'Un Mundo Raro (A Rare World)', 2015, performance at Juliette Jongma Gallery, Amsterdam 'Un Mundo Raro (A Rare World)', 2015, performance at Juliette Jongma Gallery, Amsterdam Un Mundo Raro (A Rare World), 2015, performance (© Gert Jan van Rooij) Un Mundo Raro (A Rare World), 2015, performance (© Gert Jan van Rooij)
Un Mundo Raro (A Rare World)
2015
performance
20 min. 

Un Mundo Raro (A Rare World) is a work inspired in a song by Chavela Vargas (Costa Rican born Mexican singer, 1919-2012) commonly known as “the rough voice of tenderness”. Vargas’ performances were emotionally touching and brought up questions about  human nature.  What makes us humans? What is the body capable of doing? How much of its behaviour is innate and how much of it is constructed? 

The point of departure for this work is a study on the emotions following the lecture on expressions by Charles Le Brun (1688) and the third part of Spinoza´s Ethics (1677). Next to the idea that by understanding the emotions we gain self-empowerment and life enhancement, the voice has also been playing a key role in this work. What are the primal aspects within the voice and how do these influence individuality? 

Altogether the performance presents emotional and physical landscapes where the idea of the inside of an outside (as the metaphor of the voice being an inside of an outside) is set forth by juxtaposing emotions with harsh and violent vocabulary. The atmosphere of the live work is intense, presenting to the audience a rare human-like being behaving, at times, as an animal that struggles to understand emotions while coping with a competitive and strange world. This animalized human being, dressed in fierce Adidas armor seems confused, sad, happy, fearful, trapped, insane. This struggle seems a matter of survival. 

Un Mundo Raro was part of the RijksakademieOPEN 2015, Amsterdam. 

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'Un Mundo Raro', 2015, synchronized three-channel video projection
13’00”, loop (© Gert Jan van Rooij)
'Un Mundo Raro', 2015, synchronized three-channel video projection 13’00”, loop (© Gert Jan van Rooij)
Un Mundo Raro / A Rare World
2015
synchronized three-channel video projection
13’00”, loop

Un Mundo Raro presents a three-channel video projection as a composition of sounds and movements that use the voice and the body as potential tools. What are the boundaries of the contorted voice and body? Images on the walls are close ups of body parts, abstracting the idea of a unique, united body. There is a thin line between something provocative and something sad and uncomfortable at the same time. The spectator is being surrounded by these images, giant close ups that deliver mechanical and guttural sounds bringing forth an absurd fragmented body. As if we would have to re-consider a being from scratch, what are the sounds and movements that would make it human?

Un Mundo Raro is a major project part of RijksakademieOPEN 2015, Amsterdam that includes the synchronized three-channel video projection and the performance in a separate space.

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Geometric Dancer Doesn’t Believe in Love, Finds Aspiration and Ecstasy in Spirals © Aad Hoogendoorn/TENT Geometric Dancer Doesn’t Believe in Love, Finds Aspiration and Ecstasy in Spirals © Aad Hoogendoorn/TENT
Geometric Dancer Doesn’t Believe in Love, Finds Aspiration and Ecstasy in Spirals
2015
synchronized HD video-projections (20’30”, loop) on aluminium sheets

The title of Mercedes Azpilicueta’s installation refers to the writings of Valentine de Saint-Point (1875–1953), an artist, dancer, poet, and activist, and the only French woman to take part in the Italian Futurist movement. For Azpilicueta, Rotterdam’s rebuilding after the Second World War made it a model Futurist city. In a video performance, she re-enacts the everyday soundscape of Rotterdam using sound recordings made on its streets, market, and harbour. Speech and vocal utterances transform citizenship into unfamiliar and de-naturalised compulsions. The work is devised for the space at TENT. The metal screens produce a phantasmagorical image of her body while the physicality of the sound incarnates its materiality.

Motion /Labour /Machinery, group show in TENT Rotterdam
curated by Manuel Segade, Mariette Dölle, Jesse van Oosten.

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The Baroness of Cosmic Arithmetics © Koos Siep The Baroness of Cosmic Arithmetics © Koos Siep The Baroness of Cosmic Arithmetics © Koos Siep The Baroness of Cosmic Arithmetics © Koos Siep
The Baroness of Cosmic Arithmetics
2015
performance
20 min.

