André Lepecki attributed to the figure of street dancer the power to break creatively preset circulation in the preassigned locations, opposing the police choreography the choreopolitics, which spread the movement from one body to another, transmitting affections, favoring the emergence of the subject where it has been ignored. One movement, multiple singular ways to express it.
For Raisa Maudit the movement is also a liberating and contagious exercise, radiating anarchic invectives from the body dramaturgy. As if it were a video tutorial of home gym, in Twerking para la revolución: a las barricadas papi (2015) teaches us sensual “perreos” to empower our ass.
With this she review the genealogy of a dance that originated in the African American lumpen and that teeneger mitomanía stripped of his subversive intention (with help of Miley Cirus buttocks), to ultimately have a prominent place in erobics courses. Raisa gives another twist, re-politicizing the twerking, although in terms of parody. That each ass does his own revolution.
Is a method, that of re-stage the domestication of all countercultural impulse, the emptying of sense of any vindictive gesture when is aappropriate by the mainstream, Raisa used repeatedly. Thus, in the Space Nihilist project (2016), deployed a media arsenal for her fake group Space Girls, distorting mirror of that other almost namesake to satirize about the fabrication of feminist stereotypes on demand, easily consumable for the masses of fans .
Q- But caricaturing is only the means, not the end, because along the way you throw yourself (and your friends) to a whirlwind where the intimate and the fictional become inextricable. In that sense, there is always something of purge or catharsis behind the comedy. Is that so?
Space Nihilist was a complex experiment from the point of view both formal (as a single project) as conceptual and procedural. It was to be more than a year playing with the creative process of turning your privacy publicly in networks for example or during my day to day, while this was going to lose a lot of control about he result of every piece when relating it directly to people of my life, which in many cases little or nothing have to do with art and its languages. Collaborate with others to leave them decide how to tell your life, how to rewrite it, and therefore also themselves lives. Making all that become an exhibition project of such baroque style and at the same time culminating, because so I wanted, in a kind of naked behind the scenes that could only be seen for a few days outside the space, on the internet, and that is my favorite part, where it was all catharsis.
There was a lot of parody, Pop and Punk but was essentially a melancholic project. I think in general I use humor in a way that in the end is closer to the Grand Guignol than to caricature. Yes, it is not really comedy or caricature. Is more a way to access with certain sense of humor to vital, existential or social issues, that aren’t that much fun, to reverse energy. It is like using laughter to suppressing tears. Specifically in Space Nihilist it was more about the loss of faith in the world, in the process of becoming older, in the vital way to understand who the fuck are you, about failure and loneliness, to evolve aimlessly more than a parody of a certain pop culture icon. There was a lot of pain, and much of failure; use fiction to filter intimate and biographical content that in another more crudely manner would lose their own cathartic potential.
Q- Against the fastidious corset of -isms, the way you treat feminism creates ambiguity playing on equivocal about power relations. In Lectura y adoctrinamiento (2015) you are coerced to recite paragraphs of the book El varón domado (by Esther Vilar, that such reactionary is almost revolutionary) by whipping that you receive from a man, whom on the other hand you have restrained with a leash. As saying, enslave me slave.
Yes, “enslave me slave” is basically what that lady talks about. El varón domado is a vile and reactionary book but has a lot of ridicule; ridiculous and real. A large part of humanity believes that just like that is the construction of gender: purely binary, flat, contrived, misogynistic, in which the heterosexual male is always a victim of a perverse system that wants to calumniate and enslave him.
The book was handed to me in ridiculous way itself. I had a friend who wanted to give me a gift, and in a library that had a clearence sale going on asked if they had something of feminism … and the librarian gave him this book. He brought it and gave me with great enthusiasm, and when I opened it and started reading I realized the absurdity of both: the failure of gift (we are talking about a book that is an anti-feminist pillar) and the content of the book itself. If you read it, which I recommend because it is almost comedy (or rather tragi-comedy), you realize the big trap that exists especially in the construction of the woman figure. The woman as a femme fatal or succubus whose only meaning in her life is to exhaust the man pretending to be oppressed and keeping him at her mercy in a behaviorist way, occasionally giving him some sex as a reward. It is perverse, there was no other way to approach this book, and when I got in my hands knew something had to do with it.
Q- Or when you reeneacted something like the revenge of Ana de Mendoza (Escorial Shore, 2013), who changes from victim to dominatrix, wrapped in a web of pompous atmosphere where the court intrigues go hand in hand with bizarre docu-reality, sprinkled of picaresque and burlesque. Contrasting historical decadence and contemporary vulgarity you take us to conclude that idleness and mystification of life has been democratized, that the masquerade of identity is not exclusiveness of the palace.
