With a career spanning several decades of practice and exchanges under her belt, Maria José Arjona uses durational performance to explore a body suspended on the brink of the abyss in an affirmative way. Her repertoire of gestures is part of a large archive that is always moving and changing, often influenced by the history of performance, but always alive. An archive that is renewed with each action, each substance, each journey, each organism, each human or non-human being. In her work, duration—that is, the time of the performance—becomes the time of the artist’s body. And this time runs through everything. In the same way, life runs through matter, it overspills the boundaries of choreography and of any heterodox vision of reality, it overspills conventional ways of being in the art institution.
In her journeys and her early morning walks, things find her. Then, they sometimes become oracles, infinite translations of other things, signs of a time to come. And in her becoming-animal, to borrow from Deleuze, Arjona recognises herself in a pack of wolves, in the mutualism of crows, and in the migratory eagles that travel with her, north to south and south to north, finding her, again and again, in her projects. Often to protect her, sometimes as symbols with which to elude boundaries and fixed identities.
In this podcast, Maria José Arjona looks forward and back, mapping out an invisible chart of processes, actions, and desires, connecting her solo work and her need collapse the politics of time with other artists, by subverting institutional time: What happens to a performance and a performer if their work involves spending eight hours in a museum?