Showroom Venezuela/United States
Dead Animal by Erika Ordosgoitti
ELPRAN Projecten. Curatorial Operation
Érika Ordosgoitti: body, poetry, and action
Érika Ordosgoitti is a cursed artist. She generates an impacting and reflexive action art. She does it from experimentation and exposure of her body, which she has designated as an infinite territory where the barrier of pain, fear, submission, risk, and aesthetics is self-imposed by herself as a frontier.
The body, in any existential dimension, supposes vulnerability and action. It gets exposed by the contact and violence of the other through gaze and touch. The artistic operation carried out by Érika Ordosgoitti implies risk and vulnerability, daring and conscience. Her body reveals itself to us as disobedient, rebellious, nonconformist. It is a free, infinite body, which she exploits to its maximum expression: she projects it, exhibits it, submits it, mutilates it to provoke, awaken, shake the observer. It is a stimulus to consciousness.
Her artistic practice encompasses performance, photography, video, and poetry. Her coexistence in a sexist, homophobic, and radically phallocentric community has meant an act of resistance for her as a woman, man, queer, androgynous, tomboy, lesbian, trans, non-binary -classifications granted by the hetero-normative society-. This supposed rareness has generated the experimentation of an interaction between her as a detonator. As well as the community with which she interacts as a detonator of her praxis.
Érika uses performance as the principal means of expression linked to words. The relationship between a pencil and piece of paper, the verb, and the declamator, becomes an extension of her body, to project in poetic key her social reflections, the historical urban decadence, the fear of living/dying of people, the urgency of shouting and acting. Constructing thus poetic discourses, a sort of bilateral relationship that she establishes with literature from which she proposes, as an essential signifier of this production, the possibility of dialogue with the interlocutor. They are poems narrated, which extends beyond writing or recitation. Her poetry is polyglot, open, and rebellious; it assumes different formats, media, or listeners. Performance, video, and photography have allowed Érika to erase limits, to accept the infinity of artistic projection to offer her poetic discourses.
Her performances start from her own body as the first technical and conceptual working tool. She assumes her body as a material and psychical resultant traversed by the restructurations and burdens of a historically and civilly stained society. Bodies make up society, and societal institutions manage the parameters of order, justice, law, rights, regulations. There is no escape from that. It is precisely these governmental administrations and legislative states that define in a perpetual letter the hetero-normative structure, the phallocentric culture, the human and urban misery, which in turn curses the subject who steps out of these placements to “try to be.”
All her performative interventions are loaded with an aesthetic/anti-aesthetic connotation. They are meticulously curated and structured from the discourse of the ugly, the rottenness, the borderline. Érika conceives them precisely to generate an impact: an experience that moves from rejection and disgust to reflection and identification. That is why she resorts, in most cases, to explicit nudity, without make-up or glazes. It is the naked body per se, both in action and voice, as a state of freedom. The body is the most exquisite and truthful expression of nature, understanding diversity as the ideal state of nature.
In her video performances, she not only projects her discourse from the naked body in its totality. She also resorts to the still uncomfortable image of the vagina expressed as a “chest of gold,” that erotic container of hidden messages ready to seduce and be tasted. The vagina, or its bodily derivations such as blood or urine, becomes a narrated poem. One that provokes electroshock in those who observe or participate.
And naked too, as an act of protest and provocation, Érika carries out her photo-assaults. She does this by studying the iconography and the monumental city that she realizes after a thorough investigation. Almost, like an expert of the environment to be intervened. These are performances that she unfolds in urban properties, which she does not ask permission or invitation for, nor does she give out notice or structure a promotional strategy. As Érika analyzes the environment, the light, the climatic and urban conditions, the social circulation, these fleeting performances, in their execution, involve an exquisite analytical study behind them. She then appropriates the surprise factor and interrupt, impact and record that performative instant. To do so, she minimizes risks by studying all the components and establishes a network of accomplices that allow her to fabricate possible escapes after “assaulting” the monument.
