Antonieta Sosa, Pereza, 1985
Antonieta Sosa

Born in New York in 1940, the Venezuelan performance artist Antonieta Sosa’s education was trans-disciplinary: she practiced ballet, attended art classes at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas Cristóbal Rojas in Caracas, studied psychology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and graduated from UCLA’s Department of Visual Arts. After returning to Venezuela in the early 1970s, she founded the Contradanza Group. Reflecting on one of her first key performances, she once articulated important poetic and political concerns of performance art and feminist practices: “Sometimes it’s necessary to make a break in order to be able to continue moving forward. To break with prejudices, to break with habits, to break with the limitations that we impose on ourselves, or that fear imposes on us, to break away from our own limits. When we break, an energy is generated.” Later in the 1990s, Sosa created a personal measuring system based on her own body – the anto [a contraction of her name], which is equivalent to her height of 5 feet 4 inches: “The idea is to measure the world with a female body.”

Pereza (Laziness, or Sloth) is the second part of a performance entitled Del cuerpo vazio (Of the Empty Body). In this piece, inspired by the movements of a sloth, Antonieta Sosa moves slowly with great intensity on a scaffold installed in a gallery, where several of her abstract geometric paintings from the 1960s are exhibited. The juxtaposition of graphic lines (in the paintings), actual lines (in the scaffold) and Sosa’s moves and sounds denotes her interest in creating a dialogue between an abstract-constructivist heritage (so influential in Venezuelan art) and her performative/organic search. EF

Courtesy Antonieta Sosa


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abstraction, body object relation, painting/drawing