project image
Jorge Z. Lopez

first performed on February 08, 2020
La Feria de la Accion
performed twice in 2020


Sound by Fausto Palma

Brooklyn, NY & Mexico City, Mexico


To quote media theorist Franco Berardi, “Having been thrown into an environment of purely functional impulses, the agent of language has undergone a sensorial deprivation, a psychical impoverishment of affective reactivity. Grown in a digital environment, accustomed to react to discreet changes of states of a numerical nature, the individual tends to lose sensitivity to existential nuances and to the ambiguity of conjunctive communication. So the experience of the erotic body turns precarious and often painful.” “Trabajo de Sombra” takes this idea as its starting point.

“Trabajo de Sombra” (Shadow Work) was performed for a live audience of 150+ as part of La Feria de la Acción in Mexico City. The live performance utilized choreographed movements that relate to sacred geometry as well as improvised actions on the part of each performer. The sculptural objects, which were fitted over the mouth area of the face and extended 4’ into space, acted as material extensions of the voice signifying each participant’s embodied relationship to their native tongue and cultural reference points. Blindfolded and with only the live score of Mexican composer Fausto Palma to indicate spatial proximity, Quinones and Rooney engaged in an immersive experience dictated by shadow and touch as a means of excavating/understanding/discovering knowledge about the constitution of self and other.

Through this process of collaboration and dialogue, “Trabajo de Sombra” highlights the slippage between our sense of cultural memory, social connection(s) and linguistic and bodily understanding. The product of four+ years of collaboration between artists Kara Rooney and Nestor Quiñones, the project continues to act as an exercise in complementary forces that asks: What culturally, politically, personally, has brought us here? How does one situate themselves in the world and how does language—in relation to gender, race, class, the body, memory—determine the ways in which others place us in that world? What are the possibilities within the space of art for alchemical transformation and do they, in fact, exist?