La facultad at CINEMODERNO / Careof, Milan. May 29th, 2018


with Mercedes AzpilicuetaFilipa Cesar & Luis HendersonEli Cortiñas

curated by Martina Angelotti

29.05 > 7.07.2018

At its second edition, CINEMODERNO is structured around the imaginary of video and its performative potential. The project is manifested in the form of festivals diluted over a period of two months, in which artists are invited to perform every two weeks and to present a re-elaboration and reformulation - in a performative key - of a video research already started.
Since from the first edition - which involved the artists Eva and Franco MattesAnna Franceschini and Diego MarconTeresa CosFrancesco Fonassi, with a prologue by Massimo Carozzi - CINEMODERNO explores the language of video in all its multiple dimensions - sculptural, sound, visual - to investigate forms of interaction between the visual narration of the film and its hypertextuality, between the two-dimensional form of the projection and the three-dimensional one of its "staging". CINEMODERNO is inspired by an anthropological perspective, which Rachel O. Moore identifies in cinema through the definition of "magic ritual" with the power to revive, heal and enchant.

For this edition CINEMODERNO is configured through three live interventions that return different sets of space - designed for both live and exhibition - for the duration of two weeks each. The invited artists, coming from different physical and mental geographies, are united by research aspects focused on the analysis of performative practices related to cinema or its ritual dimension, often approached through found-footage and documentary techniques, and which investigate the dimension of the "exotic" from very different perspectives and geographical gazes.

From the video performance of the Argentinean and half Italian artist Mercedes Azpilicueta (La Facultad, 2018) who investigates through the movement, language, sound and video, the relationship between the female body and the social body. The "westernized" jungle of the Tarzan series and other previous projects by Eli Cortiñas, whose lecture performance reveals the research process and the relationship between artist and ethnographer, to the political potential returned in a live form, by Filipa Cesar & Luis Henderson's Op-art: a film made with lenses and celluloid photosensitive to the desktop localization engine, which passes from the production of Fresnel lens material to the invention of global satellite navigation systems (GNSS), an instrument announcing the obsolescence of the sighting beacon.



La facultad, 2018

Mercedes Azpilicueta

live performance i.c.w. Madelyn Bullard

set until 12th June

a live work introduced in three acts
a test for a vulnerable body in an unknown space

a staccato of different voices, sound clips and projected images.

La facultad is a term coined by Gloria Anzaldúa that refers to the capacity developed by many on the border “to see in surface phenomena the meaning of deeper realities”. It is an instant “sensing”, a quick perception arrived at without conscious reasoning. It is an acute awareness mediated by the part of the psyche that does not speak, that communicates in images and symbols -which are the faces of feelings.


Fabbrica del Vapore,

SOMATECHNICS, group exhibition at Museion / Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Bozen, IT. Opening May 24th, 2018

Transparent travelers and obscure nobodies

curated by Simone Frangi

DIPLAYED WORKS: Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz; Sophie Utikal; Ursula Mayer; Patrizio Di Massimo; Adelita Husni-Bey; Danilo Correale 

PERFORMANCE and PUBLIC PROGRAM: Mercedes Azpilicueta; Marissa Lôbo; Muna Mussie 

Opening: 24th May 2018


On occasion of the tenth anniversary of its new venue, Museion is turning the spotlight on its original mission, namely the idea of fostering dialogue between northern Europe and the Mediterranean area. Somatechnics offers a contemporary take on these elements, bringing together pieces by artists who work in Austria and Italy and explore the physical, administrative and symbolic borders of the two countries.

The proposal was selected from a pool of projects by eight curators under the age of 45. The jury which chose the winning project comprised: Massimiliano Gioni, associate director and head curator of the New Museum, New York, and artistic director of The Trussardi Foundation in Milan; Matthias Mühling, Director of the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich, and Letizia Ragaglia, Director of Museion.

