Regina Josè Galindo

performance and video
31st May 2014, Colle di Sant’Ermacora, Udine / MACRO Testaccio, Rome
RAVE East Village Artist Residency 2014

La oveja negra-Regina Josè Galindo-2014-photo Tiziana Pers-RAVE 2014-3530www

La oveja negra – Regina Josè Galindo 2014. Photo Tiziana Pers – RAVE 2014

Piacerebbe anche a me se tutto si risolvesse nell’isolare la pecora nera. Le vedo anch’io le pecore nere. Ne vedo tante. Le vedo tutte. Ecco il guaio…
Pier Paolo Pasolini

In un lontano paese visse molti anni fa una Pecora nera. Fu fucilata. Un secolo più tardi, il gregge pentito le dedicò una statua equestre che effettivamente fece bella figura nel parco. Così, in seguito, ogni volta che apparvero pecore nere furono prontamente passate per le armi, affinché le future generazioni di pecore comuni e contemporanee potessero esercitarsi allo stesso modo con la scultura.
Augusto Monterroso

In the imagery of Regina Josè Galindo, the words of Pier Paolo Pasolini, from his last interview the day before he was killed, find their perfect counterpart in the cutting observations of the writer Monterroso.

LA OVEJA NEGRA _ LA PECORA NERA is the first action in the artist’s career where the otherness of animals become central. This has two sides to it: firstly the black sheep becomes a metaphor for that which is different, the outsider, the dissident intellectual who cannot be kept silent (in a way biographical and social at the same time, as only great artists are capable). At the same time the black sheep is just as much “the most different, the other, the monstrously other, the unrecognisable other” (from Jacques Derrida La Bestia e il Sovrano). The black sheep is other than ourselves, and for human beings, every animal is in the end a black sheep.

On 31 May 2014, a beautiful wood in the Colle di Sant’Ermacora (Udine), was the location for the performance La oveja negra by Regina José Galindo, artist in residence at RAVE East Village Artist Residency.

In her performances, Galindo has always addressed the pain of those that power wishes to force into silence and oblivion. Here she gives back a powerful voice to those who are the absolute lowest: animals. “Below the spaces where the coolies of the earth perish by the millions, the indescribable, unimaginable suffering of the animals, the animal hell in human society, would have to be depicted, the sweat, blood, despair of the animals” (Max Horkheimer, the skyscraper).

Galindo does this in a physical and concrete way. The artist becomes a living monument. She becomes a pulsing and immobile sculpture, rooted in the naked earth. For an hour her limbs will be buried and she will take on the anthropomorphic appearance of a sheep with dark hair, in some kind of impossible hybridisation. The artist is alive, but made of stone, like a monument to the black sheep throughout time, the high voices raised for this ‘firing squad’.

A dozen sheep and their lambs, saved from the slaughterhouse, share this moment with her. For some time they have got used to living in complete freedom on a vast hill run by an activist, they now see the temporary border of a fence constructed for the performance in a natural hollow, an amphitheatre suitable for pagan rituals, where the simulacrum is human. But the animals are not actors, they do not follow a pre-arranged script, and above all they do not know fiction. During the action they bleat, run, stand still, worried by the “sculpture”, by the human made inoffensive. They become curious, moving close to Regina, and breaking down the barriers of diffidence. They brush against her and sniff her in a different contact.

In the absolute silence of the audience, the bleating of the sheep dominates the valley. This is all part of the performance. And their voices will not be smothered. At the end of the performance a lamb starts to call. His accusing voice is strong. And when he, too, is quiet, the gate is opened and the animals run away towards the hills, which had been temporarily denied to them. The artist remains alone within the fence, upending the perspective: a voice is given to those to whom it is habitually denied.

‘Todos los caminos conducen a Roma’ (all roads lead to Rome) is a saying that is known even in Guatemala. And just as the voice of Pasolini went to Rome from Friuli, so Galindo’s performance Caminos finds the same path, where all roads lead to life and all roads lead to death. The voices of the sheep during the performance are transmitted by direct streaming to the MACRO museum in Testaccio, the former Roman slaughterhouse. Abattoirs are constructed preferably far from sight, precisely to objectify bodies and social justify the  slaughtering. But here art has re-appropriated a place of death, and brings back the living.

At the same time, they are not voices destined for pain, but saved from pain. Regina’s states that her performances are rituals of “psycho-magic”. Perhaps in this case the overturning of habitual practices is more complete than in others, thanks to the power of the gesture evoked. The artist brings us to new perspectives to gaze at the monument to the black sheep, alive, to a different way of thinking, alive and present. Resilience, the ability to see change as a challenge and as an opportunity becomes contemporary resistance.

Tiziana Pers


Regina Josè Galindo
performance and video
31st May 2014
Colle di Sant’Ermacora, Udine
curated by Tiziana Pers
MACRO Testaccio, Roma
curated by Benedetta Carpi De Resmini
RAVE East Village Artist Residency 2014

Regina José Galindo’s project  LA OVEJA NEGRA has been conceived and produced for the program RAVE East Village Artist Residency 2014.  With the support of Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, in colaboration with MACRO Testaccio, Roma Capitale, Assessorato alla Cultura, Trieste Contemporanea, L’Officina, Gallinae in Fabula, Chej di Sant’Ermacore and OIPA Organizzazione Internazionale Protezione Animali.
Main partner Vulcano – Unità di produzione contemporanea.
Thanks to Ida Pisani _ Prometogallery and Coordinamento Antispecista Roma

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.