Anti lagom, Taking over spaces/ Control over bodies
The immigrant female body can be transgressive when it finds spaces to manifest and display its perspective and its expressions. A result of working with the body is the immediate if short-lived, intervention that occurs. When bodies are controlled and scrutinized to assess where they are allowed to be, and for how long, if they can move around or not, and how they should behave and form social relations, the act of inhabiting and taking over spaces questions such notions as democracy, human rights, public property, public spaces, and public institutions.
Discourse is action, and in action lies one of the biggest contributions to contemporary art from the women working within their bodies in the Global South, as they/we perform the radical act of self-preservation.
Working in collaboration with powerful artists, activists, and different actors along the way, I can say for sure that sharing, being together, eating together, arguing, and emphasizing that the personal is always political are practices that do us good, and that creates a sense of community because silence has never protected us and the best platform for political, theoretical discussion is open (chaotic) encounters.
In my practice, I choose the margin as a space of radical openness, where I am in between territories, in the margins between being a resident, a visitor, or an immigrant, between practices, an observer and a subject, an indigenous root woman with western education. Following the works of Cecilia Vicuna and other artists I mentioned earlier, I take the not-knowing and the uncontrolled as a strong asset, a great human potential. The margins as a space of resistance.
It is not migration in its entirety that has fueled such concerns but rather the unregulated migratory flows that run from the Global South to the Global North. Non-white bodies are being extra controlled; the empire of the law assesses where certain bodies can transit or inhabit, for how long, and how they should behave. How are the social relations towards these bodies? Bodies coming from outside the EU need to go through traumatic journeys and never-ending examinations to assess if they are worth transiting to the Global North and if they are worth cohabiting amongst citizens born inside the Global North, or, as the jus sanguinis law claims, amongst people who have EU blood.
Urgent times demand urgent manners and performance. Taking over a space with our bodies, inhabiting a space, and being present in certain spaces is extremely important for addressing the basic human right to freedom and well-being.
 Bell Hooks, ‘Choosing The Margin As A Space Of Radical Openness,’ 1989.
Soy una demonia felíz: Demoner stampar i takt, performance with Valeria Montti Colque
Celebración - Celebration - Life – Liv- Livet - fest - ceremoni - touch - röra beröra - vidröra. We celebrate life by dancing across the liminal space between life and death, light and darkness, chaos and order, sound and silence, and linear and cyclic time.
Like happy demons, we dance with the angels and invite you to sit with us and be part of this ritual fest picnic of flowers, eggs, stars, and colors. This action summons the festive memory and the resilience of our wounds. It is the emotions and resistance of the bodies gathered in the space that triggers our ritual.
The performance is a mobile festivity that starts at Valeria Montti’s studio in Hökarängen and moves towards public spaces such as the plaza near Hökarängen station in Stockholm, Skeppsholmen green area, Paviljon C (2021), Moderna Museet (2022)
Valeria initiated the collective process of inviting friends, artists/musicians to be part of her performance, giving an open script in the form of a poem and providing some visual and sound framework, so each one of us created our stories and character in constant dialogue. The construction of the performance was a permeable process where we could all add and have input at different stages. Important – necessary – aspects of this process are improvisation, adaptability, and enjoyment.
Character-personas that have been born in this process have continued living in other supports and spaces, such as Las Vamperras
and Ängen (the meadow) as part of a collage in the exhibition ‘Gunnel & Anita’ (BAS Konsthall, Barkarby 2022), and as part of Valeria Montti’s public artwork at Zinkensdamm station and Skanstull station
For the 2022 Moderna Museet exhibition, Valeria made an extensive installation called ‘Apu Mamá hill Ojitos de Sal’. Apu mamma Söderhöjden is the place where Valeria was born, in the south of Jakobsberg in Järfälla kommun, in Stockholm. Mamma höjden is the Nordic countries and Cordillera de Los Andes at the same time.
Like the Andean Mountain Ojitos de Sal*, Valeria’s pieces inhabit the in-between, cross-border lands, languages, genders, states of mind, feelings, and time(s), perhaps as an embodied resistance to the constraints and gränser that modernity mandates.
Ojos de Salero expands its arms to Chile and Argentina as part of the mountain coastal range that walks across South America, reminding us that we were – and are – offshoots from the same mother, yet all multifarious. Valeria’s piece embraces us as family and provides us with the tender feeling of home and belonging while setting us free in open lands.
Indigenous understanding of the world(s) embraces duality. We can be different things at the same time, we can embrace the present while treasuring our backgrounds. We live in plurality.
In this path, during the vernissage a spontaneous incursion occurred when several friends from Latin American diaspora and/or with foreign backgrounds showed up and took over the mingling space with dance and improvised collective choreographies. Valeria´s installation as a woman with foreign background, her family migrated to Sweden from Chile during the dictatorship and she has Aymara  roots too. Her/our presence in this Swedish art institutional space was a bodily statement of resistance.
