Winter 2023 In Dance

artisans in Venezuela and their pro- cess for the fabrication of chinchor- ros (hammocks), and tapetes (mats). I noticed both the Wayuu people of Venezuela and flamenco artists val- ued these artisanal works. I took this premise as an initial research task to understand flamenco through my own experiences as a Latina immigrant artist. Something about connecting to tradition from a clean perspective, as my emerging identity continues to transform and adapt to new settings, continues to be very present within my practice. How to connect to flamenco from

Theater in Vacaville this February. The installation and the interactions in and through its threads will become the focal point of the entire production. Performers will activate the work’s transformation throughout the evening, and audiences will have the opportu- nity to be part of its evolution–creating their mark, which will then be trans- lated into the next set of paintings. The stage becomes a setting for interactive art, and the installation becomes an ephemeral kinetic sculpture of sorts. The work intends to highlight Latina immigrant’s stories through the trans- formation of the installation and the repositioning of ourselves as Latinas within the context of flamenco art and music. There is a clear focus in connect- ing back to materials in their primitive state, to strip our relationship to any preconceived notions of tradition. We are building ourselves from the ground up. As immigrant artists we find our- selves in constant adaptation, starting a new life, establishing connections in our communities, always looking to find a way to belong in the midst of an ever changing relationship to tradition. MarkMe On Stage premiers at Journey Downtown Theater in Vacaville, CA, February 4, 2023 at 7:00pm - Tick- ets available online; MarkMe On Stage is supported by a CA$H grant from Dancer’s Group, The Cultural Growth fund by On Stage Vacaville, and Jour- ney Downtown. ANGELA ARTERITANO is a Venezuelan Ameri- can multidisciplinary artist, choreographer, and researcher, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art and a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography. Her work deals with issues of migration and identity. Her work has been recognized and supported by various non-profit organizations including the 2021 Cultura Power Grant Awardee by MACLA; the Studio 210 Summer Residency (2021); and CA$H grant (2022). Her film Markme has been broadly recognized and awarded by film festivals around the world, including the recognition of Best First Time Director by the Vesuvius International Film Festival in Campania, Italy, Honorary Mention at the London International Monthly Film Festival, and Semi-finalist for Best Women Empowerment Short at the Paris International Short Festival.

conditioned to tradition. The threads became a support for her to hold her- self within that process, to free herself from those conventions and re-entangle herself into tradition with a completely rejuvenated dominance over traditional structures. It didn’t surprise me that the installation became this support system for her in the same way the community of migrant women became a support to me when I built it. Once more, I felt the need to expose these stories, as if they were shouting at me to be included in the conversation. During the development of the film, we talked about ways to include these migrant women’s voices somehow in the work. We researched gestures and movement qualities inspired by key concepts in the conversations: free- dom, acceptance, and belonging. This was just the beginning of a massive conceptual framework, and we under- stood from these early stages that the work had so much in store that needed to be developed. THE PAINTINGS The aim of the multidisciplinary project was to work at the intersection of art and performance, to generate value in performance art, and to create a sense of ephemerality through visual art. I wanted to create a project where both visual art and performance art needed to coexist to be fully understood. My paintings emerged as visual doc- umentation of climax moments of performance in the film. Every knot created in the installation during the shooting of the film itself was trans- lated into painting and further trans- formed by a creative response. Fol- lowing the original form that emerged from this translation, I allowed my body to react in response to the recall from the experiences in the film, as well as the stimulus given by the form itself. The resolution of movement that had been finalized with the knot as the mark of that experience left in the installation now had a way to be relived within painting. As soon as the knot covered in paint touches the

Shortly, I understood the greater purpose of this piece was reestab- lishing connections. Some of the themes that began emerging: com- munity as support in the migrant process; resolving and giving closure to unfinished businesses when emi- grating; making visible the invisible of our stories as immigrant women; connecting to our newer communi- ties; and allowing our identities to transform to find belonging. These concepts became evident among con- versations as if the entire women migrant community was trying to shout and this work was meant


my own experience as a Latina in exile, as a multidisciplinary artist, as a filmmaker? How to find a true reinterpretation of these traditional elements from a very genuine con- nection to their original raw materi- als, fiber, wood, metal without being a prisoner of their traditional struc- tures, uses and demands? I began the process of fabrication. Initially I thought the conversations with the migrant women would hap- pen in parallel to its construction, in and out of the process, without nec- essarily being an active element in the actual construction. The labor and the monotony of the fabrica- tion became quickly unbearable. My body was straining so much in the process that my conversations with these women became almost a neces- sity to break some of the monotony of the process, and to begin under- standing the deeper purpose that this work had in store for me and the community I was creating. Soon I had some of these women helping me physically cut the threads. Others were videoconferencing in from var- ious parts of the world, calling me, texting me.

to create an opportunity for these important concepts to be discussed, exposed, and performed in our com- munities at large. As the work emerged, its pres- ence began signifying an incredi- ble responsibility. I felt as if I could visually reference so many incredi- ble stories, each thread had so much energy and power. My body couldn’t carry so much and give these sto- ries enough justice. I knew then that the work was meant to be interac- tive. I wanted the greater commu- nity to find their own connections to the installation. Our artistic leg- acy as Venezuelans in exile had been completely displaced and dispersed, and I have an immediate need to give these migrant communities a chance to be part of this legacy. As well as to allow our newer surrounding com- munities to understand our stories and their important part in it. THE FILM In the film Markme the prototype of the installation was built. Mar- iana Martinez, my collaborating dancer, had to go through a process of deconstruction within her own body

wood panel there is immediate trans- formation. This becomes a clear inter- pretation of the Latina immigrant iden- tity and how it continues to transform as it relates to new environments in the process of migration. These painting collections continue transforming every time the project gets to be presented. The second instal- lation, created at MACLA Gallery as part of the exhibition “On Traditions and Repetition”, now carries hun- dreds of knots created by community members that encountered the work

over time. These will get individually translated into paintings for the next show, exhibition, performance. MARKME ON STAGE The final phase of this multidisci- plinary project intends to showcase every aspect of the work within a live music and dance production on stage. The work began in film, continued into the gallery, and now finds its way into the theater. The third and biggest installation yet will be on stage at Journey Downtown


in dance WINTER 2023 52

WINTER 2023 in dance 53

In Dance | May 2014 |

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