With my artwork, I propose a revision to socially accepted relationships.
I delve into the meaning of the abject—pain, blood, sickness and aging—and question the values that we bestow upon identity, security and success.
From a diverse institutional control (education, health, media) an intent is made to stifle vital cycles so that they conform to a sexuality and identity that is rigid and standardized.
Through an autobiographical narrative, I question the controls that are exercised upon the population through the manipulation and indoctrination of fear.
As an artist I am interested in making evident the normalization and perpetualization of horizontal suspicion and vertical obedience, denouncing the devitalization, domestication and exploitation that we submit ourselves to.
MORE STORE combines installation, photography and video in a “boutique setting” where images of more than 40 women from around the World (Cameroon, Costa Rica, Brazil, Holland, Iceland, etc), of different ages (from 18 to 75) and of different physical constitution are exhibited in the form of bodysuits. It questions the value of each life in relation to arbitrary parameters such as country of origin (“Made In” attached in the label of each body suit) and physical appearance.
It also allows a reflection on the difficulties or privileges that these characteristics present. MORE STORE confronts the staggering amounts of advertising that exhibits millions of different images of the same woman, the idealized “perfect woman”—and mocks the value that we perceive to have as individuals when our own idiosyncrasies are burdened by the societal pressure of being added to the assets of the marketing system.
The installation delves into the devitalization, domestication and exploitation that this process entails.
Birth of my Daughter
With this self-portrait of giving birth, I want to challenge most of maternities in films, advertising and almost all of art history. These maternities re-enforce the stereotypes that impart from heterosexual masculine fantasies, in which exist the duality of the mother/whore.
With these photos, I wanted to show maternity from my experience, in which to give birth I open, I transform, I bleed, I scream and I smile.
I am standing up, with the placenta still inside me, linked to my baby by the umbilical cord and I decide when to photograph the birth—I am the protagonist.
With these images I take off my “cultural” veil; my maternity is not virginal nor aseptic.
I am the archetype of the primal woman, the woman beast that has nothing prohibited. I show a maternity not seen through the eyes of Eve (the divine punishment “you will give birth with the pain of your body”) but seen through the eyes of Lucy (the earliest hominid found to date).
Ana Álvarez-Errecalde has exhibited at Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona (CCCB) Foment de les Arts i del Disseny (FAD), Centre d´Art Santa Mònica (Barcelona), Sala El Águila, Feria Estampa, Canal de Isabel II and Premio Jóven Universidad Complutense (Madrid), Centro Cultural Montehermoso (Vitoria), European Women Lobby (Bruselas), Galeria Vžigalica (Ljubliana, Eslovenia) Museo de Arte Latinoamericano (MALBA), Centro Cultural de España (CCEBA) and Festival de la Luz (Argentina). Her artwork has been published in catalogues, newspapers and cultural magazines and is part of private collections. Ob Stare edited her photographic book “Cesarean, beyond the Wound” which has a compilation of testimonies in English, Catalan and Spanish.
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Asst Ed: Terri Tremblett/Ed: Bryonie Wise