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Katia Tirado: Parody Paradise

Katia Tirado: Parody Paradise

In Parody Paradise, Katia Tirado uses the idea of the Roman coliseum to subverting an iconic architecture in which tragedy is consumed, desire is delocalized, and our predatory nature is controlled and administered by the power of necropolitics. She will build an “architecture of the flesh” where these relationships are reversed. The amphitheater created by the nichos pubicós will accommodate lively action involving a "toro mecánico,” or mechanical bull, a familiar amusement at bars family parties, particularly along both sides of the US/Mexico border. The artist will place sex toys in specific areas of the machine to an original sound track that gathers testimonies of people and organizations that are looking for missing persons in Mexico. After approximately 20 minutes, once this action is completed, those present will be invited to participate. The total duration of the performance is open and depends on the participation of the audience.

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Parody Paradise extends from Katia Tirado’s Exhivilización/Las perras en celo (the bitch is in heat), a performance from the 1990s (which is included in the Armory’s current exhibition). The work presents an opportunity to focus on and expand the “nichos pubicós,” an under-represented element of Exhivilicazión, on an unprecedented scale in a piece that bridges past and future. Subverting lucha libre’s customary machismo, ​Exhivilización/Las perras en cello involved two punked-out luchadoras on all fours connected by a series of chords and tubing that forced them to move in the same direction. The goal was to arrive at each of the large phalluses erected in the four corners of the wrestling ring in which the performance took place, and ignite them – setting off fireworks representing luminous orgasms, at which point a street singer was placed onto the backs of the still-kneeling performers and belted popular, melodramatic ballads. The reward of Exhivilicazion's successful climax points to the violence and struggle beneath; quite literally, the romantic fixation on normative pleasures frames the body as the point at which to develop critique. In addition to contemporary references such as punk and lucha libre, Exhivilicazión contains notable pre-Hispanic ​references, including the deity Coatlicue, the two-headed Nahuatl goddess who embodies birth and death, life and war, and moon and stars.

“If in the beginning of time the theater was a spontaneous manifestation rather than a premeditated act, a ritual action that invoked certain supernatural forces to give voice to myths, today we see that the Dionysian continues to assert itself only in certain random and underground phenomena like the performance and actionism. Just look at other spectacular events – the circus, the coliseum, the rave party – all come from the same origin, ritual reunions in celebration of a sacrifice. This Dionysian origin is very much related to the ceremonial practices of the scapegoat, where an animal sacrificed itself to atone for the ills of a social circle. In this sense, the rave party continues to this day fulfilling certain cathartic functions that reconcile the human being with its predatory nature, for a moment. The question that arises now is: who is the sacrificed within the spectacular space, where the two opposing forces become one and where (as Guy Debord said) the passive identification with the show supplants the genuine activity? As Debord predicted in 1967, this is a social practice that favors "the decline of being in having, and of having in a simple opinion” – a present where “the merchandise completes its colonization of social life.” — Katia Tirado

Presented as part of the Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA, organized by REDCAT and supported by a major grant from the Getty Foundation. Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

Image courtesy Katia Tirado.



Sunday, January 14, 2018
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Armory Center for the Arts
145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103