project image
Doris Steinbichler

first performed on June 08, 2020
rooftop of the artist's studio, a multi- family housing in México City
performed once in 2020


Austria, Vienna / Mexico, Mexico City


“Cuerpo-Anticuerpo“ (Body-Antibody) was created for the second phase of the video performance cycle #confinamento (confinement), held by the performance platform perfoREDmx as an online festival.

The first image is of one of the busiest city avenues with unusually low traffic seen from above a rooftop terrace. Then a hand comes into the field of vision with a Corona beer bottle and you can read clearly: “Corona Extra - the finest beer.” I walk into the area where the camera is recording, beer in hand, and start pouring the beer over my head, bending slightly over, a gesture as if I’m washing my hair. With one hand I’m pouring the beer, with the other I’m scraping my scalp, distributing the beer evenly. When the bottle is empty, I take my glasses off and perform head banging movements, shaking off the excess beer. Then I grab an electric hair trimmer from the floor, switch it on, and cut my beer soaked front hair with six strokes. I shake the excess hair off the trimmer and hold it straight into the camera. The image freezes, and a second view onto the semi-busy avenue fades in. This time with a lego-crocodile mounted in the center shot. It looks as if all the cars on the street sort of come straight out of its open mouth. The closing scene consists of me emptying another Corona beer over the toy crocodile and leaving it dripping. Altogether, the video is 1:40 min long.

With this piece, I voice my existential necessity to believe in a cure, a protection from the virus, from the pandemic of 2020. The golden glowing Corona beer stands at the same time for an immunity-giving liquid in a bathing ritual and as a weapon to curse the virus, personified as a toy lego-crocodile.

We are body-based beings and the pandemic has revealed our utter dependency on a healthy body. In Covid-19 times, having antibodies is a matter of survival. But at the same time the word itself makes me wonder about a contradictory double-meaning: the positively associated medical antibody and the theoretical concept of a non-existing body. “Body-Antibody” in the sense of Matter-Antimatter. Thus, I’m left with the central question: Where and what is the antibody of the performance-body?