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Performance

yo todo lo incendio, 2023

Video art by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos. Sound art by Pablo Diaz.

The site-specific performance “Yo todo lo incendio” transports on a collective journey of rebirth and awareness, immersing people deep into the womb of the earth, within a uterus nestled in the red mountain of Quesa, Spain.

Born during the #EnclaveLandArt artistic residency, Origen – the sculptural work – is erected using the traditional dry stone wall technique, externally covered with a misture of clay, sand, and local natural materials. The uterus, seamlessly integrated with the surrounding environment, serves as a vessel capable of harboring a body within. Guided by the performer, the ritual of collective rebirth leads participants through clay modeling, utilizing the same material that shaped the body of the “Origen” artwork, thus creating raw earth ovules. These ovules are subsequently placed inside the uterus-oven, where the raw earth transforms into ceramics through the heat generated by a fire kindled within the very womb of the sculpture-uterus. In conclusion, each person is presented with a profoundly symbolic choice: to carry the ovule, a tangible testament to this transformative process, or entrust it to the gestation of the earth, symbolizing the continuous cycle of life and creation. The performance serves as a dedication to the territory of Quesa and its inhabitants, while also constituting a visceral tribute to the Cuban artist Ana Mendieta and all women who have fallen victim to femicide. In this context, the performance becomes a catalyst where various dimensions of the human experience converge. A sensitive dialogue is established among the artwork, the surrounding natural environment, social awareness, and individual and collective responsibility.

Enclave Land Art 2023. Photo by Lucas Chelòs; Quesa (Spain).

abluzione, 2023

A transformative voyage through the Ritual of Ablution—a eco-somatic exploration rooted in the realms of the imaginary and ancestral. This immersive performance is a ritualistic odyssey, a fusion of archetypal-symbolic actions, and a re-signification of collective mythologies.

At the heart of the experience are two enigmatic female figures who guide participants on the journey. The faceless washerwoman, embodying a timeless archetype, engages in the ritualistic act of ablution—a sacred cleansing that transcends the physical and delves into the metaphysical. In stark contrast, the masked body, shrouded in mystery, provides a counterpoint to the faceless washerwoman, creating a duality that resonates with the complexity of the human experience. This participatory performance goes beyond a spectacle; it becomes a shared practice of re-signifying mythical imaginaries. Participants are invited to navigate a space where recognition and estrangement are intertwined, experienced through the visceral engagement of body, sound and hybrid arts. The performance unfolds sensory experiences, challenging preconceived notions and inviting participants to reimagine their relationship with ancient rituals and symbolic actions. In this hybrid and immersive journey, the Ritual of Ablution becomes a vehicle for deep self-reflection and collective exploration, a bridge between the familiar and the unknown. The performance breaks the boundaries of conventional art, inviting participants to immerse themselves in a transformative experience that transcends the temporal and spatial boundaries of the performance space.

Palazzo Ateliè / Oct. 2023; artistic direction, performance by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos and Sybila Gutiérrez; video art installation and sculpture by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos; Technical partner @ondahandpan. Photos by Andrea Porzio

Yemaya , 2023

A performance, a syncretic journey intertwined with the cult of Yemaya, Nuestra Señora de la Regla, the embodiment of life and revered mother of all Orisha. This artistic exploration unfolds as a homage to the goddess, who holds dominion over salt water, symbolising the sea as the primordial source of life. The performance becomes a sacred dialogue between the artist and the mother-sculpture, a symbolic union culminating in a hypnotic act of rebirth. The womb, meticulously modelled with sand and starch, acts as a cradle for a profound transformation, a visual representation of renewal and emergence. In the second act, the performance transitions to the vast expanse of the sea, where the artist, in a state of stasis, wields a vulva-mirror. This act creates an optical illusion that beckons the audience into an immersive experience of estrangement and recognition. The interplay of reflection and reality serves as a metaphorical journey, inviting spectators to traverse the liminal spaces between familiarity and the unknown. The performance unfolds as a carefully orchestrated symphony, with Dimitri Espinoza’s saxophone lending its emotive tones to interpret and sonorize the ritual. As the cycle of life reaches its zenith, the offering is presented, and the performer returns to the womb—a poignant conclusion that echoes the cyclical nature of existence. The performer, an extension of the sculpture’s ethereal body, moves dynamically through space, engaging in a profound dialogue with the environment. In the poignant denouement, the performer seamlessly merges back into the surroundings, symbolizing the interconnectedness of life and art. This synesthetic and multisensory performance is a journey that transcends the boundaries of the visual, auditory, and emotional realms—a testament to the profound symbiosis between the artist, the environment, and the elemental forces that shape our existence.

Dune. Arti, paesaggi, utopie; 2023; Parco della Maremma, Tuscany. Photos by Francesco Rossi.

terra mater, 2023

Nutida festival; 2023 (Scandicci, FI). Gea Collective. Technical partner PlantsPlay.

