Marginalia - Puerto Rico

Ulrik López

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#50: In what ways is the body linked to orality?

Every month Marginalia invites an artist, curator or project to provide a series of images that will serve as the background of Terremoto, in relation to their practice and current interests. At the end of each month, the whole series of images is unveiled. Here is the selection of July 2019.

This selection of images shows my most recent approaches to practices with the body. Practices that I consider first ephemeral, and then performatic: an incident that is disseminated through the links they may have with other disciplines. In this case, sound is articulated as music and dance as a spectacle. I like to stress the ephemeral as an event, in relation to the material production such as sculpture, which predominates in my practice, in addition to the connections that the body has as an incident and as a channel of the ritual. In what ways is the body linked to orality?

The images speak of collaborative processes: those in which the same body and its performativity encourage joint production, even the simplest format. As Pascal Quignard comments about Asian music: “Even the most refined, Chinese music, resolutely lonely, presents in its most radical legends the idea of ​ group: in its slightest expression, the encounter of two unfailing friends. A couple”. This is another aspect that inclines me to these bodily and ritual practices: the couple, the couple and the spectators, and even the members of the couple as witnesses of themselves. The ritual used by the body and orality do not interest me if they do not occur within this group configuration, I do not see it indispensable for the performatic medium, however, the nuances that cross my practice do, using other devices, which are autonomous, constant, present. The body, at least mine, needs this.

Pataki 1921 and Si nosotros no ardemos exemplify that crisscross in my work: there where the footprint operates as a path and action, or where the delicate act of stacking the fragmented happens, what a dancer does as resistance and the lost sounds that the archaeologist seeks. Pataki 1921 re-articulates a tribute to the only Latin American player—Caribbean for historical justice—of chess, José Raúl Capablanca, who in 1921 managed to be world champion. It is not until 1966 that it is celebrated—tragically—in the eyes of the world, through a European colonizing veil. Here, the body recovers the Afro, Yoruba, Santera, Caribbean, through dance, music, and the outfit that becomes sculpture. While in Si nosotros no ardemos the cave is reviewed as the entrails of an instrument, the birth of a new sound consciousness, linked to thunder and fire; the hum of lightning and the whispers of our own echoes. The cave and its darkness turn the noise into flames.


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