Surrogate Painteen Donna Huanca
I clambered over mounds and mounds
Of polystyrene foam
And fell into a swimming pool
Filled with fairy snow
And watched the world turn day-glo
you know you know
The world turned day-glo you know
I wrenched the nylon curtains back
As far as they would go
And peered through perspex window panes
At the acrylic road
I drove my polypropolene
Car on wheels of sponge
Then pulled into a wimpy bar
To have a rubber bun
The X-rays were penetrating
Through the laytex breeze
Synthetic fibre see-thru leaves
Fell from the rayon trees
X-Ray Spex - Day The World Turned Day-Glo
For Huanca, the body and skin are an ongoing focus and she employs them as both pure surface and material. Cosmetics function as a medium of transformation and performers are painted from head to toe. They are choreographed to move glacially, in a meditative state, through her installation environments which consist of paintings, sculptures and ephemera. The performers’ presence both activates her studio works and relate to dissimulation, fusion, and camouflage, furnishing the beginnings of a poetic narrative on the fragmentation of identity.
Huanca’s Skin Paintings combine documentation of past performances, overlaid with thick, gestural painting created in a trance-like state. On their own, they exist as microcosms of performance, incorporating both images of the body and are overpainted with pigment camouflage. Within the context of the larger installation, the Skin Paintings create both points of reference and architecture for the performance.
Huanca’s totemic sculptures merge tactile materials such as clothing, natural and synthetic fibres and other cultural artifacts, which are then deconstructed and reassembled to create delicate abstract compositions. Using both the body and its armor as an abstract material in this way, Huanca reveals the underlying primordial and mammalian character of the garment and its relationship to our body as a form of cultural transmission.
Donna Huanca (b. 1980, Chicago, USA) studied at the Städelschule, Frankfurt as well as the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and has been the recipient of the DAAD Artist Frankfurt and a Fulbright research grant. Recent exhibitions include the Malmö Konsthalle, Moma PS1 in New York and kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga oraganized bz Art In General, New York. Upcoming exhibitions include LAND Contemporary Public Art Project, Los Angeles, Streams of Warm Impermanence, David Roberts Art Foundation, London, and solo exhibition Scar Cymbals at the Zabludowicz Collection, London.
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