Installation: Marta Pérez García’s “Si te cojo… cuerpo, mujer, rotura”

marta

[Many thanks to María Antonia Ordóñez for bringing this item to our attention.] Mariela Fullana Acosta (El Nuevo Día) announces a new installation by Puerto Rican artista Marta Pérez García. With “Si te cojo… cuerpo, mujer, rotura” [If I catch you… body, woman, rupture] she invites the viewer to reflect and speak about the violence experienced by women in Puerto Rico and to build a new narrative against sexist violence. The exhibition opens today (Saturday, August 24, 2019) at 4:00pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art [Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MACPR)] in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico. It will be on view until October 12, 2019. Here are translated excerpts.

At a time when several feminist groups demand the governor, Wanda Vázquez, to declare a state of emergency in the face of a wave of sexist violence in the country, and when every eight days there is a woman killed on the island, the work of Puerto Rican artist Marta Pérez García is more relevant than ever.

Two months ago, Pérez García began working on the artistic project “Si te cojo… cuerpo, mujer, rotura” for the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico (MAC), as part of her participation in the Taller Vivo program, which the institution offers, allowing artists to work on their processes from the museum space.

This proposal of artistic immersion is an invitation to reflect and dialogue on sexist violence through collaborative and interactive multimedia work, in which various survivors of violence participated. These [survivors] took several workshops with the artist, who invited them to build their own narratives by creating dolls that will be part of the final piece of the project, which will be exhibited starting today, Saturday, at 4:00pm, at the MAC headquarters, in Santurce.

In this installation, which will be on display until October 12, in addition to dolls, bullet caps, toy blocks, eyes, teeth, and flowers may be seen as symbols of women’s experience with violence from childhood to adulthood. In addition, viewers will be able to listen to the stories of some of the survivors.

“For me it was important not just to create an installation—which is my first—but also to make people focus on the topic to explore where they stand in terms of gender violence and to see that it is a personal reflection towards where one is [in life]. But it was also important to have workshops where these women (survivors) also reflected on their own lives,” said Marta Pérez García in a recent meeting with El Nuevo Día.

The artist began to develop this project five years ago after an invitation extended by the MAC. At that time, the first ideas of the proposal emerged, but [the installation] did not materialize. It was not until last year, in Washington DC, where the artist resides, that an opportunity arose to take it up again. In the United States capital, she presented part of the project, and interviewed Latina survivors of violence, who also built dolls that will be added to those made by the Puerto Rican survivors.

“There will be more than 200 dolls that are going to be all together, standing straight, looking at the audience. For me, these dolls represent a body of united people, indicating that we are strong, that we are standing, that we will not be silenced and that we are not going to hide anymore,” said the artist about what each of these pieces represents to the public. The audience will be able to appreciate them and to understand that each woman is telling a piece of her story. “I am not a doll. I am made of pain,” “Respect my body,” or “My vagina is not made for whenever you want it,” are some phrases that stand out with these dolls made out of different types of stockings, especially those made with pantyhose nylon, which evokes human skin. [. . .]

[Photo by Pablo Martínez. For the artist, talking about sexist violence is a necessity and an urgency.]

Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For full article (in Spanish), see https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/nota/martaperezgarciainvitaaconstruirunanuevanarrativacontralaviolenciamachista-2513592/

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