Somatechnics is a multidimensional program dedicated to the complex relationships between racial and gender embodiments, visuality and mobility in Italy and Austria and in the borderlands in which these two nations intersect.     

Taking its cue from the historical and geo-cultural peculiarities of South Tyrol, the project explores the processes of construction and artificial fabrication of bodily identity in its bonds to linguistic identity and to the multiple senses of belonging and inscription which abusively try to confine our bodies in specific territories. 

In this sense, Somatechnics takes up the suggestion of activist, politician and writer Alexander Langer - who fought throughout the Eighties and the Nineties against the rise of nativism and ethno-nationalism in the region - to understand the ethnical conflicts in the locality of South Tyrol as a prism through which it was possible to read the actual and future challenges of the co-habitation of pluralities in contemporary Europe. 

Bridging Langer’s critique of the politics of integration of minorities as a form of nationalistic assimilationism to the praise of linguistic queerness of Gloria Anzaldúa, Somatechnics proposes to move towards pragmatic alternatives to identiarian monolingualism and explores social and political bodily experience as a negotiated heteroglossia in which our “belonging” is produced performatively through engagement, antagonism, and trans-affiliations and not through a pre-given set of internalized identifications. 

The project revolves around what Joseph Pugliese and Susan Stryker call somatechnics and the role they play in the construction of social and political asymmetries among subjects circulating in contemporary Europe. The somatechnical perspective suggests that our “material corporeality (soma) is inextricably conjoined with the techniques and technologies (technics) through which bodies are formed and transformed”. The project focuses in particular on those acts and habits of bodily profiling - put in place by the colonial project of whiteness in its intersection with sexism, classism and forms of stigmatizations linked to religious belonging - which target certain bodies on the basis of visual stereotypes about their race, gender, class, religion or sexual orientation. 

In crossing the figure of the transparent traveller reconstructed by Rachel Hall and the figure of the obscure no-bodyproposed by Denise Ferreira Da SilvaSomatechnics reenacts the critique that Édouard Glissant precociously addressed to the western “requirement for transparency” imposed on social subjects in order to “understand” them without any residual ambiguity. 

The cultural performance of transparency is inherently asymmetrical and tied to interlocked forms of discriminations that normalize “whiteness, able-bodiedness, and heterosexuality”. In this frame, subjects with non conforming genders, races, classes, sexualities, citizenship status, disabilities, ages, or religions are deemed obscure and presumed to be a threat. This slow violence based on the visuality of suspectness transform some bodies more that others in “strage” no-bodies. Bodies “out of place at home”: uncomfortable, exposed, noticeable, vulnerable and less mobiles. 
The project looks at practitioners who have been analyzing, denouncing or subverting the processes of construction of the biased dichotomy between transparency and obscurity as well as at practices that have been praising for a “right to opacity” as an ethics of work. In the economy of the project, opacity emerges in fact as a non-binary interstitial force of resistance, opposing to the systemic reduction of our fractal bodily being to the obviousness of transparency and dichotomies in bodily expressions. 
Exploring the diagnostic potential of different media (painting, installation, sonic research, video-based and performance-based practices), the project conveys practitioners that conceive critique both as a clinic and joyfully affermative activity and have employed affectivity as a powerful tool for deconstructing hegemonic imaginaries of race and gender. 

ye-gua-ye-ta-yu-ta & Bestiaire of Tonguelets i.c.w. Decorum at IDIORHYTHMIAS, MACBA Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, May 4th, 2018

In its many forms and manifestations, Action art has questioned the logic of the spectacle and the distance between producers and receptors; between those who perform and those who simply watch, or so it seems. Being a programme of performances, Idiorhythmias feels the need to examine what it is that attracts an audience and what configures it. While the previous edition cast a critical reflection on the role of institutions and their capacity to ‘institute’ practices, set disciplinary limits and draw up the rules of the game, as well as examining their responsibility as guarantors of the relationship between artist and public, the present edition focuses on the viewers to explore the multiple roles they can play and the spaces allocated to them by the institutions.

