At PrometeoGallery, Milan
On 18th November, PrometeoGallery in Milan opened a one-work exhibition of Regina José Galindo, a Guatemalan artists, mostly known for her performances and body art works, mostly related to the everlasting issues of social injusties, ethnical oppression, and gender disparity.
The focal point of the opened exhibition is a video performance starring nude Regina, staying in the field of maize and remaining still while four men continuously cut down stems of the crop.
The work refers to the Guatemalan civil war that divided the country for 36 years. Having started as a political conflict the war soon turned into an intrasocial and interethnic conflict, which was later acknowledged as genocide against the indigeneous population. The so-called policy of Scorched Land violently conducted by military troops caused thousands of casualties, leaving hundreds of peasants starving.
“They destroyed our homes, robbed us of our belongings, burned our clothes, took our animals, cut down our cornfields, and they pursued us day and night.”
The maize is a deliberate and not surprising choice. In the most rural country of the region with the majority of population belonging to diverse Indian ethnic groups, maize, besides being one of the most cultivated crops, even nowadays keeps its sacred meaning. For hundreds years being believed to be a divine gift for the Indian people, it is a symbol of independence, freedom, and cultural identity.
As well as how Regina remains standing after all the crops around are cut down, maize and the Guatemalan withstood the pressures of the civil war.
Don’t miss a chance to see the performance until January 13, 2016.