The photo-assaults comprise a dose of violence from their very conception and making. Érika Ordosgoitti’s performances are violent. In the sense that they subvert the traditional uses and the historical skein of certain spaces to leave their mark. She questions the urban deity, contrasting her body with that of the monumental icon, which is firm and stable. While hers is vulnerable, exposed by nudity and, to top it off, she is “profaning” a reverential site. Érika generates with this a sense of instability of the ideological system. As soon as she becomes imbricated, naked, and visible in the vicinity of the monumental deity, the action develops into problems and sanctionable alterations. Ones that cause deprivation of liberty, asylum, beatings, or death. Thus, in photo assaults, the most important thing is to obtain an image and escape from the site without difficulties.
Érika Ordosgoitti develops a powerful artistic practice that surprises and provokes. She projects an art of action that defends from the aesthetics of the rare, the non-normal, from the beauty of human diversity as a primary and supreme state, as a natural resource, and not as reverence to a form imposed by the social regulations of a community. It synthesizes action, poetry, drama, and provocation. Érika Ordosgoitti is an accursed artist.
Curaduria Malandra. Sept, 2021
Misión León de las madres. Fotoasalto, 2018. Colaboración: Jaime De Sousa
Misión León. Fotoasalto, 2013. Colaboración: Jaime De Sousa
Intervención Monumental. Fotoasalto, 2012. Colaboración: María Joaquina Martejo
Pico Bolívar. Fosoasalto, 2013. Colaboración: Fabian Rodríguez
Guardia Nacional. Fotoasalto, 2013. Colaboración; Nayareth Montero
La Coromoto de Paraíso. Fotoasalto, 2012. Colaboración: Marco Bell
Guarimba. Fotoasalto, 2017. Colaboración: Carolina Sanz
Alegue performance. Fotoasalto, 2015. Colaboración; Rosa Chávez
Las Américas. Fotoasalto, 2014. Colaboración; Nadia Granados
Hambre. Fotoperformance, 2015. Colaboración; Rosa Chávez
Comida de Moscas. Video Spoken word poetry, 2014 Colaboración; Rosa Chávez
Me abro la cabeza. Video spoken word poetry, 2012. Colaboración: Alfirio Mendoza
Mátame. Video performance, 2020.
Work in Process 2000-2013
About Erika Ordosgoitti. Infographic
Erika Ordosgoitti. Venezuela / USA
Freedom is my commitment to life. It is the most important value that moves me. I walk towards freedom knowing that absolute value does not exist and will never be achieved. My actions are free, it is only through them that I can achieve my own freedom. Freedom does not exist, there are only free actions from people that can eventually become free. The images I create are achieved through the symbolic framework that lies within them. I want to avoid representation, and thus I prefer to work with the iconography that the environment offers, because these images of icons synthesize the idiosyncrasy of the society of which I am a part of, the one that I make up and which makes me. Although I adverse representations, I know my photographic images are not exempt from this condition. They are representations and they work with representations, but they are also expressions of free actions. Through them I intend to declare freedom as a natural, political, and spiritual principle of life. There is an instant of absolute freedom. This is the artistic event: the performance. That microsecond and then the delicate consequences that erupt from reality. A simple gesture, small, yet doubtful, can transform everything. Reality can be delicate and terrible at the same time. “A crumb on your table would be enough”, says Rafael Cadenas, a venezuelan poet, about reality. The real is my raw material and my art object. This is why the art I make is adverse to death and dances with it. Risk is present, it is an honor. Scars are a symbol of my honor as an artist. Vulnerability is my strength. In every circumstance in which I was vulnerable, I reversed the situation to turn it into my strength. My heart is always racing, my chest open, my lungs are full and my gaze is conjugated.
I actively participate in the venezuelan artistic scene and publish my work in the social media betting that others can have access to my images.
Curator: Nelson Gonzalez & Gerardo Zavarce
Production: Zurishaddai Tremus
All Rights Reserved
EL PRAN Project thanks Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Caribisch Gebied for their unconditional support and for making this Virtual Showroom possible