Be a Body: Donna Huanca’s Body Theater

Lai Fei, Leap Magazine, July 1, 2015

There is a delicate equilibrium between bodies and inanimate objects in American artist Donna Huanca’s work. Clothing and textiles make up much of her painting and sculpture, and are also a key source of inspiration. Growing up in Chicago, Huanca started collecting secondhand clothing from thrift stores and garage sales at a young age. She believes that clothes carry energy and emotional effect: these retail anthropological artifacts, made to cover the body, are more than just human extensions. They are bestowed a liveness of their own, which is further enhanced by live performance. Models’ actual bodies and phantoms embodied by Huanca’s objects together create a theater of the body.