3 JUN, 15 JUN, 1 JUL | 8PM





Coordination: Carla Lamoyi

Editing and translation: Ashley Michelle Casillas, Carla Lamoyi 

Assistance: Joshua Jobb

Documentation: Aimée Suárez

Printer: SARA (Sociedad Anónima Reproducción Autogestiva)

The exhibition ASDFGHJ by Cinthia De Levie arises from her investigation in Mexico in which she studied the use of puppets to “teach” behavioral norms to the indigenous people.

This project investigates the representation of encounters and interaction with the other, the stranger, and foreigner through an installation that dis/assembles the elements of puppetry and disperses them throughout the space. The proposal seeks to put movements and behaviors into practice that explore and inhabit the contact zone between the others and the things, imagining this border as an interface. It explores what can come about when bodies enter in connection, are modified and transform themselves in turn.

There is a work called Petul and the Foreign Devil written by Rosario Castellanos in 1961 that narrates the encounter between an indigenous person and a foreigner who don’t speak the same language. The indigenous person doesn’t “know” if the stranger is a ghost, a devil or a man and due to not being able to understand him, doubts his humanness and ends up endangering him. This work was written based on a true story: Arthur Sliz, a German painter, who traveled to San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas and was killed by machete blows by the indigenous people with whom he could not communicate.

In the puppet screenplay, there is a dialogue between the indigenous person, the foreigner and a “mestizo” in which they try to communicate with one another, understand each other, in order to know what they are made of and what are the others. This work and this dialogue are appropriated and reconstructed in an absurd or grotesque way where an animist manner of living in the world is explored as well as alternative forms of connecting with others.

For this adaptation, elements from the original work are extracted (characters, materials and movements) and transformed into a critique regarding the politics and practices behind the pedagogical and ludic methods that sought to colonize these populations. The exhibition space is inhabited by puppets, lengths of latex cloth, prop elements, prosthetic body parts and characters reminiscent of fluids, invertebrate beings and skin. 

Cinthia De Levie (b.1983, Argentina) lives in Buenos Aires and works with drawing, installation and performance. Through her practice she explores constructions of otherness, with a particular focus on the visual and material culture produced within institutional sites of display. She has carried out researches in museums of anatomy, anthropology, ethnography and natural sciences in Switzerland, Argentina, Italy and Mexico, where her work has been exhibited. 

Her artistic formation included a studio art education at IUNA (Instituto Nacional de Arte) and, at Casa de Letras, Buenos Aires, the study of creative writing. Additionally, she has participated in the live arts program Laboratorio de Acción (Complejo Teatral/Buenos Aires), Programa de Artistas (Universidad Di Tella), LIPAC Research Laboratory in Contemporary Practices (UBA/CCR) and “INTERCAMPOS II” (Fundación Teléfonica). 

Her work has been exhibited in Ausstellungsraum Klingental (Switzerland), Macro (Argentina), Pasto Galería (Argentina), Drodesera XXXVIII edizione S U P E R C O N T I N E N T ² Central Fies (Italy), Museo Experimental el Eco (Mexico), Fundación Klemm (Argentina), Bienal de Arte Joven (BA Bienal/Argentina), Big Sur Gallería (Argentina), Centro Cultural Konex (Argentina), Museo di Scienze Naturali de Belví (Italy), Di Tella University (Argentina), Gallery Ruth Benzacar (Argentina), Galería 713 (Argentina), Bienal Nacional de Arte de Bahía Blanca (Museo de Arte  Contemporáneo/ Bahía Blanca/Argentina), among others.