Maria Cosmes. The seamstress


In the performatic process The seamstress (2005), Maria Cosmes recovers elements from previous performances to give them a new life - and here the fundamental concept of "reparation" is introduced again, although this time in a literal sense. In this process, she starts from the broken pieces of the dress torn in Bust (things I never apologized for) and the red threads used in Le lien est rouge . The action consists of reconstructing the dress with these threads, sewing in the display cabinet of a gallery, in the sight of those who pass through the street, while images of both actions are projected on a large screen. It also plays with a very important cultural element, extracted from classical mythology, the myth of Las Parcas, those that weave the thread of man's destiny and decide on it. Maria opposes this fatalistic idea with an imaginary and at the same time real figure of the Seamstress who repairs the dress torn by life, reflecting here two fundamental concepts in her artistic work: "repair" and, especially, "modesty". At the end of the process, she presents herself to everyone, with the dress mended, with some missing piece and with very loose seams due to her own body change; in spite of everything, she is the living image that this "repair" that she has claimed so much is possible; but she also reveals something deeper that subtly underlies throughout her work: the search for identity, for how to construct one's own person, an identity that is always constructed in relation to others.

There is still a deeper aspect that I want to highlight in this "repair": despite the care with which he collected and kept the remains of the dress after the performance Bust , while recovering for The seamstress she realized that a large triangular-shaped piece was missing in the pubic area, which she had to complete with the red threads and sewing reels she had used in the performance Le lien est rouge. The hole covered in this way thus contains a strong symbolic load in terms of impurity and danger, since the vacuum of sex is covered by the reels and threads that had passed through the mouths of the participants in this last performance, thus having a double load of sexual ambiguity, another of the forms that interpersonal relations take.

Carlos Pina
Independent curator
director of eBent, international performance festival of Barcelona (2003-2010)
february 2013