RITUALS OF IDENTITY is another exercise within the artist’s individual body of work that focuses on the concept of boundaries and the ritual of reconstruction. The concept of the work revolves around the reconstruction of memory and identity from a fragmented narrative, presenting the viewer with an alternative landscape.
Through the exploration of different visual media – video, installation, photography, and performance, Catalina Swinburn engages the viewer in a language between a real event and its fictional representation. Emotionally charged images created with metaphoric and symbolic stylistic manipulations powerfully challenge the “reality as representation” the artist is part of. She offers an aesthetically poetic visual approach that stimulates the viewer’s capacity to imagine the extent boundaries. The work’s realisation, conceptual in its approach, invests the photographic object with gesture, action, and performance that validate the fictive reality represented by the image. The strong theatrical element and the emotionally charged choreography she interprets and records lead us back to the main debate of disappearances, rituals, and bodies. Her political and ritual expressions are internal to her art, which provides a support for personal and critical reflections about a political and social situation.
Deconstructing what is portrayed in the media, the artist prints huge fabric images with internal boundary dialogues, which are later transported and located in diverse natural places where the artist realizes actions and rites that activate an imaginary narrative, extracted from its original context and adapted to the new territory. The body of the artist is presented as a metaphor of where representations of difference and identity are inscribed, showing the tensions between the experience of women and cultural meanings that are inscribed on the female body to express social, political and cultural ideas. The actions are photographed and recorded from the sky, using the same technology that constantly monitors political borders. This device of high technology distorts the “perspectives of seeing” – a key theme within the artist’s research.