Magpie 18 Click here to view further work by writers.
At the Museum of Contemporary Art in Seville is an exhibition by women artists of Spain. The recognition of women artists as equal alongside their brother artists is fairly recent in this country. Many of the works were inpenetrable to me. One was most perplexing. I'm interested in your take on this. It is a video documentation of a piece of performance art.
A tall dark haired woman stands before an audience. She is beautiful. The stage is empty save for her. She is dressed in a beautiful full length off-white dress, heavily embroidered not dissimilar to a flamenco dress but not with the same degree of ostentation. It is elegant, formal. Her hair is long and secured in a spiral at the back, held in place by black clasps.
She reveals a fine sharp implement in her hand. Not a knife but a short pin clearly visible to the audience. She begins walking on the bare stage. It is silent. as she walks she stabs herself numerous times in the chest above her left breast. she does this until blood begins to flow and seep into the fabric of her dress. She then repeats this on her right. the patch of blood is quite evuident now and both breasts are becoming saturated in red. Finally she applies the same technique to her abdomen. A series of perhaps a dozen fine jabs in quick succession to induce a blood flow across her stomach, her womb. Her face shows no expression. she continues walking. She is silent. There is no interaction with the audience. Her dress is now saturated with blood in the three sites. She exits.