María Cañas: I’ll Be Your Mirror

It is obvious we live in a world inundated by images. It is common that people speak in these terms, as well as discourses at the bar on the internet, youtube, and overinformation, and apocalyptic small-minded thinking. But what do you really feel when affected by the archiving disease? What happens when all these questions really possess the individual, to an almost vampirizing point? María Cañas can answer those questions, through a work in which all the excess, madness and the grotesque of society is absorbed, phagocytosed and then transformed with an incredible critical and humorous vision as a tremendous open hand slap.

María Cañas calls “laughstance” to what she does through her videoguerrillas (she invented both terms), a sincere and visceral work that arises from a need to deal with the world as it is presented. On the one hand, it is about managing her own relationship with this image overload: she speaks freely of the compulsive consumption of images, and of the hours, days, and weeks that she spends immersed and lost in the narrow paths of archives and viewing platforms. On the other hand, it is a face-to-face approach to apocalypse feeling it really imminent, and trying to weather the storm (more than storm, tsunami) through the creation and recycling of images.

All this filtered by a special sensitivity that sees in what is terrifying, dysfunctional and dark the most sublime beauty, and by a courage to raise the voice and express to the world without falsehood what is thought, despite everything. From Holy Week in Seville to telepredicators, bullfights or television madness, Cañas’ work is a tour de force for the archive, montages full of images each one more alarming than the other, the final call to see us in a deforming and terrifying mirror and, after doing so, burst out laughing at the reflected horror. A work and a place in the world that she explains better than anyone, in a script in syntony and total parallelism with her audiovisual work: “María Cañas is the Archivist of Seville, The Terrorist Virgin of the Archive, attracting catastrophes and video addict. Pyromaniac of minds. Drown fears and sorrows. María Coñas to serve you. She practices “laughstance”: the humor of all colors, the game and videoguerrilla of connected multitudes, as strategy of insurgency or, at least, of resistance and / or popular survival. A committed activation to the idea of ​​culture as a collective construction of the organic archive and audiovisual detritus as cultural development tools, and with the need to educate in agitation and recycling of our imaginary, so that we would become freer, more critical and creative.”

In this edition of (S8), we will have the opportunity to see several sides of her work. On the one hand, through some of her most recent videoguerrillas. La mano que trina is about the place mobile phones have in our lives, where she shows a black picture of a possible future. Cumbia Against the Machine returns to Expo 92, and to the images of that time to offer a vision of how Spain became a herd of zombies obsessed with the immoral waste and the false promise of progress of the event. And, finally, EXPO LIO goes back to the conquest and plunder of America, to speak of the crossing cultures and the clash of civilizations.

On the other hand, her video installation Risas en la oscuridad represents another of her sides, more relaxing and beautiful, in a piece to three channels composed “exclusively by women: witches, vampires, warriors, innocent and evil, women “bigger than life” who show their power by instituting disorder and revolt through an endless cascade of wild laughter, illuminating the darkness, the supposed death of cinema and literature, with their laughing creative energy. The bad woman, the femme fatale as a cliché of the cinema, “women who do not try to please and serve, nor wait for the moment of motherhood or the return of the male to home. They are goddesses, succubi, giants, women of light and fire, coming from mythology, cinema or the street. Strong, self-sufficient and free, or sometimes, desperate women who rebel against the established. They are women who self-exorcise, who burn in a catharsis of fire.”

Finally, we will also host one of her master classes, a truly performance event. An immersion discussed in her creative universe, a guided tour along the paths that lead to her endless list of references and personal fixations, which in this occasion, under the title “A League of Their Own” proposes “an activating game in which to laugh, to engineer and to get scared of this mondo cane, halfway among the audiovisual show, the cultural agitation, the commented projection and the pataphysical performance action. An experimental meeting inspired by videoguerrilla, appropriationism, fake, “videomaquia”, and the postgeneric, dirt, martian and postmarian video remix hand in hand with (or tail in tail) The Archivist of Seville, María Cañas, and the connected participants. In this party we invite the attendees to enjoy an audiovisual tour prepared by Cañas in which we will shake the images and suspect them. It will also be the moment to know more about processes of appropriationist audiovisual creation and to deal with infinite subjects related to new film narratives after Internet, life, death…

Welcome to the terrifying, marvelous, overwhelming and amusing world of María Cañas.
AulaCREA María Cañas. Today Thursday, June 1 at 12:30 p.m. In the Press Room of Afundación.
Risas en la oscuridad and recent videoguerrillas. From May 30 to June 14 at Luis Seoane Foundation.

Be Sociable, Share!