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Dora García

Respiración artificial / Performance / Eco oscuro, 2016

Artificial Respiration. Performance. Dark Echo (2016)

Edition | Posters. MOREpublishers, Ghent
89 x 59,4 cm. (x3 cm.)

These three posters were produced by MOREpublishers (Ghent) on the occasion of an individual exhibition by Dora García at the IVAM art centre in Valencia in 2016. The tripartite title of this show identifies each of the posters in a continuous narrative linked by a single image. The drawing represents two heads joined by a Möbius strip, in what is a recurring theme in the artist’s work: the identity in continual change, the fusing or merging of characters as well as the process ofsplitting, gender, the double or doppelgänger and more. There is also a utopian dimension in this drawing, inspired by an amphibious science-fiction imaginary.

Artificial Respiration is a performance in which a group of participants observes the city (Valencia; Madrid) by way of different audio recordings and transcripts. The outgoing text comprises more than three hundred entries in the form of verses or prayers, edited by the artist while maintaining the colloquial style of the original recordings. The technical description of the surroundings and the delayed transmission of the reality engender an instantaneous narrative: a writing and a reading without end producing a projection which, as in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, illuminates the understanding between two people, a writer and a reader, one recounting and the other listening. The piece takes its title from Respiración artificial, the homonymous novel by the Argentine writer Ricardo Piglia, who is embodied in the book by Emilio Renzi, his alter ego. This writer’s work is proof that virtually anything can be fictionalized. For example, the reading of theory or psychoanalysis, Lacan and Freud, as adventures of the adventures and misadventures of the subconscious. ‘Isn’t psychoanalysis a great fiction?’ Piglia asks. In the novel, history, research and politics are camouflaged in the artifice that is fiction. In the performance, two people alternately read out verses, interweaving fiction and reality.

Performance takes its inspiration from the film of the same name directed by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg in 1970, one of the most iconic of British ‘art’ films, in which the principal roles are played by Mick Jagger and James Fox. This is a work of ‘read theatre’ to be enacted by six actors or performers and is based on a script that I wrote as a colophon to my collaboration with the artist in the aforementioned exhibition at IVAM. Six scripts, one for each character, lie on the table until the actors periodically activate them. The script, which gives an account of the actuality of the multiple meanings of the term ‘performance’ (in art, dance, music and the experimental scene), is the continuation of one of the questions asked by the artist: Where do the characters go when the novel ends?

Third and last, Eco oscuro Dark Echo– is the title of a novel by Francisco ‘Paco’ Baena in which the work of Dora García appears in fictionalized form and ends up determining the relationships between the different characters. These three collaborative pieces serve to generate a continuinarration that goes on and on and characterizes all of the artist’s production as a mechanism always open to the Other.

Peio Aguirre


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