Artist: Regina José Galindo
Exhibition title: Piel de gallina
Corator: Blanca de la Torre
Dates: 26.07.2013 to 03.11.2013
Place: CAAM – Los Balcones 11. Plantas 0 y 1. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Spain.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Regina José Galindo (1974, Guatemala City), began her artistic life as a poet. Later on, in 1999, she started to work with her body in a more direct way and chose performance as her first means of expression. Her work shows the problems and the blunt harshness of modern society. She carries out actions that are equally blunt, extreme and filled with symbolism, which push the artist into an extreme situation and cause the viewer to reflect deeply.
Her actions work as powerful disruptive devices in the viewer, and their impact is undeniable. But, at the same time, they serve as personal rituals, as small tributes to a community that is the victim of a social reality of abuse and injustice. In her own words, Regina uses her body as the reflection of other bodies.
«Gooseflesh» is a human reaction in which the musculus arrector pili – funnily also called «hair-raising muscle»– contracts, which causes the hair to stand on end. This title refers literally to the emotions aroused by the artist, but also to our own skin, to the material biology involved in its human function.
The work begins in the field of elocution, where words are the protagonists. The first piece in the series is Lo voy a gritar al viento (I’ll Shout it From the Rooftops, 1999), when Galindo hung from a bridge in Guatemala City to read her poems in public. From here onwards, she started to use her body as a sort of alter ego of a disturbed «someone else» in all her works.
Places like the red room let us see the most carnal Regina, or rather the most «discarnate». In these pieces, she shows us different torture techniques that are in force nowadays.
There is a group of pieces showing a fake reconstruction of the Venice Biennale. It gathers the works that Galindo has exhibited there along four seasons and discloses the possible contradictions involved in participating in this event. The central work in this group is the Golden Lion: a replica of this distinguished award, which the artist was actually granted, made with Guatemalan gold some time later.
The last part of the exhibit deals with the concept of «transmission», that is to say, moving a part of the action into «someone else». This «someone else» is an active agent, either as a vehicle that is indirectly affected by the action, as yet another character in the plot –plot means art action here– or as an agent without whom the action wouldn’t have been activated at all.
In brief, the exhibit is presented as the voyage of the words through the body: this voyage takes place in two floors of the building and certainly stimulates the musculus arrector pili in the viewer.