Collection Title: Hemispheric Institute archive
Title: Zona de dolor
Alternate Title: Zone of pain
Date: 1980
Location: Filmed in Santiago, Chile, in 1980.
Work Type: Performance., Political performance., Acción.
Lotty Rosenfeld, videographer ; Lotty Rosenfeld, Diamela Eltit, video editors.
Diamela Eltit, performer.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 00:14:51
Language: In Spanish.
Synopsis: Diamela Eltit is a distinguished Chilean performance artist, novelist and cultural critic. Winner of the Guggenheim Fellowship and numerous other awards and appointments, Eltit was a member of the acclaimed Colectivo de Acciones de Arte (CADA), a Chilean activist group of artists who used performance to challenge Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile. She has been an important cultural presence during the years of the post-dictatorship through her participation in journals such as the Revista de Crítica Cultural. Both as an artist and a critic, Eltit's work constitutes an important contribution to feminist theory and cultural debates. In 2000, she published 'Emergencias: Escritos sobre literatura, arte y política,' a book of essays which brings together some of her literary and cultural criticism. Her narrative work includes 'Lumpérica' (1983), 'Por la patria' (1986), 'El padre mío' (1989), 'El infarto del alma' (with photographer Paz Errázuriz [1994]), 'Mano de obra' (2002), 'Jamás el fuego nunca' (2007), and most recently 'Impuesto a la carne' (2010). Both individually and as a member of CADA, Diamela Eltit was one of the most important contributors to the 'Escena de Avanzada.' The goal was to perform 'interventions in everyday life' intended to interrupt and alter the normalized routines of citizens' daily urban lives by means of a semiotic subversion that decontextualized and semantically restructured urban behaviors, locations and signs.In 'Zona de dolor' (Zone of Pain), Eltit places the body – her body – at the center of this political and social re-signification: she cuts and burns herself and then goes to a brothel, where she reads part of her novel 'Lumpérica.' Her mortified body mirrors the wounded national body, and establishes a connection between the individual and the collective, and the private and the public, exposing her physicality, her words, and her voice in communion with a space that exists at the edge of social structures. In the latter part of this video Diamela Eltit's voice accompanies her action of washing pavement in front of the brothel, collapsing the boundaries between her novel's words, her body, and the space inhabited by 'public women.' Eltit not only disrupts the space of gendered sexual transaction, but also proposes a powerful reflection upon where the 'zone of pain' might be located in a historical moment marked by sorrow and injustices.
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Copyright Holder: Diamela Eltit
Contact: c/o Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
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