 ‘Swedish acquisitions: Matches’
 ‘Vamperra’is a play on words explored in the residency I was invited to in La Paz (Bolivia, 2022). Vamperra refers to a personal anecdote: In the beginning of the 2000s in Lima, an online group would publish photos of people who attended underground goth/darkwave dance spaces and who were not light-skinned – more specifically, people who had indigenous-looking features. These photos were a way of mocking them/us for being too ugly for being vampires (vampiros); therefore the group was called Vamperros y Vamperras. Perro means dog, which is used to depict ugliness, and perra means bitch, which is also a slutshaming word. For my current work, I reclaim the power of this word and have designed a embroidery with inspiration in Chicha lettering. Broadly, Chicha is the name for the mix of cumbia and Andean music that started this graphic style in their posters.
 Apu: Quechua word for the mountains considered protective divinities.
 Aymara are indigenous people in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America; about 2.3 million live in northwest Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. Aymara language.
Enjoyment and Pleasure are part of our revolution
‘We (individuals from the Global South, the former colonies, women, non-normative bodies, minorities in the north, oppressed majorities in the south, racialized individuals, immigrants, exiled of neoliberalism, etc.) produce knowledge. We are subjects. We speak in the first person. We are political subjects.’
Hysterix collective was formed in Lima in 2012 by female artists of Peruvian background with the intention of occupying spaces historically denied to women and non-normative bodies through criminalization and violent regimes imposed by patriarchal neoliberal racist nation-states.
The collective focuses on interventions outside the white cube. Their focus is on public space, where they incite performative actions, live paintings and murals. Hysterix's methodology is based on treating the intervention as a ritual, where their collective presence and bodies constitute a constant work-in-process. With the collective body, Hysterix takes over space and reconfigures artistic and organizational methods.
It is important for Hysterix to make visible its path and its own existence as a collective with its actions; by presenting processes, rhythms, conflicts and convergences, absence and presence. After ten years of collective work, the group gathers to create both time and space to materialize and embody the past decade and explore their common archive through their own works. For Hysterix, it is vital to be together in an elusive time in the midst of insecure economies, and not least in a neoliberal-colonized, patriarchal world.
The collective developed a month-long intervention at Konsthall C (2022-2023), reflecting on ten years of work/life, methodologies and the structures that we built to be able to function and remain relevant. We named the exhibition ‘Embodying Chaos’ as a way to state that we propose Chaos as a method and solution, where aesthetics and conceptual openness implies constant risks but also is a method of maintaining the work alive, without a beginning or an end. In this way, we also question the traditional patriarchal colonial view on what a revolution implies, where there must be martyrs and heroes; we propose that the revolution is now, a constant process where being alive and owning our voice in the first person is a political statement. More precisely, tired of the exploitation of imagery of brown bodies in pain, death or precarity, we propose joy and pleasure as a political statement.
Part of our intervention consisted of different key words in Spanish, English and Swedish that we cast out on the floor and also a durational collaborative mural.
no- body / body (controlled, broken) / race limit text
bastardize, break, dirty
chaos as solving process
a finished / unfinished human
language / fortress bridge / barrier and bridge
networks network (care work economy
south / north : future / past
party play / let go / trust / not compete
tree / rhizome / her story / non-linear
One section of our exhibition was the party/bar space, where we had a light box with the word ‘Cosmopolilla’, a play on words that mixes the Spanish cosmopolita and polilla, (moth in English). Polilla is a slutshaming term used in Peru to depict women who like to party and have multiple sexual partners.
The revolution is not sustainable without playfulness and party.
Guide document for the exhibition "Embodying chaos: 10 years of Hysterix" at Konsthall C
Designed by Angélica Chávez Cáceres
Photos by Jose Figueroa
Performance with Valeria Montti Colque for Momento Film 10-årsfesten!
Video by Celina Escher (photography and edition)
Video edition by Valeria Montti Colque
Valeria and I are Gunnel & Anita, also the title of our exhibition of 2022 in BAS Konsthall.
Animation made from recordings of different moments of "Gunnel & Anita" exhibition at BAS konsthall, curated by Ashik Zaman. 2022
Images from the Finissage of "Embodying chaos: 10 years of Hysterix" at Konsthall C, 2022/2023
On the images: Berta Guerra Aredal, Sarai Alvarez, Angélica Chávez
List of Artworks (from above)
- Animation made from recordings of different moments of ‘Gunnel & Anita’, exhibition at BAS Konsthall, 2022.
-Photos by Jose Figueroa.
Performance with Valeria Montti Colque for Momento Film 10-årsfesten!
Video by Celina Escher (photography and editing)
-‘Gunnel & Anita’ 
Video editing by Valeria Montti Colque
Valeria and I are Gunnel & Anita; this is also the title of our exhibition of 2022 in BAS Konsthall.
-Video recorded by Macarena Dussant at Moderna Museet, 2022.
-Images from the finissage of ‘ at Konsthall C, 2022/2023. Pictured: Berta Guerra Aredal, Sarai Alvarez, Angélica Chávez.
- Guide document for the exhibition ‘Embodying Chaos: 10 years of Hysterix’ at Konsthall C.