Regina José Galindo at ROLLO Contemporary Art

12. Hermana3 Regina José Galindo at ROLLO Contemporary Art

Regina José Galindo, Hermana, video still, 2010

ROLLO Contemporary Art’s exhibition Regina José Galindo: 12 Years presents works from 1999 to the present date, including two new commissions, and surveys the dominant themes of Galindo’s ground-breaking performative practice, where the artist typically uses her own body as a raw material that is subjected to violent and dangerous acts. The exhibition brings together performance-video works from Galindo’s 12 year career in the artist’s first solo exhibition in London, including two new works never before exhibited, which Galindo has created especially for ROLLO Contemporary Art’s exhibition; Hermana and Joroba.

Born in Guatemala City in 1974, Regina José Galindo began making performances in the public arena in 1999. In 2005, Galindo’s work received international acclaim when she was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. Today Galindo is widely considered to be one of the most unique and powerful voices of contemporary performance art.

11. Hermana2 Regina José Galindo at ROLLO Contemporary Art

Regina José Galindo, Hermana, video still, 2010

Influenced by the violence of her native Guatemala, Galindo’s performance-video works visually articulate the violent and repressive history and current culture of Guatemala and explore its existing social hierarchies, whilst elsewhere Galindo’s work addresses international power relations; commenting on the relationship between the US and Central America and addressing global acts of political injustice. Overall however Galindo’s work can be seen to articulate universal issues of vulnerability, loss of liberty, and imbalances of power, whether it be social, sexual, political or economic.

At time violent and direct, at other times poetic and metaphoric, Galindo’s work is disruptive, insistent and impossible to ignore. Created especially for ROLLO Contemporary Art’s exhibition is a video triptych, Hermana, which addresses the social hierarchy that exists between the native indigenous population of Guatemala and the Ladino community (a socio-ethnic category of Mestizo or hispanicized people in Central America especially in Guatemala). The artist has said of the work ‘Hermana modifies the roles that have historically existed in Guatemala. It shows the problems of exploitation and humiliation by the Ladino of the Indian community, which has been the source of the failure of the Guatemalan state and nation. In this piece my Ladino body is presented in front of the body of an Indian woman. Both bodies share similar physical characteristics but these are denied through various codes. In Hermana the Ladino woman’s body represents the vulnerability, which is hit, spat on and whipped with an orange stick. In Hermana, it is the Indian woman who has power. This is something that doesn’t exist in our reality.’

tumba 13 Regina José Galindo at ROLLO Contemporary Art

In Joroba (Hunchback) – also created especially for ROLLO Contemporary Art’s survey show - a man walks through a village in Guatemala carrying a coffin on his back. The work suggests a poetic visual metaphor for the threat of death and vulnerability carried by the Guatemalan citizen. Embodying a sense of impending and inevitable doom, the image is also evocative of a modern day Christ carrying his own crucifix.

Text and images provided by ROLLO Contemporary Art

Related posts:

  1. Sexual Deployment: Regina José Galindo
  2. José Maria Sicila at Galerie Chantal Crousel
  3. Lawrence Weiner at Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art
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