Programme curated by Soledad Gutiérrez, independent curator, and Pablo Martínez, MACBA’s Head of Programming.

8 pm Mercedes Azpilicueta and DecorumBestiare of Tonguelets (2018), performance
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Fino Fantasma (2015–17), performance 
Mercedes AzpilicuetaYe-gua, Ye-ta, Yu-ta (2017), performance
Venue: Exhibition gallery, Convent dels Àngels. 


One of the art forms that has most radically confronted the relationship with the public is the happening. In this sense, we welcome the exhibition Oscar Masotta. Theory as Action, currently at MACBA, which investigates the contribution of Masotta, an intellectual whose work is based on transmission, repetition and artistic forms such as the happening and the ‘anti-happening’ (1966). The programme also features the screening of Segunda vez(2018), a film by Dora García inspired by Julio Cortázar’s eponymous short story, presenting two re-enactments – or repetitions, to use Masotta’s psychoanalytic terminology – of two of the happenings created by Masotta in Buenos Aires during the 1960s. Happening, public, author, musical score/script, filming and repetition are some of the concepts to be discussed in the context of Dora García’s film, and as part of this year’s programme. 

Another concept developed by Masotta was dematerialisation as an artistic practice and resistance, a concept first expressed by him in a lecture given at the Instituto di Tella in 1967 under the title ‘After Pop: We Dematerialise’, which MACBA has recently re-published in its collection of online publications Quadern Portàtil. A common reflection in many of the works included in the present edition of Idiorhythmias, the idea is central to the practice of Mette Edvardsen, featured in this year’s programme. In her work objects become tools to trigger the public’s imagination, so they become active thanks to dematerialisation. Edvardsen’s performances are part of a body of work built upon the research the artist has been conducting over the last decade. In her seminal piece Private Collection (2002), the dancer/choreographer enters the world of objects and their presence on the stage. Her relationship with objects, already apparent in this early work, is proof of her capacity to transform through a game of absence and presence. Edvardsen pushes her investigations to the limit in two works from a trilogy she produced from 2011 to 2015: Black and No Title. Here language plays with the objects, while the presence of the artist on stage alters the real space. The performative power of words cannot only do things, but also summon things by their appearance and disappearance. While in these pieces the activation of the public’s imagination and the orality of the dematerialised text are fundamental, in Oslo (2017), it is the performer who disappears to make room for the spatial presence of the text and other multiple voices. Accompanying these performances, a selection of Edvardsen’s video works and publications will be available for consultation in the atrium of the Museum.

Running parallel to the presentation of Edvardsen’s work and closely linked to the idea of idiorhythmia, the programme opens with a concert by Luke Fowler and Richard Youngs, a kind of musical dialogue experimenting with various genres and invented instruments.

While dematerialisation is important for the development of this programme, so is the construction or recreation of other imaginaries through words and the invocation of other beings, as in the work by Mercedes Azpilicueta, Ye-gua, Ye-ta, Yu-ta (2015–17), and her collaboration with Decòrum, the Museum’s choir, on the ‘dishonest investigation’ of texts by the Argentine poet Néstor Perlongher; the analyrical recital Jinete Último Reino Frag. 3 , by María Salgado and Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca, a call to subjective disobedience aiming to provoke emotion through words; and Fino Fantasma (2015–17), by Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, a subtle piece about life beyond death, a kind of journey to the materialisation of that which no longer exists.