“Terra Mater” is a site-specific creation inside the Castello dell’Acciaiolo’s pomarium, a tribute to the element earth, primordial womb of life and sacred bed of death. In this suggestive tapestry of matter, memory, landscape and rebirth, the visual artist and performer Isabel Rodriguez Ramos, her face concealed, emerges adorned with mirrors applied to her body. Placed on an earthen womb, she hatches an ostrich egg, a symbolic gesture that externalises the concept of motherhood and transcends it. At the same time, the audience is invited to recline upon a similar earthen womb, creating a mirrored interaction with the performer’s body. This interplay generates a dynamic experience of both estrangement and recognition, traversing a paradoxical line that blurs the boundaries between self and other. The reflective surfaces become portals into a shared exploration of identity, echoing the interconnectedness of all life forms. Simultaneously, Rossana De Pace, sound artist of the Gea Collective duo, orchestrates a live soundscape that deepens the sensory experience. Using Plantsplay, a biorhythmic converter that translates the physiological activity of plants into music, De Pace creates a dynamic dialogue between the voice of the soul, the essence of the surrounding environment and the voices of the beings inhabiting the space. The ancient holm oak tree, equipped with sensors, becomes a living conduit for this symphony. As it records and amplifies the real-time sounds arising from its electrical activity, these vibrations are transformed into an ethereal musical composition. The result is an auditory exploration that transcends the human realm, offering a harmonious convergence of nature’s voice and human expression. Terra Mater unfolds as an enchanting tapestry where the boundaries between performer, audience, and environment blur.

memento, 2023

“Memento” serves as a profound meditation on the intertwining threads of collective memory and the nuanced memories embedded within a specific space—a sanctuary for exchange and communal exploration. This site-specific performative act transcends conventional notions of time, manifesting as a hybrid continuum that seamlessly weaves the past into the fabric of the present. At its core, this artistic endeavor necessitates the construction of a monumental brain, a symbolic repository of shared experiences and histories. Central to the immersive experience is the active participation of the audience, who are not mere spectators but integral contributors to the unfolding narrative. In a captivating interplay of bodies and connectivity, the public is invited to engage in the performance by forging tangible connections between the bodies of the artists and the intricate form of the sculpted brain. This interaction unfolds through the medium of electric cables, serving as conduits for the exchange of energy, ideas, and the collective consciousness of those present. The performance, an amalgamation of artistic expression and communal engagement, beckons individuals to transcend their passive roles and become active agents in the construction of temporal bridges between past and present. In this dynamic fusion of art and audience, “Memento” becomes a space for collective reflection, a ceremonial act of remembrance, and an invitation to actively shape the evolving narrative of shared memories. The electric cables, metaphorical conduits of energy, symbolize not only the physical connections between bodies but also the ethereal currents of thought, emotion, and communal history that flow through the collective consciousness. The performance invites participants to reimagine their relationship with time, memory, and the ever-evolving tapestry of shared human experience.

Liminalica festival; 2023 (Calafou, ES). Photos by Tobias Celdola

trans.fusione, 2023

“Trans.fusione” unfolds as an intricate exploration, intertwining the realms of art, nature, and community engagement. Through a meticulous study of Bryophytes, the artist orchestrates a symphony of semi-autonomous micro-ecosystems, where textile art, sculpture, and living nature converge in a harmonious dance of transformation. The textile sculptures, emblematic of the initial stage in the organic landscape’s metamorphosis, embark on a tangible life cycle, imbuing the works with an ephemeral and inherently unpredictable essence. This performative act, born from the artist’s research and cultivation of mosses and lichens, carries a profound symbolic and archetypal charge. It serves as a catalyst for contemplation on the intricate biological connection that binds humanity to the environment—a connection underscored by recent revelations in the fields of epigenetics and neuroscience. The dialogue extends beyond the physical and social environment to encompass the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of the human experience. This constant interconnection forms the very fabric of existence, enabling individuals to evolve and transform in perpetual interaction with the greater Whole. “Trans.fusione” emerges as a communal narrative, inviting the audience to actively participate in the unfolding story through a simple yet vital gesture—giving water. The public becomes an integral part of the artistic endeavor, activating baffles and taps connected to drippers that, filled with organic liquid mixtures, infuse both the sculptures and the artist’s body with life-sustaining water. At its core, “Trans.fusione” is a call to collective action and individual responsibility for care. Through the communal act of giving water, the performance transcends its artistic boundaries, becoming a ritualistic expression of shared stewardship for the environment and a poignant reminder of the symbiotic relationship between humanity and the natural world.

Communi voluntate show, event by Palazzo Ateliè, Drim Contemporary Art Ground, Dr. Fake Cabinet; 2023 (San Raffaele Cimena, TO). Photos by Andrea Porzio


Isabel Rodriguez Ramos © 2024

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