Marginalia - Peru

Javi Vargas Sotomayor

Reading time: 6 minutes




Through this section, monthly, we invite agents of the artistic system to share a selection of images related to their practice or current interests. Images are published daily in the header of our website and shared through our Instagram profile. At the end of the month, the complete selection of images is published together with a text that contextualizes them. Here is the selection of February 2022.

Feline Eclipse (fragments)

by Javi Vargas Sotomayor

“Antonio has feet made of constellations”

César Moro

“There are many quotes combined with my writings. I am fascinated by quotes merged with what I write, but I always make sure to differentiate them. So that they form a whole that resonates in some rivers without riverbed, a language that is described by reading the constellations reflected in its fresh waters, promiscuous waters, sad and frenetic” Javi Vargas Sotomayor (interpersonal communication in social network)


Coordinate 1 (44°24’10.3”N 11°18’15.2”E)


Pier Paolo Pasolini writes in 1941 a letter to a dear friend recalling moments in which he glimpses into an intense and tragic night, no less beautiful for it, fields of fleeting and wandering fireflies in the process of extinction appear. He senses what decades later he would formulate with clarity: a territory of small lights that survive the fascist processes of extermination, administered by the great lights by the spotlights of the consumerist industries of advertising. Pasolini, illuminated by the small lights of these small vibrant worms, saw in the future destroyed the promising libertarian illusions of post-Mussolini Italy. (Didi Huberman 2012)


Coordinate 2 (33°26’59.9”S 70°40’20.1”W)


At the end of 1989, the Mares of the Apocalypse printed a series of stars on the pavement of San Camilo Street as a tribute to each travesti in this prostitute area of the city of Santiago, in what constituted the action “Gone with AIDS”. The sequence reconstructs an abject Hollywood walk of fame during a night in which, coinciding with some events, the city was left in darkness and, according to a local newspaper, the stars of that street remained lit. Ephemeral luminous permanence in dialogue with the disappearance of proscribed bodies and their habitats (Carvajal 2013).


Coordinate 3 (12°03’22.6”S 77°03’47.7”W)


A girl does her homework in the living room of her house in the district of Breña, by candlelight on almost any night in the late eighties or early nineties, in a Lima in darkness due to some dynamited high-tension tower at the hands of a group whose name symbolizes a totalitarian light. Its regime imposes vertical conditions of illumination, showing its messianic genealogical links with the flames of the absolute Catholic light. Racetracking and curfews impede free transit in the besieged city. In parallel dimensions, in the manner of multiple games of acts, heterotopias are constructed: a large dark park called the Campo de Marte, absent of police surveillance, at night becomes a garden of public and intimate carnal pleasures; a kilometer away from the room of the girl who usually studies under candlelight, in the clandestine “La Lima que se va”, a den of travestis, the danceable meetings of “toque a toque” (forced curfew) take place.


Coordenada 4 (25°50’53.6”N 80°18’40.2”W)

“The stars/ are golden coins that shine/ a single instant in life/ like a ball/ we once threw/ into our sky as children.” Jorge Eduardo Eielson


In the middle of the sea, approximately 601 kilometers away from the place where a reclusion camp for homosexuals called Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la Producción (UMAP) de Camagüey operated, on January 9, 1996, Cuban artist Félix González-Torres died of AIDS in the city of Miami. In the context of the homophobic Reaganist policies continued by George H.W. Bush regarding the “plague”. Bush in relation to the “pink plague”, Gonzalez-Torres designed a series of relational and participatory pieces dedicated to people he loved, giving an account from an intimate territory of the conditions that publicly affected the health and life of bodies sanctioned by the genocidal heterosexist social norm. One of his pieces, consisting of a series of small light bulbs hung on the walls of a museum, a gallery or in the streets [Untitled (For Stockholm) and Untitled (America)], offers the viewer small fields of light, almost imperceptible illuminated gardens where to be infected with the vital intensity of the beautiful bulb-cells, both fragile and imperishable in memory, ephemeral as those bodies that would be extinguished by the AIDS epidemic.

Huaqueos CIS, huaicos, fields of light

“How to uproot from our own language a minor literature, capable of undermining language and making it flee […] How to become the nomad and the immigrant and the gypsy of our own language?”

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari

  • “Militants of the del Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru [Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement] (MRTA) killed last May 31 a group of drug addicts and homosexuals who had been causing fear among the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. […] Why should the MRTA punish common criminals if a National Police whose mission is to ensure citizen security exists?” (Cambio 1989)
  • In the contemporary techniques of government there is an overlapping of necropolitic (genocide), biopolitical (discipline) and somatopolitical (production of subjectivity) sovereign regimes that in different crossings and strategic designs manage the death or normalization of subaltern subjects (Preciado, 2008, 2014). The exhumation of bodies, archives and practices has made possible the design of new maps and sexopolitical devices to manage the discipline or control of life; however, it has also made possible the construction of modes of agency and proliferation of other telluric territories that viralize hegemonic systems. The interest in the study of the sedimentation and unveiling of the historical layers of the ceremonial centers of pre-Columbian cultures, as well as the simple extraction of vestiges for the traffic of prestige and the buying and selling (huacos, pots, footprints, bones, looms), dialogues in parallel with the exhumation of the historical layers of the ceremonial centers of pre-Columbian cultures, dialogues in parallel with the exhumation of clandestine graves (or their disappearance for the purpose of death) and the normalizing use of the residues, archives and histories of subaltern subjects by the gay-friendly device of difference through its cis agents (also from the art world). The discourse of the politics of sexual diversity and social inclusion produces an integrating otherness without conflict for the system of norms and privileges, a LGTBI subject docile and functional to the apparatus that in other circumstances manages dynamics that proscribe, erase and make unintelligible the proliferations of languages, practices, make-ups, vibrations and unsubmissive territories.
  • The telluric languages are manifested by the vibration of the encounter between the vocal cords with the waves of the movements of the tectonic plates, the systems of luminosity of the celestial bodies, the different techniques of life management and the different layers and sediments of the regimes of light. Those encounters can produce musicality of wandering syntaxes in viralizing derangement, in dance with emerging delicate fields of light that derange the technologies that manage the legibility of historical sediments and vestiges. This new ancestral animal telluric music can reactivate the waves of buried archives and vibrant bodies, which will make possible new cataclysmic encounters of proscribed whispering luminosities.


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