Dora García | Romeos, luchadorxs e insecto

Esbaluard Museu, Palma, Spain – Until January 7, 2024

“Romeos, Luchadorxs e insecto” is both a compendium and a synthesis of Dora García’s artistic practices, displayed via four projects that propose to the spectator a repositioning regarding history, social conduct and the function of a museum.

This repositioning fits within the artist’s usual modus operandi: to explore the mechanisms involved in the relationship between artist, work and public. It is the latter who, by adopting a certain point of view, conditions the relations of meaning between the works themselves and their relation with the institution that hosts them, in this case, the museum. In order to generate this assemblage of relations, García uses media such as performance, photography, text and drawing.


The itinerary, although free-form, could begin with Los Romeos [Romeos]. Dora García bases the work on a historic occurrence which took place during the years of the Cold War (1947–1991). Markus Wolf, head of the Secret Services of the German Democratic Republic (Stasi), developed the “Romeo Method” to put into circulation young, attractive agents whose mission was to seduce lonely secretaries in order to gain access to the confidential files of their bosses in the Federal Republic of Germany. Inspired by these events, the Los Romeos performance is set in motion at Es Baluard Museu, and the public is informed of it by means of a massive poster in the space. Various performers casually circulate around the rooms of the museum, approaching visitors and trying to engage with them in cheerful and polite conversation, which may evolve into a deeper relationship or friendship. Knowing this, how will Es Baluard Museu’s public react to any gesture of kindness and interest from a stranger? Will they be permanently suspicious? Will these kindnesses be well received despite the suspicion that they are mediated by a contract between the performer and the museum?


Si pudiera desear algo [If I Could Wish for Something] is part of the series “Frases de oro” [Gold Phrases], in which the artist proposes the reading of a poetic, evocative and potentially plurisignificant maxim that appears written in gold leaf on the wall of the exhibition room, inviting us to an open, free interpretation. Like a grand motto, it enunciates something that, when read, immediately activates thought, changing and transforming the relationship we establish at that moment with the setting, with the museum.


Connecting with the first two projects in her use of imagery and text, we arrive at Luchadorxs, a piece that recovers memory while at the same time generating a sort of archaeology of the present through 18 posters in which photography is combined with slogans of feminist struggles, many of them present in demonstrations over the past five years. The images begin with the milicianas of the Spanish Civil War and arrive at the recent protests in different cities, in order to remind us critically and collectively that the process of women’s emancipation began a long time ago and continues to be an ongoing process, full of desire (If I Could Wish for Something).

The itinerary concludes with The Bug, an installation of drawings on nine blackboards that manifest the intersection of the visual arts, the performing arts and literature present in the artist’s practice. On the front side of the work are nine drawings that condense the nine scenes of Vladimir Mayakovsky’s The Bedbug (1929), written months before Mayakovsky’s suicide. This piece uses the science fiction theme of time travel to speak of the disenchantment of revolution, the cyclical nature of history and the existence of an accident, an insect, a bug, which prevents this cyclical structure from passing without casualties. On the reverse side, a timeline that will be created collectively.


The Bug is a work of a collective and relational nature that will be activated various times during the second week of November by means of a specific programme of performances.


That same week there will be a screening of Amor Rojo [Red Love] (2022), a film by García that forms part of a trilogy based on the figure of revolutionary Marxist feminist Alexandra Kollontai (1872–1952), once Soviet ambassador to Mexico, whose powerful ideas continue to appear in the so-called fourth wave of feminism, the engine of which is in Latin America, above all in Mexico, Argentina and Chile.



November 7, 2023