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Transforming experience

Thursday, 10 April 2014 18:17 Written by Josefína Alcazar

In her actions, Lorena Orozco (Mexico, 1967) reflects on fear and courage, fragility and strength, destruction and construction, the desire for transformation and the difficulties this entails. Thus, she aims for viewers to see themselves in her actions. She establishes a dialogue with them in order to elicit an echo from them. In her piece Crossing the Line, from 2000, she used the instrumental music from La Vie en Rose as a contrast as she walked through a space blocked by large tree trunks inscribed with the text “I DECEIVE MYSELF, FEAR OF FEAR AND LIFE STRETCHES TO INFINITY”. In this action, Lorena seeks to confront the traditional conceptions of male and female. Working with a chainsaw and a forklift truck, she forces the audience to see a woman as a subject transforming her environment, not only in terms of her sexual and reproductive abilities.

In several of her pieces, Orozco has used electrical tools such as saws, drills or chainsaws. She considers that the concept of “female” – as a male construct – can be questioned by using tools usually employed by men.

Orozco confesses that her actions trigger contrasting emotions. On one hand, she becomes deeply involved in her pieces, interacts with the subject, works with the objects she incorporates and attempts to clarify her aims Each piece leads her to reconsider the prevailing ideas regarding success and failure, as she believes that it is far more interesting and proactive to view life processes based on experience. She therefore perceives her work as a phenomenon in constant change and movement.

On the other hand, she declares that performance has reached the darkest facets of her personality. From that point of view, they become more intense experiences as she works with the deepest parts of her being, with the psychological and emotional state. As a result, more than once upon finishing a piece she has felt completely open, causing her to “burst into tears.”

Orozco considers that the driving force of her work is the human being, its development and capacity for transformation. Thus, her activity entails the quest for freedom, understood as individual understanding involving empathy with others.

Sources: Source: Documentary series by Performance Women in Action, Josefina Alcázar (compiler), 2006.
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