Accepted Paper:

How to express the unspeakable? Performance, a state of being and feeling  


Teresa Pereda

Paper short abstract:

The performances in the ‘Citas por América’ artwork series, based on my attendance of ritual celebrations in the Andean Highlands, result from that brief moment when the work of art reveals the imperceptible, and the challenges of natural cycles of crisis and anxiety.

Paper long abstract:

In all cultures there are customs, rituals and legends that mirror the societies in which they take place. Sky and Earth: the ties between these spaces and times are strange and ambiguous. Nature seems to defeat society. Both peace and danger come from those other spheres parallel to yet different from the human. The past is excessive, dreadful, or too rich. It was either the kingdom of darkness or a place where several suns shone in potent and permanent daytime.

In this context, restlessness sets in and an anxious vision inevitably lurks stealthily. To counteract this, ritual offerings of llamas, alcohol and wine libations are given, and festivities that respect nature are held.

The performances in the 'Citas por América' series are born from my decision to venture into that brief moment when the work of art enables what appears to be invisible or when it reveals the imperceptible.

I attend celebrations and collective offerings bringing wool and soil, materials with vital

energy that form part of natural cycles and of the lives of local residents. My deliberate passage through different situations and geographies places me at the threshold of another awareness.

Symbolic space, spiritual knowledge, condensation of holiness, sign as primary language, ecstasy as visionary and creative means. Though these form part of indigenous spheres of knowledge, they find fertile terrain in the language of contemporary art and they encapsulate the ability to express the unspeakable.

Panel W126
Anxious visions and uncertain images