the country, and not because is the most consumed, but because they are the men of corn, is their history and what their flesh is made of. As a reaction to this a collective of Oaxacan women, directed by artist and activist Marietta Bernstorff was born. These two pieces where part of a couple of shows organized and curated by her.
Corn is a crop that doesn’t have a clear wild ancestor. The most accepted theory is that it comes from Teosinte, a wild grass with whom it shares some similarities but also has great differences. If anyone ever comes across Teosinte, it is very, very different.
Over the centuries indigenous people evolved corn from Teosinte, in the same way corn evolved them as a culture, what they ate, how they ate it, it became their father, their son, a diety, their origin and their destiny. They grew and shaped each other.
The word CULTURE comes from “CULTIVO”, to cultivate the land, a crop, then it referred to cultivation of the mind and later the group or collection of knowledge and rituals accumulated by a community. It is no coincidence that Mexican Culture developed parallel to the cultivation of the ZEA MAYS, corn. Their most important source of phisycal and spiritual food. Cultivo/Cultura.
The “Culture” of a community or country also becomes their “IDENTITY”, it distinguish them form others and gives them strength as a group, a sense of independance and ownership, it is them and it is theirs. A country or group without Identity is easy to manipulate and dominate. Corn for Mexico is not only a source of food but a source of identity, it is what they are.
2006 – 2007
These series started in 2006 during my residency in North Lands Creative Glass Centre. The Glass Centre is located on the main street of Lybster, a small town at the very north of Scotland, surrounded by the most amazing and beautiful landscape and vast ocean.
Coming form Mexico City, I suffered a bit of a cultural shock, the silence is overwhelming and the amount of time you have in your hands… no traffic to deal with, no errands to run around making (the best part of a residency), no crowds, noise, massive billboards everywhere, etc . You kind of enter this weird meditative or contemplative state, images flow, ideas flow, brain stays pretty empty. Nice.
So I started working on these mantra or chanting pieces. There was no repetition of words, but of movement, a very simple motion that repeats itself endlessly. Wrapping with thread.
I was doing mainly glass hotcasting, they have great furnaces and beautiful glass, plus is very cold everywhere else. I was casting small, simple pieces, many of them (as I usually do) then connecting them with each other with copper wire wrapped with black cotton thread. The wrapping is where the repetition lies. I was also following the technique of Native Americans, where there are no knots anywhere in the wrap so the energy can flow and the piece can continue to grow.
2005 – 2008
Time can be represented tridimentionally if we think of it as a fragmented action.
After moving to Mex City I started working with repetition, one simple form, repeated, creating or constructing something larger, bigger. It was probably the lack of routine in my life so far, working here and there, moving cities, even countries every six months. Living out of a suitcase for far too long, not owning anything that wasn’t truly needed and light to carry.
Anyway, found some comfort in the repetition within my pieces that my life lacked. Everything is built by repetition, a body is a repetition of elements, a skill of actions, even time is a repetition of moments. When a leaf falls from a tree, or a boulder floats in the ocean, when the sun moves in the sky, take a snapshot every two, ten or thirty seconds, and you have a tridimentional construction of that movement, of the passing of time. A very organic construction as well, its shape is given by the weight of the leaf, the wind at the time, or the weight and size of the boulder and the movement of the sea, is the rhythm of nature, which is our rhythm.