María Teresa Hincapié, Una cosa es una cosa, 1990
María Teresa Hincapié
Una cosa es una cosa

María Teresa Hincapié (*1956 †2008, Colombia) started her artistic career in the theatre as an actor. During the mid-1980s she shifted her attention to performance art and started investi- gating non-representational psychophysical practices; moreover, she embraced life as an artistic practice. Hincapié, as other Colombian creators at that time, was mobilized by Colombia’s extreme socio-political situation. The murder by drug cartels in 1982 of the Minister of Justice at the time, Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, was a major event in a long history of violence involving governmental forces, drug trafficking syndicates, guerrilla groups, paramilitary forces and civilians. Hincapié used her body to respond to and resist a state of acute violence. The relevance of her foundational performance art work in Colombia compelled us to expand the re.act.feminism archive’s timeframe to include two of her pieces from 1990.

In Una cosa es una cosa (A thing is a thing), Hincapié made and unmade series of labyrinth-like concentric squares on a gallery floor using dozens of her own domestic objects (kitchen utensils, cleaning supplies, beauty supplies, bed sheets...). For 12 hours, 18 days in a row, in a careful and slow ceremonial way, she combined prosaic and singular gestures, materiality and ephemerality, everyday- ness and ritual, gender and artistic issues. For this work, Hincapié was awarded the first prize dedicated to performance art in Colombia at the XXXIII Salón Nacional de Artistas. EF

Courtesy Galeria Casas Riegner, Bogotá – Colombia

Document media
Video, colour, sound, 30:11 min

Issue date

housework/carework, beauty, ritual, body object relation