Puppies Puppies will reenact Ana Mendieta’s performance at Art Basel – ARTnews.com
While Art Basel tends to be known for the multi-million dollar paintings and sculptures on display in the convention center, there is a history of provocative performance art in and around the fair. In 2008, for example, Marina Abramović gave a performance in which she lay for hours under a human skeleton.
This year brings an event that promises to be just as edgy, and even potentially controversial: artist Jade Guanaro Kuriki-Olivo, known as Puppies Puppies, re-enacts Ana Mendieta’s performance in 1973 Untitled (Rape), in which Mendieta used his own body to stage the aftermath of a rape. The event comes with a disclaimer that it is not accessible to those under 18.
According to Kuriki-Olivo’s Parisian gallery, Balice Hertling, she refers to what will happen as a “constellation” of performances that will open with a “two and a half hour experimental lecture on her work and traumatic experiences such as like rape,” after which she will recreate Mendieta’s original performance for three hours. Then someone will drape the performer’s naked body in a transgender flag.
The event is organized by Samuel Leuenberger. Balice Hertling presents it, accompanied by a sculpture by the artist, in partnership with gallery owners Francesca Pia, Barbara Weiss and Hannah Hoffman.
Mendieta originally performed in April 1973, in her Iowa City apartment, in response to the rape and murder of a nursing student the month before. Through a partially open door, viewers saw Mendieta bent over a table, her panties around her ankles and her buttocks and legs covered in blood. The performance is known mainly through photographic documentation.
Mendieta, who died in 1985 (her then-husband Carl Andre was tried and acquitted of pushing her out the window of the couple’s New York apartment), later said of the rape of the student that he “moved and frightened” her. On another occasion, she said she did the performance “as a reaction against the idea of violence against women”.
In addition to the planned reconstruction at Basel’s Scala on June 18, as part of Art Basel’s “Parcours” program, Puppies Puppies presents a new life-size bronze sculpture of a trans woman in the style of ancient Greek statuary. . Its title refers to transphobia and the fight for the rights of trans women. The work should form a sort of coda to the performance: draped in the flag, the artist plans to walk from Scala to the sculpture, apply makeup and lipstick to the sculpture, and kiss.