Saeta del Silencio (2008)
( 2008. Barcelona )

fotos: Sergi Oriola

Saeta del silencio (2008) is a private photo performance, whose documentation is not fully published by the artist's wish. In this work, produced with the help of Braxter Cain, relationships play a central role once again. Relationships within the work that are expressed in the photographic composition and in the games of glances between the two models, but also meta-artistic relationships, such as the couple relationship between performer and model -related to the theme of the work- or the brief but intense power relationship that is established between the apparently unarmed performer and the technical team, that which is not seen in the work. On the other hand, on a conceptual level, another constant of Maria Cosmes' work appears, the use of what she calls "cultural materials". Because the Saeta is full of references to the imaginary of popular culture, to the one who asks for "a ladder to climb the wood to remove the nails of Jesus the Nazarene" 7. To this she adds an image that reminds me of baroque paintings, showing an almost androgynous face that will only reveal its mystery at the end, by revealing its naked body. And to all these soft and delicate images he contrasts the apparent visual brutality of bondage. As always in her performances, without concessions, she introduces this element of cut, of contrast, an element that is part of our culture, even if it wants to hide, and remains hanging for forty-five minutes. It is not as much a test of resistance as a demonstration of coherence: it is a necessary act. As in all Maria Cosmes' work, the Saeta is full of evocations. Each image refers us to multiple interpretations. A quick reading could leave us with the idea of an inversion of the scene of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But if we go deeper into the analysis we will see that the work is richer and more complex, since Maria Cosmes within the photoperformance is both the crucified Christ and the announcing angel as the Madonna who looks at the son with pity: vulnerable and yet powerful. Once again, the elements used take on a central symbolic importance, minimal elements charged with meaning. Maria suspended by the ropes and covered only by a red cloth, which will end up falling, to show herself in her leap forward, while the model clings to her own cross of the past..

Carlos Pina
Comisario independiente
director de eBent, festival internacional de performance de Barcelona (2003-2010)
febrero 2013

1 Saeta popular, quoted in "La saeta" by Antonio Machado.