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María Teresa Hincapié: If This Were a Beginning of Infinity at MACBA

October 20, 2022–February 26, 2023

“I’m not interested in dead art. I believe that life is art, and my body is my living art. It is my body that has to move, that is looking, that is tired, that is exhausted. This is what I propose.” —María Teresa Hincapié

Mara Teresa Hincapié (Armenia, Colombia, 1954–Bogotá, 2008) combined her experience in the theater with concerns that were visionary for her time: questioning the hyperproductivity of late capitalism, our unbalanced relationship with the planet, and the lack of meaning in a society dominated by consumerism. She did this with a thorough theatrical training as well as unwavering rigor and discipline. Hincapié’s career, which was cut short by a fatal illness, lay the groundwork for an informed discussion about the performative as a genre of creative production in Colombia as well as for the inclusion of subjects that are still relevant in the repertoire of aesthetic creation.

We may describe Hincapié’s work as a performative approach to the poetics of the domestic, where she would stage performances in which she would turn everyday behaviors into symbolic ones to develop her own technique. In this sense, the domestic did not just refer to household affairs; it also included one’s relationship to the planet and one’s conception of the world as one’s home. Her practice defied classification and oscillated between life, creation in motion, and the pursuit of the divine. She had her own unique definition of the performative, which she referred to as “training.” She created her own language to communicate with others while navigating the environment by feeling the passage of time and space in her body.

If This Were A Beginning of Infinity, by Mara Teresa Hincapié, is an early attempt to organize the tangible and ethereal heritage of this artist, which is essential to comprehending contemporary practices. The show, which is intended to be the start of a continuum of imagination and doing, comes to life via documentation of the work of an artist who valued the sharing of information as a means of coexisting. In addition to objects from the archive (photographs, films, original texts, postcards, letters, and newspaper clippings), these records also include any future materials produced for the exhibition as a consequence of commissions.

The show encourages group interaction as a creator of information by utilizing the capacity of affection as a technique of connection with the late artist. Thus, it features pieces by four visiting artists: José Alejandro Restrepo (with whom Hincapié collaborated on a number of works), Coco Fusco, Mapa Teatro, who present a piece especially created for this exhibition, and Mara José Arjona, who created Togehter but silent, a performance in collaboration with other performers that will take place in the galleries and around the MACBA throughout the exhibition. The relevance of the cognitive legacies left by a practice that aimed to alter is also highlighted by these new works, which not only add to the important conversation on movement.

Seminars, performative presentations, conversations, screenings and activities for teachers and visitors are programmed as just the beginning of a path that we hope will lead us through the incisive work of Hincapié and, eventually, to the infinity of her ideas and actions.

Carried out in collaboration between the Museum of Modern Art of Medellín (MAMM) and the MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona.

Exhibition curated by Claudia Segura Campins and Emiliando Valdés.

MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

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