PRESENTED WITH SFU GALLERIES
Here PuSh co-presents a multifaceted work that explores history, theatre and the ethics of representation. Visual and performance artist Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa has created an exhibition at SFU Galleries’ Audain Gallery, which will form the set for an intensely physical live presentation staged over four nights.
The project is inspired by Guatemalan Hugo Carrillo’s 1962 play El corazón del espantapájaros (The Scarecrow’s Heart), a work that has a prominent place in recent Guatemalan history thanks to a 1975 staging by university students which led to a severe act of censorship during the country’s civil war. Working with a contemporary interpretation of the play by Guatemalan poet Wingston González, Ramírez-Figueroa explores the “scarecrow” and the “heart” in terms of their beauty and their power. His work serves as a meditation on the endurance of art; the role it can play in times of unrest; the political power of education; and the long-term effects of censorship on bodies, geography and culture.
The physical presentation stresses duration, ritual and gesture in its near-soundless engagement with the masks, costumes and props on display. In an act that brings the project back to its historical roots, students of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts will stage two additional performances inspired by Carillo, Gonzalez and Ramírez-Figueroa’s work.
By… emphasizing the constructed nature of cultural, religious, and historical signifiers, Ramírez-Figueroa also underscores the subjective nature of historical narrative in general, salvaging previously marginalized perspectives that present alternatives to the West’s otherwise all-pervasive influence. —Guggenheim Museum