The Baroness of Cosmic Arithmetics is work in progress in the form of a declamation inspired by the figure of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, a German-born avant-garde Dadaist artist and poet who worked for many years in New York City and was an early pioneer of sound poetry, drawing parallels between religious, scientific and sexual images.

The Baroness of Cosmic Arithmetics was performed at Wolfart Projectspace in Rotterdam, as part of NZZN (North-South-South-North) Festival; initiated by DE PLAYER and VROOOM and organised in collaboration with other Rotterdam-based organisations / venues that operate on the fringes of the Rotterdam subculture. NZZN seeks to map out and showcase this peripheral Rotterdam of leftfield music, sound art, improvisation, and performance art with a vibrant mix of international and local artists. This event is made possible with kind support of Popunie Rotterdam, City of Rotterdam Department of Culture, NFPK+, Mondriaan Fonds.

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Mercedes Azpilicueta () La Morada Imposible / The Impossible Dwelling © SWAB Performance La Morada Imposible / The Impossible Dwelling © SWAB Performance
La Morada Imposible / The Impossible Dwelling
2015
performance
30 min.

Space, structure, time and script of the performance:

Given the extra amount of sensory stimuli at any art fair, the venue becomes a whole place in-transit or rather, a quasi non-place for observation. Within this context, the space of the fair is approached through a tour that follows a formal structure where the movements and script are choreographed with precision, marked by repetition and rhythm. Simple and minimal actions take place, such as walking or moving slightly the head or hands. Sounds, made mainly with the voice, have different tones and mark monotony and harshness. Repetition is a constant. The performance walking time through the fair is extremely slow to mark a contrast with the speed of the public. The route through the fair is done in a meditative state but attentive to the public eye. Once arrived to the performance space, the narrative script starts. The script has as a departure point a poem by the Argentinian poet Susana Thénon ‘tantas casas / so many houses’, included in the first volume of the book compiling all her poetry La Morada Impossible / The Impossible Dwelling. The idea of a dwelling place or home is addressing the evictions in Barcelona since 2007, in relation to the status of the fair as a nomadic, non-dwelling place -neither here nor there –. The sonar script also includes vernacular aspects of Barcelona, sounds collected from the streets, popular songs in Catalan, silences and noises.

SWAB Performance
1 – 4 October, 2015
Barcelona, Spain
Curator: Juan Canela

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Todo Afuera Adentro / Everything Outside Inside © Ramiro Iturrioz Todo Afuera Adentro / Everything Outside Inside © Ramiro Iturrioz Todo Afuera Adentro / Everything Outside Inside © Ramiro Iturrioz Todo Afuera Adentro / Everything Outside Inside © Ramiro Iturrioz Todo Afuera Adentro / Everything Outside Inside © Ramiro Iturrioz Todo Afuera Adentro / Everything Outside Inside © Ramiro Iturrioz
Todo Afuera Adentro / Everything Outside Inside
Performative Installation
Móvil, Buenos Aires
April - June, 2015

A performative installation starring voice and language. A twelve person chorus performs fragments of everything we hear and pronounce on any given day. Noise, words, phrases, popular songs and poets are translated into a collective chant in which the interior -the body, individuality, thought, state of being- and the exterior -public space, language, the social being- meet. The work explores where voice and content meet and what separates them, seeking to reveal which are the physical, affective, social and economic qualities of what we enunciate and listen to constantly.

Interpreters: Natalia Albero, Jair Almar, Paula Campana Cristal, Liza Casullo, Sol Crespo, Rochi Gallardo, Marina Lazo, Malena Ledesma, Marina Mariasch, Graciela Montoya, Edgar Robba, Liv Schulman and Gabino Torlaschi.

