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Venice: Nina Dotti closed the Biannual with the “Despójate” performance

“When women gather before a fire, strengths are born, magic grows”. Remembering the inspiriting words from the Uruguayan poet Simone Seija, the multimedia artist Nina Dotti moved the purifying fire of her participative performance “Despójate” to the Campalto of Venice to close with honors her presence at the 2017 Biannual. “Despójate”, in English “Take the load off”, “is a transmutation ritual”, that invites the spectator to shake away all fears, to be later burned by Nina Dotti’s purifying fire.

During 6 months Palazzo Bembo’s visitors, where the “Despójate” installation was located, wrote their fears on a piece of paper which was later deposited in a big cauldron. And, remembering her experience two years ago with more than 100 victims of abuse in Santa Cruz de Bolivia, the Venezuelan artist visited the suggestive island of Campalto to make a big bone-fire with the accumulated fears. “The fire transformed said fears into valor, optimism, and love”, in a sort of “collective freedom act”, she explained.

For Nina Dotti, fire is “energy in action”, for “the fire element provides me with strength, courage, and passion for life. On a symbolic level, the fire represents change, purification, and sacrifice, it is also a magical element with a tremendous power to transmute fear. When working with fire we feel vigorous, enthusiastic, optimistic and creative. It connects us with a joy to live and with internal strength. With the help of the fire element, magical rituals with physical strength, protection, energy, freedom, and sensuality are possible”

Nina Dotti’s presence at the 2017 Venice Biannual also provided a space to confront taboos in relation to menopause and sexuality through her “PMS Lounge” performance. The artistic installation recreated a small Spa center at the Palazzo Mora, with three extension chairs, tables and a desk with erotic toys. The public was able to relax and interact with the application of the same name, that included different videos made by the artist to confront menopause from an ironic, albeit positive, a perspective that invites to enjoy such an important period of our lives. “PMS Lounge” was presented in 2016 at La Juan Gallery de Madrid (Spain), and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo del Zulia (Maczul) in Maracaibo, Venezuela. The App may be freely downloaded in Iphone and Android, in Spanish, English, and Italian.

“Despójate” and “PMS Lounge” are two of the most renowned performances of the artist, and shall be exhibited to the public from May 13th until November 26th in Venice as part of the “Personal Structures” international project, from the Dutch foundation “Global Art Affairs” (GAA). It was an exclusive view of global art in which different international artists such Yoko Ono, Julian Opie, Hermann Nitsch, Markus, Lupertz, Joseph Kosuth and Jeff Koons participated in. It is an important achievement for the American Art Connection Foundation, the creative laboratory of the artist in the city of Miami.