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Quitar los ídolos y poner las imágenes. Quitar los ídolos y poner las imágenes. El descuartizamiento de las imágenes a manos del ídolo encarnado. El ocultamiento imaginario de las imágenes de los ídolos”

“Take away the idols and replace them with images. Take away the idols and replace them with images. The dismemberment of the images in the hand of the incarnated idol. The imaginary concealment of the images of the idols.”

Juan Cárdenas in Ornamento

It has been said that her deeds were hidden in papaya fruit. María Guevara –one of the many figures entrapped into a perpetual state of scarcity by recounted stories. This work is for these figures.

An early disavowal of sacred powers within the realm of matter clears a path for inculpable extraction. Can it be the thing itself, not only a representation? Must it be immaculate? Can miracles have physical explanations? Are those two mutually exclusive when dealing with femme erotica?

For a moment I look at the Virgen de Guadalupe, up at the top of the cerro overlooking Bogota. She has crumbled twice to the shifting of the earth. But they keep building her whole. She is said to look over the city. If that’s so, why is there so much “insecurity”? Is it really life she watches over in that form with a vigilant ojo, or is it this particular division of lands and their goods?

This exhibition is a prayer for the powers misnamed as weakness
to forget roman romance
to remember how to value
to be able to stay on the land
to remember to love them
to be with them in beautiful bodies

Mariana Parisca, Double Slit Experiment, 2022, charcoal, gelatin, plaster, pigment, silicone, felt. Photo courtesy of the artist

Installation view, Mariana Parisca: Her Deeds, Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA, USA, 2022-2023. Photo: Stacey Evans
Installation view, Mariana Parisca: Her Deeds, Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA, USA, 2022-2023. Photo: Stacey Evans

Bolívares have gone through so much hyperinflation that they have become paper again. I felt them like a palm leaf, like a chewing gum wrapper. Then I could reach through the heavy aura and feel the USD. I knitted them into a topographical map of Lake Maracaibo, where the area’s rich oil first became industrialized, which marked Venezuela’s entry into the global economy, where my grandmother’s family was from, I’ve been told. Maybe we’ll remember again what value really is, the richness of the land, the work done with our hands and bodies and minds and souls. With the Bolívar, the illusion of the global economy became so exaggerated, you can start to see it for what it is: a belief system, a religion you could say, abstracted and peeled away from its referents. Not to discredit belief, but here is an altar—a space to feel/work through those beliefs and ask who they serve?.

Mariana Parisca, Viscous Illusion Incorporation, 2022, steel, Venezuelan Bolivars, United States Dollars, palm leaves, chewing gum wrappers. Photo courtesy of the artist

Installation view, Mariana Parisca: Her Deeds, Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA, USA, 2022-2023. Photo: Stacey Evans

I carbonized under an eclipsing moon. It is a ritual for purging the toxic patriarchal notions of romance – that the corporeal erotic femme and the motherly are in opposition. The pieces function as scent diffusers.

Mariana Parisca, Shadow 10.25.22, 2022, scent by agustine zegers, glass fabricated by Paul van den Bijgaart, charcoal, glass, fragrance with notes of lily, nun’s cloth, papaya, guava, and billowing smoke

Mariana Parisca, Her Deeds, 2022, double-sided knife, bronze cast of the space in the artist’s mouth. Photo courtesy of the artist
Mariana Parisca and Larí García, Take me to your river (Montañas), 2022, silver gelatin print, balsa wood frame, glass, pearls, papaya seeds covered in mica dust, 9 x 12 x 3 in. approx. Photo: Stacey Evans

Mariana Parisca (she/they) is an interdisciplinary visual artist and educator from the USA and Venezuela. She creates sculptures, installations, videos, performances, and printed matter that question and redefine the social abstractions and belief systems that shape value, resource distribution, and consumption in the Americas.

Parisca received an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media department at Virginia Commonwealth University and a BFA in Studio Art and Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. Parisca’s work has shown at CUE Art Foundation, New York, NY, documenta fifteen, Kassel, Germany, Mas Allá, Bogota, Colombia, Rudimento in Quito, Ecuador, NARS Foundation in New York City, NY, the New Wight Biennial in Los Angeles, CA, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Anderson Gallery, and Cherry Gallery in Richmond, VA, the Virginia MOCA in Virginia Beach, VA, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO, and New Works Gallery in Chicago, IL among others.


Collaborators: Larí García, agustine zegers, Christine Buckley, Sandy Williams IV, and Paul van den Bijgaart

Second Street Gallery, 115 2nd St. SE, Charlottesville, VA, USA

December 2, 2022 – January 21, 2023.

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