Genietta Varsi / Pumping Roots

07. 06. 2022 – 30. 07. 2022, opening 06. 06. 2022 6pm

The body and its patterned and ever-shifting possibilities represent a significant element in the work of the Peruvian artist Genietta Varsi. She continually explores, reflects and demonstrates its boundaries (most often) with the aid of her own body or the bodies of others. She places the body in various situations – either from a holistic perspective, as a certain object in itself that functions like a machine without the need for us to constantly monitor it, or as a mass of substance that variously discharges and restores its functions. Genietta Varsi is an artist who via direct experience links archetypal principles of non-linear processes. 

In her oeuvre we can discover a position well known to us from the avant-garde style of the 20th century, namely Dadaism – randomness, materialism, ready-mades or a fascination with strangeness. At the same time, here we can also locate elements of the performance art of the 1970s which spread throughout the Latin American continent in a specifically female current. 

The body is an incredible organism full of processes, phenomena, changes and exchanges within a short space of time. Its primary functions, such as breathing, the beating of our hearts and the flow of our blood, are something we do not notice. We take this activity for granted. We only begin to notice it if our health starts to fail, if we have women period, if we cut ourselves, if… It is at these moments that we become conscious of its uncanny activity, which we do not control, and which works for us. But occasionally our body shuts down. It sends us impulses, overload warnings, which we often ignore. This is also sometimes due to the fact that we don’t look inside ourselves. Into that most valuable timeless vault that tenderly guides us. 

Western medicine takes everything separately – it views the body as an object that has various cavities, flows, a pulse, an object that excretes, retains and consumes. It views the mind as a chamber of reason, and prefers not to speak of the soul. In Eastern medicine the situation is reversed – everything is in a certain manner intertwined, the constituent parts mutually interconnected and referring to one another, the triunity of the body is viewed as a whole. Are you suffering from hair loss? Reduce your stress levels and slow down the rhythm of your life. Do you have a problem with a blocked spine? Ensure greater mobility, exercise more and stop overloading your back. And so mindfulness is an essential tool in the process of reawakening to yourself. 

This series of graphic prints using the technique of risography is therefore not only about a conception of the body as a filled vessel, but rather a long-term observation and understanding with far deeper connotations, with an overlap of Western and Eastern medicine. It is about establishing a certain relationship within the self, like that of teacher and pupil. The artist’s sketches are therefore not mere demonstrations of the body and its interesting, even morphological processes, but above all an awareness and mindfulness of the body as a whole. 

Our body is a temple that we must listen to.

Our body is a treasure that we must take care of. 

Air is energy that flows back and forth. Air is vital energy that nobody can live without. It is a source, not only of our health. Thanks to air in combination with nature, we can regenerate our bodies and preserve our lives. We may feel like a mushroom, like a lichen that needs fresh air, otherwise it perishes. Their bodies are a barometer of the freshness of the air around them. Without clean air neither we nor they can breathe. Our bodies are also barometers of our own reactions. 

Breathe in, breathe out. Become conscious of your breathing. Breathe in, breath out. Breathing exists between all living entities, and despite being invisible it forms relationships everywhere. 

Air is everywhere and in everything. Air is for everyone. Air is free of charge. 

Air is a commodity that can’t be sold. Air has no race, no gender, no limitations. Life cannot exist without air. Every living cell is dependent upon it. We draw air into our lungs, and through them we infuse our bloodstream with air. Some people have respiratory problems, and as a consequence they are very fragile. Inhale and exhale. Air is an invisible but important commodity. 

Breathe in, breathe out. Silently. Slowly. Can you feel the air entering your body? 

We have the same chemical bodies, through which air flows, but we also use chemical cosmetic preparations, food and more. We know that air may be full of radioactive substances and pollution that we can’t see. We can only feel it as a consequence of the relationship of air entering the body. 

Breathe in, breathe out. Concentrate on it. Deeply. Breathe in, breathe out. 

Curator: Tea Záchová

Photos: Peter Kolárčik