(The winning mummies)
Performance: Milan City Center, 1999
series of paintings with performance, mixed media collages and acrylics
series of photographs from screen of performance shootings
video: Italy, colours, 8’55” ed. 1+ 1ap, 1999
This is the first performance where LIUBA worked in real-life contexts, and the first project where the video becomes no longer a documentation, but the necessary completion of the work, synthesizing people’s reactions to the performance, places and chance.
The winning mummy is a person who thinks to be socially successful and winning, but his life is completely suffocated by prisons of duties, conventions, hypocrisies and stress. The result is a person that in his depth is dead like a “mummy” but mostly doesn’t realize it.
The aim of the performance, in which LIUBA walks through the daily-life streets blocked in two big boxes is to show in a visibile way our invisibile daily life compressions and prisons, arising in people reflections and counsciousness about it.
The deep roots of this projects begin from the consciousness of the emptiness that grows in our cities, always more homologated in a way of life devoted to appearance, business and superficiality. In the middle of the crowd it’s easy to perceive many people really sealed and tied in life-style boxes, always busy for unuseful conquests.
Some of LIUBA poems which are part of the project:
Ascolto il brusìo del traffico e spio
le mille vite danzanti
che annaspano sugli oggetti
il vuoto e la morte
dal volto incartapecorito
di chi crede
di essere arrivato
Guardo gli occhi inespressivi
corpi come impalcature
che si assimilano ai palazzi
gli orgogli falsi di chi arriva
e il trionfo di chi c’è già.
gusci di granchio
dove succhiata è ogni polpa
ragnatele sul niente che corrono
soddisfatte di sè.
Annuso gli angoli dei loro
annuso i ritmi dei loro
e una pista di morte
la vita è sparita
nel pieno della festa.
Dove andate povere anime
Dove andate povere anime
Rinchiuse negli ospedali
Dei vostri scaffali ordinati
Costruiti in fila
Da dove non potete
Uscire se non dai sensi
Unici in precedenza
Dove andate tra un vicolo e l’altro
Della ragnatela di plastica appiccicata al vostro cervello?
Sperate che venga un terremoto
Povere anime poco pulsanti
Che distrugga le vostre sicurezze di carta
Sudari di umanità
Intasano le strade
In eterno movimento
E in caduca sfioritura.
Sudari di umanità
Intasano le città
Spolpati come granchi
Sui gusci della vita.
The series of paintings, all on canvas, size 50 x 50cm, is made with collages of acetates taken from the artist’s performance pieces, collages of various materials, fragments of the artist’s poems, letters painted by hand with acrylic colours.
“The project “The Winning mummies” has a multimedia character within which different media – a live performance realized in the middle of a city center, a videoinstallation, paintings, poems – come together involving the audience and establishing a relationship of active complicity.
The “winning mummies” evoked by the artist in several ways are those whose alleged victory is based on the closure in themselves ignoring others, tragic comedians of a story that reduces man to a mannequin..
Le mummie vincenti (The winning Mummies), 1999, Italy, colours, 8’55” ed. 1+ 1ap, Master: VHS, PAL (riversamento digitale da VHS014b)
The video taken from this performance art piece is my ‘first’ video work.
The piece was my first urban interactive performance and led me to collect the footage to capture the reactions of the audience and of the context. .
My previous performances of the 90s were intended for an audience, and the footage I have of those works is pure documentation, while it is since The Winning Mummies project that I have developed performative projects in ‘real’ life contexts for which the video they originated it is the elaboration and the continuation of the work, and it is an artwork itself.
I edited this first video in collaboration with Francesco Leprino (who also did the shooting), and the master was on VHS, of which I keep the ONLY existing COPY in my archive.
I recently reversed the VHS cassette into digital file and now I am proud to show you an excerpts of this first and now historic (at least for me!) video.
For video works:
Via Volturno 41, 20124 Milano – Italyinfo@visualcontainer.org
© Liuba 2015. All rights reserved
Dedicated to Rossana and Gianni, with gratitude and love