Showroom | Guatemala
Regina José Galindo and other sciences
EL PRAN Projecten. Curatorial operation
Regina José Galindo and other sciences
Her Guatemalan condition is one of the essential generators of the artistic practice developed by Regina José Galindo. She comes from the poetry and literature department, which she consciously mixes with her performance projection, becoming one of the most emblematic Latin American artists of her generation in the fields of performance, action art, and testimonial. Regina became a performer who resorts to the purity of diverse media for her interventions, respects each one conscientiously, and implements an intrinsic relationship by turning poetry into an essential part of the performance and vice versa, generating both visual and oral poetry through her works.
Guatemala: mirror of the world. Each puddle with its dramas
The cultural and historical horizon of her native country, Guatemala, marked a starting point for her since the end of the nineties. It was a result of the repercussions of the peace treaties. Thenceforth the geopolitical aspect became a precedent for projects combining research, performance, poetry, and science. In this way, he alludes to the concepts of racial and gender discrimination, to political and social conflicts in his country that, in turn, find points of contact with global problems of all societies.
El Gran Retorno
Galindo stands out from that geocultural and geopolitical environment in which she unfolds to project herself as the bearer of voices, experiences, memories, and testimonies of the vulnerable subject. As the one who in any context was bound to the fundamental sense of pain, joy, disillusionment, illicit legislation, fear, faith. Therefore, she becomes a performer and spectator, author, and anonymous of the same process. Galindo intervenes in the public space and the historical memory from her body. Through it, with manifest rage, she articulates and evidences the problems and disabilities of her context. Her body becomes a complementary part of this performative and testimonial praxis developed by her. She is a witness and victim of the event and invites us to participate in its performativity.
Regina Galindo’s work involves an urgency that derives from the generation of an essential, reflexive statistic. Her work Combustible is an example of this. In the city of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, eight immigrants of Haitian origin push a collective cab during their routine, without gasoline. For this, she has assumed a particular social group to exercise the action as an integral part of her practice. She reveals herself as the intellectual author of the process, perhaps as the victimizer subject who subjugates the “other.”. She thus evidences continued exploitation of immigrants seen as the supposed driving force for society to move forward. At this point, Regina lends her body as the articulator of a hegemonic action while her authorship dilutes. She drifts towards anonymity and becomes part of the orchestration of the performance.
The element of surprise in its imprint is always implicit in her work. Her work generates the relationship between the author/performer of the action and the witness. Based on these dynamics, she conceives situations that do not discriminate geopolitical or cultural axes. But they do sentence, question, and point out the evils that drag today’s societies.
Galindo uses technical and scientific expertise as an articulating accompaniment to her interventions. In Polígrafo, she submits herself to a test based on a system of questions and answers, from which she obtains a negative result. By exposing herself to extreme situations of physical and mental stress and pressure. In this way, she makes visible the effects of violence and power structures on the subjects.
Her proposals are born of pain and courage, hence why she defends and sentences through her artistic operation. With La Verdad, he revives, through performance and words, the stories of survivors of the guerrilla attacks that Guatemala suffered during 36 years. While a dentist bursts into her mouth and anesthetizes her little by little, continuously, Regina reads these testimonies of the victims of the war conflict.
The mistreatment of her body as a collective body is also present in Marabunta, a performance that consisted of a score of men violently invading her car, with her inside, and dismembering it until it was entirely reduced to scrap, to the useless, to functional nothingness. Portraying her as just another object. She is objectified and belittled by a collective representing the macho system of power that persists stable and strong.
As support for the intervention, her projection links to the technical implementation of an auxiliary science. Regina resorts to the plastic surgeon, who reconstructs the hymen to return to virginity. It awakens unclean desires, illegal buying and selling, and deaths in many cases. Undoubtedly, she is an artist in continuous resistance. Bringing together multiple terrains to denounce, awaken and raise awareness through performance, the resource of the voice, and scientific power.
Science as a function of performance
Her professional practices have become investigations on gender violence, femicides, migratory forms, and genocides of indigenous communities. Furthermore, her focus is on civil war, violence exercised from different power structures, impunity, and injustice; and she has evidenced it through her artistic journey and in the spaces of production that she has performed. Regina Galindo has worked from the artistic operation, which, as a shared science, has touched thorny areas, painful realities trying to invisibilize, requiring the rage, passion, and action of artists like her.
Curaduria Malandra, Sept. 2021
About Regina José Galindo infographic
BIO Regina José Galindo
Is a visual artist and poet who uses performance as her primary medium. Galindo lives and works in Guatemala, using her own context as a starting point to explore and denounce the ethical implications of social violence and injustices related to racial and gender discrimination, as well as human rights abuses stemming from endemic inequalities in the power relations of contemporary societies.
Galindo received the Golden Lion for Best Young Artist at the 51st Venice Biennale (2005), in 2011 she received the Prince Claus Award from the Netherlands and last 2020 the Robert Rauschemberg Award.
She has participated in events such as Aichi Triennale, Wuzhen Biennale, the 49th, 53rd, and 54th Venice Biennials; Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel, at the 9th Cuenca International Biennial, the 29th Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts, the Shanghai Biennial (2016) the Pontevedra Biennial in 2010, the 17th Biennial of Sydney, the 2nd Moscow Biennial, 1st Auckland Triennale, The Venice-Istanbul Exhibition, and other high level worldwide participations.
Her work is in collections such as the Guggenheim in New York, Museum of Modern Art of New York MoMa, Pompidou Museum in Paris, Tate London, Daros Switzerland, Chateau de Rivoli, Italy, among others.
She has published the book Personal e Intransmisible in 1999 with Coloquia publishing house, the book Telarañas in 2017 with ediciones del Pensativo, Antigua Guatemala and her latest book of poetry Rabia, published in 2020 by Les Lisieres publishing house.
Curator: Nelson Gonzalez & Gerardo Zavarce
Production: Zurishaddai Tremus
Collaboration: Lanuary Chedraui Sarmiento
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EL PRAN Project thanks Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Caribisch Gebied for their unconditional support and for making this Virtual Showroom possible.