María Evelia Marmolejo, Anónimo 4, 1982,
photo: Paco Cuesta
María Evelia Marmolejo
Anónimo 4

According to the Colombian scholar María Iovino, in 1981 María Evelia Marmolejo (*1958 Colombia) created the first feminist performance art piece in Colombia "11 de Marzo" (March 11th), an action with menstrual blood. A graduate of visual arts from Instituto Departamental de Bellas Artes in Cali, Marmolejo was influenced by the body art movement of the 1970s. Her ritualistic performances "Anónimos 1, 2 y 4" (Anonymous 1, 2 and 4, 1981-82) involve self-mutilation and psychophysical experimentations with organic matters such as blood, human placentas, urine and earth. Her practices often have a healing aspect and involve medical paraphernalia such as gauze, adhesive bandages and menstrual pads. Marmolejo’s production of strong imagery evokes and responds to Colombia’s recent and past history. In "America" (1985), performed at Plaza Colón, Madrid, Spain, Marmolejo proposed an act of mourning for the 500th anniversary of the ‘discovery’ of the Americas, thus reminding the death of 64 million Native Americans between ‘the conquest’ and colonial times.

Standing inside a triangular-shaped hole dug on the earth, surrounded by three smaller triangles filled with ‘residual waters’, María Evelia Marmolejo wrapped her body with plastic straps holding bits of human placentas taken from women who had given birth during the days and in the cities where the piece was being performed (Cali and Guayaquil). Marmolejo described this as “a psychological and sociological act of self exploration about the fear of being born in a society where the option to survive is not guaranteed. These reflections generated in me physiological involuntary reactions such as vomiting and crying.”

Performance: 1982, Banks of the Cauca River, Colombia
Video: Juan Carlos Velasquez and José Dorado

Performance: 1982, Banks of the Guayas River, Ecuador
Photography: Paco Cuesta

Courtesy María Evelia Marmolejo

Document media
Video, b&w, sound, 5:22 min / photographs

Issue date
1982

Tags
extended body, flesh, maternity, ritual, sexual violence, public space

Archive Signature
MARM 1 & MARM 1/P
A
Ebtisam Abdulaziz
Marina Abramović
Helena Almeida
Eleanor Antin
Arahmaiani
Malin Arnell
Oreet Ashery
Augusta Atla
Margarita Azurdia
B
Antonia Baehr
Maja Bajević
Anne Bean
Anat Ben-David
Renate Bertlmann
Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz
Nisrine Boukhari
Marijs Boulogne
Tania Bruguera
Nancy Buchanan
Maris Bustamante
C
Cabello / Carceller
Shirley Cameron/ Monica Ross/ Evelyn Silver
Graciela Carnevale
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Helen Chadwick
Chicks on Speed
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Mary Coble
Colette
Cooltūristės
Corpus Deleicti
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D
Katrina Daschner
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Vlasta Delimar
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Disband
Ines Doujak
Orshi Drozdik
Yingmei Duan
Kirsten Dufour
E
Diamela Eltit
Rose English
VALIE EXPORT
F
F.F.F.F.
Factory of Found Clothes
Esther Ferrer
Les filles Föllen
Rose Finn-Kelcey
Angelika Fojtuch
Simone Forti
Coco Fusco
G
(e.) Twin Gabriel
Regina José Galindo
Anna Bella Geiger
Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin
Patrycja German
Ghazel
Kate Gilmore
Trine Mee Sook Gleerup
H
Mona Hatoum
Lynn Hershman
High Heel Sisters
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I
Icelandic Love Corporation - Gjörningaklúbburinn
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J
Elżbieta Jabłońska
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Kanonklubben
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Nicola L
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Léa Lublin
M
Jumana Manna
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P
Gina Pane
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R
Yvonne Rainer
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Barbara T. Smith
Cornelia Sollfrank
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Spiderwoman Theater
Annie M. Sprinkle
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T
Jinoos Taghizadeh
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Mierle Laderman Ukeles
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Valie Export Society
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The Waitresses
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Nil Yalter
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