Latex, unicorn, languages: for a dishonest research. Conversation with Mercedes Azpilicueta, Elisabeth Lebovici, Inga Lāce and Virginie Bobin. Villa Vassilieff, Paris. February 24th, 2018

Mercedes Azpilicueta, Untitled, 2018. Courtesy: Mercedes Azpilicueta
Argentinean artist Mercedes Azpilicueta pre­sents her­self as a "dis­honest" researcher. During her res­i­dency at Villa Vassilieff as part of the Pernod Ricard Fellowship, she began writing a script for an upcoming per­for­mance, where she inter­laces the work of the Franco-Argentinian artist Lea Lublin, the series of enig­matic tapestries The Lady and the Unicorn, the lit­erary aes­thetics of the Neobarroso Rioplatens, Chilean reg­gaeton, imag­i­nary char­ac­ters and vagrants of the under­world, as well as the the­o­reti­cians Suely Rolnik and Gloria Anzaldúa.
Mercedes Azpilicueta’s sce­nario was fueled by working ses­sions with the chore­og­ra­pher Pauline Simon, Jean-Baptiste Veyret-Logerias (per­­former and per­­for­­mance maker, and a prac­ti­tioner of per­cep­tive somatic-psy­choe­d­u­ca­tion), the actress Emmanuelle Lafon, the
the­o­reti­cians Suely Rolnik and Gloria Anzaldúa.
Mercedes Azpilicueta’s sce­nario was fueled by working ses­sions with the chore­og­ra­pher Pauline Simon, Jean-Baptiste Veyret-Logerias (per­­former and per­­for­­mance maker, and a prac­ti­tioner of per­cep­tive somatic-psy­choe­d­u­ca­tion), the actress Emmanuelle Lafon, the artist and designer Lucile Sauzet, the film­maker Hélène Harder as well as public work­shops. It tes­ti­fies to a research pro­cess that joy­fully jumps genres, dis­ci­plines and eras, is embodied in mul­tiple voices and lan­guages, solicits the senses as much as the thought and wel­comes the joy of a col­lec­tive con­struc­tion, wobbly and vol­un­tarily cor­rupted.
The dis­cus­sion will take place in the spaces of the exhi­bi­tion Akademia : Performing Life, on view until the 24th of March at the Villa Vassilieff, in which Mercedes Azpilicueta pre­sents Pink pop­ping plank (2018), an art­work that is both sculp­ture, set, script and score to be acti­vated.
Conceived by cura­tors Solvita Krese, Inga Lāce (Latvian Center for Contemporary Art) and Camille Chenais (Villa Vassilieff), the exhi­bi­tion Akademia: Performing Life itself com­poses a poly­phonic nar­ra­tive around the artistic com­mu­nity founded by Raymond Duncan, focusing on a lesser known figure, that of the Latvian dancer and writer Aia Bertrand. Like the weaves cre­ated by its self-taught mem­bers, the exhi­bi­tion inter­twines the threads of myth, cura­to­rial and artistic research, and the sub­jec­tive inter­pre­ta­tion of the sto­ries pro­duced by and around the Akademia.
In the pres­ence of film­maker Hélène Harder, and with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Raymond Duncan san­dals, latex tumors, a uni­corn and a few poems.
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Latvian ...
Mercedes Azpilicueta is a visual and per­­for­­mance artist from Argentina based in The Netherlands. Drawing on a tran­s­dis­­­ci­­plinary approach within her artistic prac­tice, she develops pro­­jects that explore the affec­­tive qual­i­ties of lan­guage and voice, the polit­ical dimen­­sion of female desire, and the con­nec­­tions between embod­i­­ment, glo­­cal­i­ties and resis­­tance. Her work opts for per­­sonal and par­tic­ular method­­olo­gies such as mnemonic and lit­erary tech­niques, public sound­s­capes in rela­­tion to social and cul­­tural con­di­­tions and the use of per­­for­­ma­­tive ele­­ments for pro­­ducing knowl­­edge, allowing pro­cesses where con­t­in­­gency, asso­­ci­a­­tion and play­­ful­­ness take place.
Élisabeth Lebovici is a his­­to­rian, art critic, activist and writer. She has been a jour­­nalist atLibération, writing in its cul­­tural column from 1991 to 2006. She wrote Femmes Artistes/Artistes Femmes (Hazan, 2007) in col­lab­o­ra­­tion with Catherine Gonnard and runs the blog le beau vice
In 2017, she pub­­lished 
Ce que le sida m’a fait (What AIDS has done to me, Paris, Les presses du réel), an inti­­mate and polit­ical account of inter­sec­­tions between art and activism, seen through the AIDS epi­­demic in the 1980s and 1990s in France and the United States.
Inga Lāce is a curator at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) and a cura­to­rial fellow at de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam (2015-2016), where her exam­i­na­tion of the inter­twined rela­tion­ships between nature and cul­ture, and (art) insti­tu­tions and ecology has led to the pro­duc­tion of a sym­po­sium and a pub­li­ca­tion (forth­coming in 2017). She has recently curated the exhi­bi­tions Resilience. Secret Life of Plants, Animals and Other Species at Бükü (the Büro für kul­turelle Übersetzungen) in Leipzig (2016), and Lost in the Archive, with Andra Silapetere, in Riga (2016), which took the LCCA’s archive of con­tem­po­rary art as its starting point. She also curated the exhi­bi­tion (Re)con­struc­tion of Friendship (2014), which was held in the former KGB house in Riga. Lāce co-edited the book Revisiting Footnotes. Footprints of the Recent Past in the Post-Socialist Region with Ieva Astahovska (2015), and she was a curator,with Solvita Krese of the 7th and 8th edi­tions of the con­tem­po­rary art fes­tival Survival Kit (2015- 2016).

