On Kristina Schmidt
Your Body is a Kaleidoscope.
- Dec 21 2022
- Elisa Fuenzalida is a researcher and cultural worker. She has directed research projects such as El futuro era tu cuerpo, Ensamblajes del Cuidado and Afectos en Re-existencia. She is coordinator and co-curator of the Cátedra Decolonial Anibal Quijano at the Museo Reina Sofía, co-editor of the journal Arts of the Working Class and mediator in the citizen laboratory platform Redes por el Clima.
My first contact with Kristina is transatlantic, united by the continuum of the online communication signal, separated by the materiality that we also are. Philosopher Santiago Alba Rico says that the combination of words and flesh is what we call body. From our video call, an encounter in which we construct each other from appearance and a language that is not native to either of us, I consider the scenarios in which each of us performs. Airports, screens, domestic, and artistic discursive production spaces, Munich/New York, Madrid/ Berlin.
Her work makes me think about the deconstructive potential of painting, since she manages to make a place from which the body is not only vindicated; it is re-signified but also de-signified. It defines itself not only in terms of idea, but also in terms of form: according to what it does, what it ceases to do, and the tools and objects among which it manifests itself.
Every painting that is reproduced within is part of a play of tensions and balances in which participation manifests itself in both fantasy and habit, and in both performance and withdrawal. Take Jana Euler’s painting In Awe in Artist Figuring Something Out. This is a hypertrophied, hyper-excited figure, bursting out of the frame that separates the art from the environment. At her feet, the artist’s character is not looking at it. They are engaged with the bed on which they are lying, analyzing an issue, important or routine, the resolution of which we will not know. Just as the avatars are embedded in systems of relation from the frame inward, it is revealing to consider them in sets in which that performativity (or non-performativity) unfolds. It is a game of windows and mirrors, a “kaleidoscope,” in the artist’s words, in which the scenes are part of an invitation to consider the body as an experimental construction, an aimless endeavor, a tender rest, an absurd adventure, or an exciting idea that does not necessarily have to be pursued.
Kristina Schmidt, Artist trying to figure something out, 2019.
© Kristina Schmidt. Courtesy the artist