Artemisa Clark

Return to Artist List

Artist Statement

My performance-based, interdisciplinary practice points to the ubiquity of structural violence on multiple scales and fronts, from the individual to the institution. Through durational re-performance and forensic re-construction of personal, historical, and cultural trauma I have experienced or been drawn to, I attempt to remember histories that are either ignored, actively erased, or can no longer be accessed. In doing so, I put the audience, site, and myself in conversation, addressing questions of complicity in the propagation – both active and passive – of violence against the Chicanx, female body.

Most recently, I have produced work based on three occurrences that cannot be remembered by those who experienced them: a night during which I was unwittingly drugged and subsequently became very lost at UC San Diego, my graduate school; and the deaths of Ana Mendieta and Claudia Alvarez, a Mexican housekeeper whose body was found by UCSD’s Birch Aquarium and whose death, despite occurring under suspicious circumstances, went underreported. I responded to my lost night by using data left on my cell phone to create pieces, all untitled, that approximate a narrative and spatial reconstruction of my movement. I similarly reconstructed the only detail of Alvarez’s last night of which I was certain by placing my body at the site of her death. Rather than visiting where she died, I have re-performed Mendieta’s work, embodying the continuation of the violence her work responded to and that has led to her institutional erasure.