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"Dora García: Code Inconnu"
2006-02-27 until 2006-05-07
Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K)
Dora Garcia’s work is about the boundary and the connection between reality and fiction, between the so-called spontaneous and what is imposed. There is no neutral reality in which all actions are autonomous and therefore pure. Our behaviour does not arise out of a blank sheet, but is in fact thoroughly marked and is directed by both social and personal factors. On the one hand every action emerges from the country, culture or society in which we live, and on the other our behaviour is determined by past experiences, memories and events.
The question of the ‘directing’ of actions is actually beside the point because it is omnipresent. Dora Garcia’s aim is precisely to bring this to the surface, to question the truth of reality. There is no ‘one reality’, there are only different possible hypotheses. That which we believe to be or accept as reality is also closely connected to the stories or realities we already know. Our perception of reality is influenced by the postulation of several scenarios.
Garcia’s work does not thus exist autonomously; she does not make artwork-objects that exist only in an institutional or commercial context. Her work is conceptual in nature, and consists mainly of such things as text, photos, performances and site-specific installations. Attachment to objects hinders the communication of ideas. Her work uses ‘people’ as its material and is precisely about the interaction between spontaneous and imposed actions, between knowing and not knowing, between the conscious and the unconscious. The starting point for several of Garcia’s performances is the impossibility of communication. Since each individual experiences events in the context of past experiences and memories, clear communication is a Utopia. Exchanging information or holding a dialogue always includes communication at other levels, as in The Messenger.
With regard to the generally accepted view that art should give us original views of reality, Dora Garcia offers us what is not quite a unique view into reality. She questions from the inside out that which we consider to be a neutral reality. The protected environment in which one can come and ‘look at’ works of art is opened up. The boundary between the performer (active) and the audience (passive) is eliminated, and any notion of theatricality is abandoned so that the boundary between art and life becomes blurred.
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