Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Regina José Galindo, Hilo de tiempo (2013)

Regina José Galindo, Hilo de tiempo.  Chiapas, México 2012.
In Hilo de tiempo Guatemalan performance artist Regina José Galindo invites the public to imagine the historical ties at the root of today’s culture of violence in Central America and Mexico.  Galindo’s naked body is placed inside of a black knitted body bag in a public square.  The performance involves members of the crowd gathered around the body who are free to pull the string and undo the knitted body bag.  Those who help to undo the string represent those people in society that take an active role in tracing back the history of violence.  Instead of accepting a cadaver in a body bag at face value, Galindo’s performance suggests that society needs to imagine the elements that created the context surrounding the dead body. 

Galindo’s performance is fascinating because of its simplicity; the fact that she has a human body is what gives her the authority to formulate a public critique about the culture of violence.  The public square becomes a stage and the people walking by become actors that take a role in imagining the historical context of violence.  In Regina Galindo’s Hilo de tiempo, the violence of the past and present are imagined as part of an ongoing culture of violence.

WJT Mitchell — Notes on Picture Theory

In analyzing the “pictorial turn” in his book Picture Theory, Mitchell begins by raising important questions about how images reference t...