Today everything is masquerade. A world of wannabe, celebrities, searching likes and physical beauty filters in the face 24/7. I will not be me who will say that this decline of social networking is the end of the purity and sincerity. It’s just another mechanism of many that are stablished to us and we ourselves put into operation, develop and turn it into something vital. Escorial Shore is closer to the sociological analysis by the Marquis de Sade in Justine, for example, than to The era of emptiness by Lipovetsky. I think we are at a point where we are closer to the eighteenth century than twentieth.
We live in love with our own selves, in a supranarcissism and a total disconnection in order to understand what surrounds us and who we are; at the same time we have immediate access to all, connected all the time. It is very decadent, because while we start to discuss geopolitics in facebook and we are all experts on cut-copy-and-paste wikipedias our behaviour is violent and arrogant.
At the same time we want to be (and believe it) expert judges in morality and beauty queens. Only we know how things have to be; all the others except ourselves are stupid, we want to be politically correct playing to the gallery while living in absolute chaos and emotional disconnection. We live in an account of Marquis de Sade but with instagram.
Q- Provocation, the will to upset, the (ultimately) punk attitude that characterizes you, was especially scathing in those early projects where your target was the system of art and the artists who let be lobotomized, sodomized, raped, sullied by it: FART Global Art Fair (2011), Residencia masturbatoria en casa de Raisa Maudit (2012) … In contrast with this general submission, I notice a mix of admiration and repulsion toward artists like Jeff Koons that put his shags and pastiches in museums and galleries . You dedicate him some of your groupie fusions (Como me follaría a tus langostas…, Ascii code featuring Vuk Cosic vs Koons’s inflates and lobsters…) Even I guess that in the act of blaspheming a gallant scene in porcelain, Amor cortés ( 2014) there is a nod to how Koons profanes the kitsch.
Koons makes me fucking sick. But he disgusts me less than others of his caliber. He at least knows what he stands for and does not try to hide it. The art system and a good batch of the most outstanding artists are imbued with such cynicism that is not very different from Koons. They are exactly the same but pretending to be social, with astonishing coolness fretting about Syria while they suck around to get more dought, more fame and more shit. That disgust me much more.
Q- While preparing the interview was made public that your curatorial project The witch and the bitch. El hecho expositivo como Akelarre for TEA (Tenerife Espacio de las Artes) has been selected. Congratulations! You premieres as curator with a title that sounds like necromancy, witchcraft, sorcery, explosive brew… Bruges, whores, witches … the outlaw, the persecuted, the hidden forces … goes well with your irreverent stance, with your way of understanding art and life. What kind of coven awaits the islanders?
This is a project that is part of the same vein that I have been working the last two years, which is something that was always there, but I never had stopped to delve artistically: the occult, dissent within the occult or the occultism as dissent.
It is a project that is both about magical systems and the revolutionary associated with this topic as simultaneously is a project that will try to dilute the ideas of authorship and differences between artists and curators. It has much to do with a way to work developed in Space Nihilist. Also it has a lot of experiment and there is a strong venture capital.
In The Witch and The Bitch I will work with Mariokissme and Mariana Echeverri trying to merge conceptual and formal modes of work and their pieces, so that the space will be closer to a limbic place rather than an usual hall of museum. A trip to another world. On the one hand Mario treats more witchcraft, gender oppression of binary and imperialist systems associated with the “female” figures: women, fag, the sodomite, etc., and, on the other, with Mariana it is about an alchemy of sexual, machinery of orgiastic desire, sensory search of the wild and magic sex.
The whole process and development of work will also be branched within and outside the exhibition, and there will be much visibility of the conversations that go having with artists and references to other projects being developed in the same space-time. For example, I’m working on a book called Disidencia that consist basically in exchanging letters, by writing personal emails with people I consider very special because they have revolting potential and dissident power (Marti Manen, Mariana Echeverri, also an artist of this exhibition, or Raquel G. Ibañez), speaking from what we are doing or how we feel and how to destroy the world. In this project there will be a lot of The Witch and The Bitch and in The Witch And The Bitch also will be a lot of Disidencia. The power of intimacy, to generate affection, to tell you screwed up, to recognize failure as part of you, to make visible changes.
In the TEA will be all that and more, there will be real coven and symbolic coven; fictions about magic, spells and real invocations. It’s basically a way of working that I feel and I know that from now and from Space Nihilist can not be another. That affects everything, that is anything but not simple, and that makes you dizzy. And so to see if we achieve that the damned take over the world.
Raisa Maudit projects have been shown in galleries, fairs and museums as MUSAC, Gitte Böhr Gallerie: Club für Kunst und potisches Denken, Space Flausina Lx, Canary Mediafest, Trapezio space, Liebre gallery, Estampa, CA2M (Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo) or LABoral Art Center and Foundation Antonio Saura, among others.
Raisa is co-director of Storm and Drunk space in Madrid, with Zony Gomez.