In Spilled, the body, substance and objects are fused around an action activated by the boil of milk. The assembled elements evoke imbalance, temporary stability, precarious and domestic materials that interact to sustain themselves, extracted from the realm of the “feminized.” The whole installation is about to fall. The artist waits while the milk in a pot heats up, pretending to sew the center of her skull with a needle through her hair she feigns a pain that infects the audience. Everyone watching knows that the boiling milk will fall and finally spill from the pot onto the floor, like an exaggerated ejaculation that causes the artist to lose her hair (hanging from the air, on her shaved head) and clothes (which she retires, leaving an undergarment made of hands that cover his breasts and genitals). The hair and clothes are elements that until now seemed stable, and when they are lost they reveal an artificiality under which an unexpected corporality is hidden. With a shaven and semi-naked head, the artist kneels on all fours like a dog, cow, or mammal, exposing her hip while sipping milk from the ground in an attitude that recalls a classic pornographic act such as eating semen. In this performance different evocations of the feminized are mixed to break them and destabilize them- just as the milk that spills the woman’s body also loses it’s shape by stripping hair and clothes, entering into an realm that could be associated with the animal, the disgusting, and the monstrous.
En Derramada se fusionan el cuerpo, la sustancia y los objetos alrededor de una acción activada por el hervor de la leche: los elementos reunidos evocan desequilibrio, estabilidad temporal, materiales precarios y domésticos que interactúan para sostenerse, extraídos del reino de lo “feminizado”: la instalación entera está a punto de caer. La artista espera mientras la leche en una olla se calienta, fingiendo coser con una aguja el centro de su cráneo a travesando con las punzadas su cabello: finge un dolor que contagia a la audiencia. Todos saben que la leche al hervir cae y finalmente se derrama de la olla cayendo al suelo, como una eyaculación exagerada que provoca que la mujer pierda el pelo (que queda colgando por el aire, sobre su cabeza rapada) y la ropa (que ella se retira dejando una ropa interior hecha de manos que cubren sus pechos y genitales), elementos que hasta el momento parecían también estables y que al perderlos evidencian una artificialidad bajo la cual se esconde una corporalidad inesperada: con la cabeza afeitada y semi-desnuda se arrodilla en cuatro patas como una perra, vaca o mamífero que expone su anca mientras sorbe la leche del suelo en una actitud que recuerda un acto pornográfico clásico como es el de comer semen. En esta performance se mezclan diferentes evocaciones de lo sexual-feminizado para romperlas y desestabilizarlas: así como la leche que se derrama, el cuerpo de la mujer pierde su forma al despojarse de cabello y de ropa, entrando en una actitud que podría asociarse con lo animal, lo asqueroso y lo monstruoso.
En Cuatro Patas: Deborah Castillo, Oscar David Alvarez and Nadia Granados http://www.riting.org/post/179872182709/en-cuatro-patas-deborah-castillo-oscar-david
Scarlett Kim on Spilled
The set, a “domestic” scene fossilized in-medias-res falling, is set and reset before the performance, to maintain the exact right precariousness. She enters the tableau. Pours milk into the pot balancing on the hotplate balancing on the tower of bricks balancing on the…
She sews herself into the gallows, suspending herself between two additional set pieces: god and gravity. She tests her adherence, marching, marching… until milk explodes, splatters everywhere, and she’s flayed of her human exoskeleton, the wig the suit jacket.
Alone with her insides, she dives into a 2D ocean. She vacuums up spilled milk, mouth to floor, rigorously ravenous. Slurping and sucking, producing depth in a horizontal surface through a reenactment of verticality. She leaks milk through her lips. Milk courses her body’s convex and concave. Is her consumption to contain or to reproduce? She writes a shapeshifting metaphor of her body as a blackhole, a vessel, a channel, a container. When her body falls behind the rapidfire routine of input and output, she borrows the pot’s body. A surrogate, it’s another of her kind/ she’s another of its’s kind.
Material begins to exist once it’s robbed of its symbolism. She turns idioms into riddles. Don’t cry over spilt milk. Kissing the ground he walked on. Better safe than sorry. Performing a fantasy of lushness in an impossible situation sustains her. As long as she dooms herself to the fate of thirst, eternally insatiable, she’s immortal.
For a moment, I thought the liquid draining out of her turned pink. Blood? Maybe I hallucinated she liquified the red stage floor.
A second later, she starts to pee. All metaphors slip away. She’s a medium of alchemy. Real magic. Her gastrointestinal tract has al/chemically transmuted milk, its materiality its semiotics. When she’s done, it’s done.
Ana Briz on Spilled
In Spilled, Nadia Granados explores the arduous realm of the “feminized.” She begins by pouring milk into a metal bowl, trickling out like a shy piss would. Then, for what was perhaps only 10 minutes, but felt drawn out due to the silence and the task at hand, she sewed into her scalp, feigning pain and discomfort throughout. Attentively, we watched, questioning the artifice of the act. Once it was revealed that—a-ha!—it was a wig after all, Granados spilled the milk, stripped, and got on all fours to suck the spilled milk from the platform on where the set stood. Each time she had a mouthful, Granados would allow the milk to pour from her mouth onto her body like a sexy Gollum. The viscous liquid ran and clung to her face and body like whiteface or cum. Spilled was long, silent, and redundant, but isn’t femme existence often like that under the patriarchy? Once you began to wonder for how long she would actually drink and spit up the milk, she pissed on the stage. It was all things animalistic and glorious.
Nadia Granados is a Colombian multimedia artist whose work emphasizes feminist concerns, opposition to globalization and the illumination of state terrorism.
The third edition of En Cautro Patas happened at The Broad Museum October 11, 2018. The fourth and final edition will be at The Broad on November 15 with performances from Nao Bustamante, Gina Osterloh, and Dorian Wood. Details can be found here.
Ana Cristina Briz is a writer, curator, and art historian. Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, she lives in Los Angeles, California.
Scarlett Kim is a theatre director and transmedia artist from Seoul, using performance as intimate exchange, survival ritual, and act of revolution. She directs The Mortuary, a laboratory for life and art experiments.
Photos by Nao Bustamante and Scarlett Kim.
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