The Limits of My Language (2015)

is a collaborative project with Julieta Aguinaco initiated by the statement: One doesn’t find a different paradigm, We make it. Performed at ‘Do the Right Thing’, Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem.

Marianna Maruyama writes about the work: In a joint presentation of their collaborative work, [they] offer a performance making heavy use of text fragments and passages from their own work and the work of others, together with videos by Aguinaco. They consider the possibility of friendship as a community, all the while dealing with questions of language, withdrawal, naming, and positioning within the art world, asking, in more ways than one, what can be named and known?
She muses, “there is an abundance of art practices, spaces…Where is the absence? Where is our desert?” Reading together at times and taking turns at others, the two artists read parts of their non-linear text, and set up the entire performance in the loose structure of a play in three parts: A Head Without a World (dealing with the theory of exit); A Headless World where Julieta Aguinaco reads the text “Almost No Memory” by Lydia Davis; and A World Without a Head (focused on the attempt to find a desert, a quest for an absence).
In the third act, Aguinaco presented three of her videos, all of which follow a similar pattern where the viewer trails behind the protagonist of the film (the artist) who is walking in various settings: a market at night, a cemetery and natural geysers in Bolivia. In the videos, the artist-protagonist is naming everything she sees and points at in an almost manic, high-speed manner; she seems to be talking as fast as she can. “This is a shop it’s open, this is a shop, it’s closed, etc.” The naming goes on for a few minutes until the sound fades out, leaving only the silent image. This gives the viewer the sense that the act of naming could go on forever. In the last film, Aguinaco narrates her films in an especially unenthusiastic and detached voice, “welcome to the Andes. Welcome out…Welcome home. Where? We have to look elsewhere,” tying back to Demoen’s questions related to exit theory and withdrawal. Both artists’ work asks the audience to question whether the attempt to name things only show the limits of our perception and our knowledge, or rather addresses more complex issues and questions related to belonging to a community, and the set of relations described by being and knowing?