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CAROLINA BONFIM 90 Movements on TECHNOGYM G6508D. PROBLEMATICS. Artists in the Incomplete Story

CAROLINA BONFIM 90 Movements on TECHNOGYM G6508D. PROBLEMATICS. Artists in the Incomplete Story


20 January 2017 - 2 April 2017
Annex [main hall]
Tuesday to Saturday (including bank holidays) from 11am to 2:30pm and from 5pm to 9pm / Sunday, from 11am to 2:30pm
MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo with the collaboration of Unidade de Igualdade, Universidade de Vigo
Chus Martínez Domínguez

On the occasion of the opening day, Friday January 20 at 7:30pm, an open meet-and-greet with the audience will be led by the artist Carolina Bonfim and the curator Chus Martínez Domínguez. Following this meeting, the artist will perform the piece at the exhibition space, starting at 8pm.

Artists in the Incomplete Story

Programme of exhibitions curated by Chus Martínez Domínguez

Starting April 29, a new programme of exhibitions is housed in the Annex at MARCO, a space transformed into a project room in 2015. Faithful to the MARCO trademark programming style, this new line highlights MARCO's self-produced projects, both regarding site-specific works and cycles of exhibitions in which a single curator organises a year-long programme of exhibitions. All along 2016, art critic and curator Chus Martínez Domínguez presents the programme ‘PROBLEMATICS. Artists in the Incomplete Story’.

Taking as a starting point the problematic realities and circumstances which arise from the interaction between women artists and the art system, the programme here poses different questions regarding artistic theory and practice. Through four site-specific proposals the cycle materializes research, concepts, and poetics surrounding the works of each woman’s proposal.

Proposals by creators of different generations and genres ranging from visual arts to architecture or audio visual art — Mónica Cabo (Oviedo, Spain, 1978), Pascuala Campos de Michelena/Ana Gallego Palacios (Jaén, Spain, 1938/Cáceres, Spain, 1975), Xisela Franco (Vigo, Spain, 1978) and Carolina Bonfim (São Paulo, Brasil, 1982) — conform this exhibition programme of intertwined stories about representation, identity, politics and territory from a perspective which is filled with criticism, humour, subversion and memory. These are just a few questions of an extended discourse about the work by women artists, which always seems to be disposed or imposed in an incomplete stage, under construction and re-vindication.

The Annex at MARCO becomes the perfect metaphor of the spaces women artists are so familiar with: working in the margins, in resistance, in the hidden corners of the system. However, this project wants to rephrase the questions and insist on those places, to transform them into stories scripted by the artists themselves, using them as an opportunity to propose new realities by reacting against circumstances which limit, condition, and debilitate. Transversal thoughts in the form of actions; a present in which the question of genre is still taken as problematic.

Programming and calendar

Mónica Cabo
29 April – 26 June 2016

Pascuala Campos de Michelena/Ana Gallego Palacios
8 July – 11 September 2016

Xisela Franco
23 September 2016 – 8 January 2017

Carolina Bonfim
20 January – 2 April 2017 

Information and visits

The museum staff welcomes queries from visitors regarding the exhibition and offers the usual guided tours:

Daily tours at 6:00pm
À la carte group tours, by appointment only. For bookings, call +34 986 113900


Carolina Bonfim

Carolina Bonfim
(São Paulo, Brasil, 1982) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. Her work revolves around the codes that govern gestures and the possibilities of representing the body, in questioning the gaze and presence thereof. Interpersonal relationships, voyeurism, alterity and the relationship with the audience are recurring topics, formalised in installations, performances, photographs, dances and videos.

Among the venues of the last few years are CNDC (Angers, France), Lugar a dudas (Cali, Colombia), Galería A Gentil Carioca (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Arts Santa Mònica (Barcelona, Spain), Fundació Miró (Barcelona, Spain), Centre d’art contemporani Fabra i Coats (Barcelona, Spain) and Can Xalant (Mataró, Spain). She is now a PhD student in Visual Arts at École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels La Cambre and Université Libre, Brussels.

Curatorial text

Carolina Bonfim (São Paulo, Brazil, 1982) explains herself with clarity. Subtle and direct, she rummages through what happens around her, what she can observe at close quarters, that which affects her. She questions the “normality of everyday activities” from variables which touch on the relationship of the gaze on a body which is not one's own, from the quantity of closed possibilities in this binomial: absence and presence, gestures, interpersonal relations, communication with audiences or voyeurism, among others. When she settled in Spain six years ago, her performative practice gradually veered towards a position with regard to the other, revolving around concepts such as otherness and appropriationism, with works that adhered to an active observation of the the study of gestures, movements, affection and rhythms contextualised in physical actions, inconsequential owing to their obvious, mechanical assimilation: in the action Here, Please (2012) she faithfully reproduced the movements of certain choreographs related with pop culture; in Remake of Movements in Night Clubs (2012) she would observe dance moves in Moog, a club in Barcelona, then reproduce them mimetically as a dialogue with other individuals; Corazón 190 (2013) was conceived so that a sole spectator-participant could receive instructions from the artist, which whom communication was remote, via a mobile phone; en Balmes 88 (2014) she implemented a performance in what had at one time been an after-hours club and which had been transformed into the Cyan art gallery.