Pernod Ricard Fellowship 2017. Villa Vassilieff, Paris. January 8th - March 3rd, 2018

During the first part of her res­i­dency in April 2017, Mercedes Azpilicueta devel­oped a research into sev­eral artistic fig­ures and tra­jec­to­ries, through meet­ings with art his­to­rians and critics, visits to museums and archive, and long strolls through the city and its under­ground — which she per­ceived as a place of col­lec­tive resis­tance, where bodies per­form dif­fer­ently from over­ground. She wrote a diary, hells, smells & shame, which served both as a draft script. 
During the second part of her res­i­dency in January & February 2018, Mercedes Azpilicueta will develop a script for a filmed per­for­mance, based on a series of working ses­sions with chore­og­ra­pher Pauline SimonJean-Baptiste Veyret-Logerias (per­former and per­for­mance maker, and a prac­ti­tioner of per­cep­tive somatic-psy­choe­d­u­ca­tion), per­former Emmanuelle Lafon, the­o­rist Myriam Suchet and curator Virginie Bobin (Villa Vassilieff) ; as well as on col­lec­tive work­shops with stu­dents from Paris 8 University, Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle University, and Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. Additional work­shops will take place at Cité Internationale des Arts on February 2 & 3 as part of We Are Not the Number that We Think We Are, a 36-hour event pro­duced by Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research & Villa Vassilieff.
Mercedes Azpilicueta will also pro­duce a series of props and « visual mnemonics » in col­lab­o­ra­tion with artist and designer Lucile Sauzet.
Parts of these activ­i­ties will be recorded in col­lab­o­ra­tion with film-maker Hélène Harder, with the aim of pro­ducing a film in the course of the year 2018.
A work by Mercedes Azpilicueta, Pink pop­ping plank, is pre­sented in the exhi­bi­tion Akademia : Performing Life, on view at Villa Vassilieff from January 13 to March 24, 2018. Curated by Solvita Krese & Inga Lāce (Latvian Center for Contemporary Art). 
The work is all at once a sculp­ture, a set, a script, a score, and will be acti­vated during a series of work­shops taking place in the exhi­bi­tion.

