Sonata in three movements for a magical instrument
Performance Art Festival 9Abierto de Acción. Jaén Museum, March 2013 (within the programmed activities for ArtJaén)
This performance was inspired by several sources including the exhibition “Music and Action” at the Centro José Guerrero of Granada and the workshop given by Joan Cervero in this context; the work I was doing in the laboratory for artistic and body experimentation Enclave (Granada); and a workshop given by artist Willem Willhemus entitled “Body awareness and action art (performance)”.
I start the performance by preparing three mops by attaching their handles and taking the mop head out the plastic sheath. I fill a bucket with water using a jerrycan and place the mops on the floor in a row. The sonata begins. In the first movement, I take the blue mop and perform simple, subtle, everyday movements and sounds. I put the mop in and out of the bucket, twisting the mop in the water and wringing it out.
In the second movement, I take the red mop which is made of different material and repeat some of the earlier movements, as well as introducing new sounds and movements: I use the mop to scrub and clean the floor. I drip water, I crash against walls, I hit the ground etc.
In the last movement, I take the buckets and mops out to the street. I start with the last mop, the white cotton one and eventually use all three mops, playing with them at the same time, using them in an unorthodox manner, cleaning with my hands and my knees on the floor. I play with them until the rhythm, speed, and intensity of my actions increases. The performance starts off with a musical and playful motivation, a formal experimentation with the object (mop as instrument) and the body. As the performance progressed, the use of the mop as an “instrument” in addition to the fact that I was performing so close to International Women’s Day, endowed the performance with strong (and at times violent) symbolic connotations related to women and housework. It was not my intention to make a protest (I like mops, they are a great invention, so in this sense my performance was a tribute), however I assumed the feeling that the performance acquired and I made it my own.
Thanks to María Cano and Olga Diego for their photos.