In the specific work for the Annex space, titled 90 movements on a TECHNOGYM G6508D, the artist once again places herself in another's skin to explore what is unique and special in each body, moving within the margins of the biological and the cultural, having assumed the heterogeneity of physicality in a time of miscegenation and diversity. For this study, the artist selects the gym as a privileged setting for addressing the corporeal; set in an imaginary of needs and desires, of anticipation and sacrifices for the attainment of certain aesthetic goals. A sort of showcase, or shop window, where the physical is exhibited by blending sanctity and fetishism. Over a period of 90 days, while running on a TECHNOGYM G6508D treadmill, Carolina Bonfim observed the way in which other bodies were running before her eyes, thus, embarking on learning process based on the imitation of those movements, which were subsequently incorporated and interpreted by her own body. Specific physical forms which she reworks and records on different media. In the exhibition space, a video shows the artist reproducing the 90 dynamics performed by those bodies under study. Through this performative action, Bonfim's complexion is temporarily transformed, linked to the gesture she acts or performs a role, many roles, attempting to distinguish what is unique and singular in these gestures. She disguises herself as if she were a participant in some sort of game, or even parody, to exorcise that which intimidates and violates her, such a political, affected, impressionable and changeable corporeality.

In the images we find emotions: humour and unease, discipline and randomness. There is also shadow of a certain dystopian notion hangs over the representation of the artist as an anti-heroine, alienated from the ideal model, the theatrical effect of which traces an imperfect, even absurd, image through the systematic repetition of exercise, running always in the same place, with no room for progress, locked in the paradox that the act of performing projects a body that performs on a daily basis. Thus, the corporeal space is broken down into detailed drawings of each one of the exercises performed in order to form collages, which she presents in five groups of photographs dealing with each part of the anatomy. Finally, the she provides spectators with a compendium of sheets with information on the peculiarity of each body observed and on each routine, with a description of the execution of the movement similar to that given by the standardised instructions for “ideal” movements. The common thread of these works is that of showing corporeality as a diversiform file, transforming the artist into a sort of mapping of experiences, contaminated by anonymous, foreign bodies.

The body, its centrality in the contemporary social life and intellectual setting, remains under scrutiny in this work by Carolina Bonfim, offering new materials with which to continue researching into how corporeality and subjectivity can be devised, manipulated, transmitted and experienced, in this system of problematic creations and relationships.

Chus Martínez Domínguez

Artist's text

“On 13 May 2016, at18:32, I started running on the TECHNOGYM G6508D treadmill. I spent 90 days running on that treadmill, and from an active observation, I studied the bodies running before my eyes.

The choice of undertaking this study in the gym was not a random one. The gym is the quintessential space devoted to corporeality, where the body/subject is in constant moment, who performs to carry on performing, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Its architecture is conceived as a showcase for bodies, where many there deposit the procurement of meaning through the practice of corporal movement. How can the body and subjectivity be thought of, manipulated, transmitted and experienced through physical activity?

My aim in this study was to focus on the action of "running" and take it to the extreme: to break it down, file it, incorporate it, to show what is unique and characteristic in each way of moving. From within my own body I lived and experienced 90 ways of running. Every day I would select a body and the dynamics of this work was a blend of embodiment-behaviour-setting. For each body, the same script: I incorporated each movement in situ, on the treadmill, and later, outside the gym, I would repeat it a number of times. As a methodology for capturing movement, I resorted to a number of different techniques (photography, text, video and collages), thus creating scores, diagrams, fact sheets and details on each of the bodies observed. The result is a file on the "running style" of stranger's bodies in the gym.

This project is the continuation of a line of work that I have been developing since 2010, and which has to do with the study of actions we regard as trivial; i.e., walking, marching, swimming, running, drinking, looking, dancing, sitting and moving about, among others. Even though we perform them as ‘natural’ physical or mechanical acts, they are in fact the result of the cultural dimension of which the individual forms part, and the learning thereof is based particularly on imitation. Each body represents a particular symbolic system, a linguistic structure which ‘speaks’ and reveals an infinite amount of information through its gestures.

I seek to experience the gestures of the Other in my body from my subjectivity, to extend my own corporal repertoire, and to keep the capability of having a mestizo, plural body active”.

Carolina Bonfim


Chus Martínez Domínguez

Graduate in Art History by the University of Santiago de Compostela, Chus Martínez Domínguez (Tui, 1976) is an expert in contemporary visual arts. She is an acclaimed art critic and a regular contributor to Babelia, the cultural magazine of the newspaper El País and the magazine Tempos Novos an also to other Galician and Spanish specialized publications such as ArtNotes, Arte y Parte and Artecontexto. She has written texts and researches on contemporary artistic creation and women in the art system and taken part in various research programs, catalogues and essays. She has worked for public and private institutions such as Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Consello da Cultura Galega, Museo Barjola, Gijón, Deputación de Ourense, Deputación de Lugo, University of Vigo, University of Santiago and University of A Coruña. Clear examples of her work as curator are exhibitions at CGAC, Auditorio de Galicia, Sala Alterarte and Casa da Parra, among others. Deserves special mention her work as coordinator at (CGAC, 2008), a ground-breaking website dedicated to Galician artists, and also her work as editor of the homonymous the publication resulting from this project. She has been a member of the area of Creation and Modern Visual Arts of the Council for Galician Culture since 2012.