"Nous ne sommes pas le nombre que nous croyons être" an event of the Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation, in part­ner­ship with the École poly­tech­nique / École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs and the Cité inter­na­tionale des arts. Produced by Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research & Villa Vassilieff. February 2nd & 3rd, 2018

An Arts & Sciences event to   imagine the future!
From Friday, February 2nd to Saturday, February 3rd 2018
2 days and 1 night, 36 hours non-stop
“We are not the number we think we are” will offer an expe­ri­ence for 36 hours non-stop, involving hun­dreds of artists, researchers and thinkers from var­ious geo­graph­ical and dis­ci­plinary back­grounds. At the heart of the pro­ject: within working spaces, focusing on hetero­ge­neous groups of people and col­lec­tives, gath­ered tem­porarily around pressing issues of our con­tem­po­rary world. They will take over mul­tiple spaces within the Cité inter­na­tionale des arts in Paris, a meeting ground open to the dia­logue between cul­tures where vis­i­tors will be invited to reflect on the pre­sent and map together path­ways for the future. The common thread of this bound­less pro­gramme is the fic­tional world of The Compass Rose (1982) a book of short sto­ries by science fic­tion writer Ursula K. Le Guin.
We will be searching for "a common lan­guage in which all resis­tance to instru­mental con­trol dis­ap­pears and all hetero­geneity can be sub­mited to dis­as­sembly, reassembly, invest­ment, and exchange." (Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century" in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, New York; Routledge, 1991.)
"We are not the number we think we are" will depart from Ursula K. Le Guin’s col­lec­­tion of short sto­ries, The Compass Rose, to explore the realm of fic­­tion and create the nec­es­sary dis­­­tance from bare reality to best under­­s­tand the issues of the pre­sent time. We will try to sketch the land­s­cape of what could exist in the future by drawing some lines from these short sto­ries, which by their great variety of tones and sub­­­jects invite us to move in every direc­­tion at once. They explore fan­­tastic futures, that are imag­i­­nary, but likely, making us envi­­sion other worlds while showing us the one we know. They will script to inhabit dif­ferent real­i­ties, and build alter­­na­­tives to the way we live today. We will try to get out of our com­­fort zone, accept the unpre­­dictable, find our way through the unknown and ques­­tion again the value of evi­­dence, doubt, acci­­dent and inves­ti­­ga­­tion.
The explo­ra­tion of these fic­­tional con­ti­­nents will tem­­porarily take over the Cité inter­­na­­tionale des arts. It will become the place where pro­cesses of work and devel­op­­ment of knowl­­edge will be made pal­­pable, vis­ible, audible. Over two days and one night, sci­en­tists, artists, designers, researchers in human sciences, cura­­tors, and many others will gather and get involved in the con­struc­­tion of new types of expe­ri­ences to ques­­tion our cer­­tain­ties and test hypotheses on what we believe and what we know, and allow for the emer­­gence of new forms of sit­u­ated knowl­­edge. The dia­­logue between these par­tic­i­­pants will allow us to ask our­­selves this fun­­da­­mental ques­­tion: how to invent forms which summon and rep­re­sent, which acti­­vate and mobi­lize by involving con­stel­la­­tions of players in order to imagine a desir­able future and a pro­­ject of society that emerges from our col­lec­­tive will?
An event of the Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation, in part­ner­ship with the “arts & sciences” Chair, founded by the École poly­tech­nique / École nationale supérieure des Arts 
Décoratifs – PSL / Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation and the Cité inter­na­tionale des arts.
Produced by Bétonsalon - Center for Art and Research & Villa Vassilieff
Curated by Mélanie Bouteloup
Steering comitee: Samuel Bianchini (EnsAD), Jean-Marc Chomaz (École poly­tech­nique), Emmanuel Mahé (EnsAD - PSL), Anastassia Makridou-Bretonneau (Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation), Valérie Pihet (SACRe - PSL) and Bénédicte Alliot (Cité inter­na­tionale des arts)
Free entry (sub­ject to avail­ability)*
* Except for the Discontrol Party, 10pm-5:30am – 10€. 
Tickets :
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