LA PIEZA DEL ESCÁNDALO (THE SCANDALOUS PIECE)
I underwent cosmetic surgery the day before my performance piece. Two pieces of skin, tissue, and flesh were extracted from my scalp. The next day I performed in post-operative state.
On a table, I placed a plate adorned with two small white orchids, together with crystal bottles, stainless steel cases, scissors and scalpels, fork and knife, and a glass of wine. Facing a motionless crowd, I presented the two pieces of flesh extracted from my head the day before on the plate, seasoned them and brought them to my mouth. Once the intake was complete, I offered the remaining piece to those present. Two of them accepted the offering without saying a word. I left the room. The public swarmed on the table to see the remains of the banquet.
Cannibalism is one of the prohibitions on which modern culture is structured. During Christian mass, the Eucharist is a metaphor for anthropophagy. “Take, eat; this is my body,” Jesus said at the Last Supper, and every priest, at every service, in every church around the world continues to repeat this line to this day. From this foundational ritual’s perspective, it’s not strange to think of capitalism as a cannibal system that secretly articulates Western and Christian social dynamics.
The political climate that framed my performance could not have been more pertinent. That afternoon, in almost every city in Argentina, the streets where gridlocked with protests against the government’s education budget cuts, in a context of economic and social crisis. Outside the Casa Victoria Ocampo, in the most elegant and upscale neighborhood in the city, a persistent rain fell while the country burst into flames. Inside the venue, the public silently took part in an ancestral ritual.