project image
Robalt Foto. © Verónica Peña 2019

first performed on July 12, 2019
Museo C.A.V. La Neomudéjar, Madrid, Spain
performed once in 2019


New York, NY / Lafayette, IN


“Carried Bodies: La Máquina Dormida” belongs to a series of visual art performances that explores sudden encounters, imposed limitations, resistance, and the search for liberation. Inspired by the healing process of an injury, “Carried Bodies: La Máquina Dormida” is a durational performance focused on the body’s ability to self-repair, and the search for control over our own bodies and lives. Departing from the act of sleeping as a time for detoxification and healing, the performance proposes a series of actions through which the performer metamorphoses in front of the audience. Using knowledge acquired from the fields of physical therapy and molecular gastronomy, the performance offers a process of curative transformation; from being trapped in breaking ligaments and the ugliness of self-inflicted pain, I progressively give way to the bathing calm of beauty and liberation.

Materials used in the performance:

  • nakedness

  • silence

  • slack thread

  • “substance”

  • black-colored sugar

  • container with sprayer

  • four lab flasks

  • lateral light from the floor

  • lipstick


1 - Ligaments. Naked, and using strong black thread, I become “ugly.” I tie the thread around my head, abruptly distorting my face. I bond my neck to my wrist, my wrist to my knee, my knee to my teeth, … I become an animal trapped, my body constrained in breaking ligaments, self-inflicted pain, and mechanical movements.

2 - Algae Chandelier. Pain is replaced by content calm. I progressively cover my deformed body with “the substance,” a translucent material that goes from liquid to solid in front of the eyes of the audience. The coagulating material covers my eyelids, hangs from the threads that tie my extremities, my skin becomes shiny, I am a chandelier, light, my body in tension, and content in its cure.

3 - Liberation. With harmonious audible struggle, in an exercise of empowerment and freedom, I break the threads, and remove the curative material from my body. The performance ends.