lilibeth cuenca face print - le bastart

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, laminate infinity

The fossil finds lead us to the redefinition of the human on each occasion, denoting the ambiguity that underlies any search for an evolutionary origin. The paleontologists who found the puzzle of bones that would group under the Beatlemaniac name of Lucy believed to discover the missing link between the primates and the Homo Sapiens. They drived the origin of our species back for several thousand years. How does each anthropological paradigm shift affect our personal sphere?

lilibeth cuenca - hans fritz - le bastart
Lucy. Swab 2016

Lucy is also the performance that Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen made at the Hans & Fritz gallery (Barcelona) as part of her exhibition Being human being which is still ongoing. It raises this type of ontological questions, and more if we know her previous work, in which the concepts of originality and belonging occupy a preeminent place.

In this action the artist practically buried herself under the clay leaving the silhouette of her naked body imprinted. Visitors could light a candle and make objects with that mud, leave their own imprint on it.

lilibeth cuenca - hans fritz - le bastart
Part of exhibition in Hans&Fritz 2016. Photo Ariane Barret

Following with the metaphor of creation, she takes up the parable of Genesis by proposing seven days of interventions in space, inviting other artists (Ana Álvarez-Errecalde, Erich Weiss …) and members of the Philippine Community of Barcelona. Western and Asian, the ritual component and contemporary art tend to be confronted in her proposals, being their dual Filipino and Danish nature that determines her view of the world.

lilibeth cuenca - afghan hound - le bastart
Afghan Hound (Venice Biennale 2011)

The humor and the fantasy that have impregnated many of her performances rooted in the Filipino idiosyncrasy, whereas to have grown far from the country has favored her critical distance. Keeping the equidistance between two so different nationalities has left fertile ground for cultivating parody and channeling melancholy, which also implies contradictory feelings: if on the one hand she treats ironically the artifice on which is based family cohesion (Family Sha la la), on the other she regrets the prevailing egotism in Western society (incarnating in solar divinity in Ego song).

lilibeth cuenca - mobile mirrors - le bastart
Mobile mirrors 2013

She has used disguise, dance and irony as weapons of camouflage and transmutation: when she felt herself a target in the etnic supermarket, as she said in a choreographed song in a Hawaiian dress (Absolut Exotic), when she became a rapper cock playing with the double meaning of this word (a satire on the macho world of cockfights), as a temporary personification of performance milestones (Janine Antoni, Kubota, Orlan), or through sexualities and genres built from the social order (in Afghan hound the hair became burka, beard and kaftan successively).

lilibeth cuencia - amorphous assemblage - le bastart
Amorphous assemblage. Armory Show 2012, New York

Talking sculpture or ventriloquist doll, her garments are like layers of onion which, when defoliated, only show her laminate infinity. There is no nucleus to hold on to. Her actions reveal that words like authenticity and originality belong to the colonial or scientist lexicon, that the concept of femininity is based on patriarchal binarism. Dealing with it Lilibeth regurgitates the cacophony of voices that cherish inside: masculine and feminine voices, repressed and lustful, corrosive and plaintive.

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