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Florian © Amanda Mullee Florian © Amanda Mullee 'Florian', 2014, performance. © Sander van Wettum 'Florian', 2014, performance. © Sander van Wettum
F   L   O   R   I   A   N

Partly rooted in literary fiction, Florian is a dance-performance that has as a main character a young teenager and the way he perceives his daily world. The performance is a subjective and playful response to issues concerning physical, intellectual and emotional growth. In terms of linguistics, the work puts emphasis on the structure and the way words are connected and pronounced rather than on the plot. The script, which is written in second person, has a conventional beginning that expands progressively losing its sense and installing its own rhythm. Altogether, the piece animates a moment where dance and narrative poetry meet by taking into account the characteristic space of a bathhouse and its pronounced acoustics.

Credits:
Concept, text Mercedes Azpilicueta
Dance-performance Joy Kammin, Mercedes Azpilicueta
Space acoustics, vocal arrangements Janneke van der Putten
With special thanks to Ohad Ben Shimon and Ewa Juszczyk
Commissioned by A Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam
Première at A Tale of a Tub, November 30, 2014
Florian is part of Doors of Perception curated by Fleur van Muiswinkel
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POW! © Deirdre Power POW! © Deirdre Power
POW!
2014
performance
20 min.

A performance by Mercedes Azpilicueta in form of a declamation composed out of passionate football reporter Omar Bentancor announcing the goal of Chuco Sosa playing in Argentinos Juniors against San Lorenzo, a detailed description of an outspoken performance on administrative detention by a young artist, calm and irritating intonations in the voices of two yoga instructors, recollections of a control-freak demanding mother, and the fierce struggle between superheroes Captain America and The Invisible Woman, a story outsourced from a conversation with a kid. Together with the use of parataxis, visual mnemonics and the voice, this performance will be delivered in an attempt to orally evoke what could also be rendered as an excessive sign of force within our common everyday spoken language.

POW! is part of It Makes us Think of a Dance and a Fête as Much as of War (On Violence); the third and final part of Artistic Justice: Positions on the Place of Justice in Art, a series of three international symposia leading towards the EVA International 2014 that openened in Limerick in April, 2014. This symposium was conceived by Doreen Mende at the invitation of EVA 2014 curator, Bassam El Baroni. Contributors include: Mercedes Azpilicueta, Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Hadrien Laroche, Paulo Tavares, Milica Tomić. Screening by Jean-Luc Godard. Conceived by Doreen Mende.

Saturday 22 March 2014, 12.00–19.00
IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

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Mercedes Azpilicueta ()
The Well-Tempered Calculator
2013
performance
20 min.


The Well-Tempered Calculator is a performance which script has been appropriated by listening to different sources that address logical forms related to authority. The performance presents a specific combination of four different voices, the speech of a flight attendant delivering emergency instructions, a proctor in a standardized international test, auctioneer’s chants, and vocabulary – in alphabetical order – for describing personal qualities in a school report. A fifth voice, which seems to lie on the other side of those logical schemes, presents itself as a more nonsensical, almost mystical, element. All together, the spectator will be encountered with different ways of listening to and saying the unsayable.

The Well Tempered Calculator is part of Composing Through Words, a Het Veem Theatre event initiated and curated by Fleur van Muiswinkel. Composing Through Words explores the shapes and structures of language and text, and how they both determine our perspective on our daily reality, culture and history. The programme takes the audience along five performances and a jazz concert. Composing Through Words is a Stichting A.P.E. production in co-production with Het Veem Theatre. Special thanks to Maaike Gouwenberg (Stichting A.P.E.), and Nicole Bachmann and Ruth Beale (Performance as Publishing)

Saturday 23 November, 2013 / 19:00 / Het Veem Theatre, Amsterdam

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Mercedes Azpilicueta ()
5 Voices on Administrative Detention
2013
performance
16 min.

5 Voices on Administrative Detention addresses through a performative utterance the notions of speech, power and violence unfolding the absurdity in the arrest and detention of individuals by the state without trial. The performance was based on the particular case of Hanna Shalabi, a Palestinian woman who was held twice in administrative detention by the Israeli government. The transcripts of the hearings that took place during Shalabi´s detention were used as material for the script.

5 Voices on Administrative Detention is a performance commissioned by Amnesty International The Netherlands and it has been performed at Radboud University, in Nijmegen, November 2013; Leiden University College in The Hague, February 2014; Maastricht University Faculty of Law, March 2014; and at the Theatre Verlangertes Wohnzimmer in Berlin, December 2014.

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