A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality and also of fiction [...] that changes what matters as the experience of women at the end of this century. It is a fight to the death, but the borders between science fiction and social reality are an optical illusion.
Donna Haraway (1991)
Whose bodies are we observing in these works? Although the apparent theme of Patricia Torres is the female body, her painting insistently evokes the aggression towards the natural qualities of women's bodies, through idealized representations of advertising and its consequences in plastic surgery and other procedures. focused on the normalization of their diversity. His canvases conjugate semitransparent and fragmentary evocations of the feminine image with ambiguous, surreal or mental spaces: spaces of affection, where the simulated body interacts with hospital instruments, prostheses, implants, domestic artifacts, furniture, tubes, linear gestures and words, provoking a disturbing environment in which the body of the woman is fiction and construction. The border between the inner experience and the external presence of the body becomes blurred, evoking the antecedent of the work of Frida Kahlo, but in a language that refers us strongly to the visual culture of the 21st century, and to a ferocious disenchantment with both the industry that manufactures the feminine as well as with the women who buy it. Thus, the work of Patricia Torres places us, like Rachel, the beautiful replicant of the classic film Blade Runner, in a position of doubtful and painful humanity.
Professor of Art, Universidad Iberoamericana
Karen Cordero Reiman is an art historian, curator and writer.
She completed his master's and doctoral studies at Yale University and his studies
Bachelor's Degree at Swarthmore College. Full-time professor at the Art Department of the Universidad Iberoamericana. Founding Member of Curare, Critical Space for the Arts. She is the author of multiple publications on Mexican art of the twentieth century, especially on the relationships of the so-called "cult art" with the so-called "popular art", the historiography of Mexican art, the
museological representation of artistic discourse, and body, gender and sexual identity
in Mexican art. He has also had a constant participation in the museum field with activities of curatorship, counseling and research.
ANOTHER FEMINIST SPEECH BY PATRICIA TORRES
In painting, drawing and graphics Patricia Torres (born in Mexico in 1963) develops her current speech in images about the body in her second individual exhibition. The first one took place in 1990 at the Robert Dana gallery in San Francisco, California. Since July 9 exposes in the Praxis of Polanco, a colony where art galleries are being concentrated as in the 50s and 60s it happened in the Zona Rosa Usually the feminist discourse refers to the body as sexual object or rape Patricia Torres has taken a different path: that of the intestinal movement Its series is entitled Between intestinal movements and vertebral columns and an important character in it is the carrot The phallic connotations of this fusiform root and very digestive I think they had not been exploited before, as it does now this young artist who in 1987 was National Youth Award and in 1988 unanimously obtained one of the seven prizes, all equal, of the Biennial of San Juan (Puerto Rico) of Latin American and Caribbean Engraving The jury was made up of Simón Marchán Fiz, Mauricio Lasansky, Liliana Porter, Belgium Rodríguez, Nelly Perazzo, Jaime Carrero and Raquel Tibol. There was nothing more than praise for their serigraphy Venus, delicate and vertiginous composition about sleep and complacency
In 1988, with beautiful illustrations by Francisco Toledo, Ediciones Toledo published the anthology An old history of shit, where Alfredo López Austin collected Tarascan texts, Nahuas, Mayas, Olmecs, Quichés, Zapotecs, Huaves, Tepecames, Mixes, Xilancas, Chinantecos, Mazatec, popolocas and other Mesoamerican ethnic groups about defecation, defecation and its mythical and cultural scope In chapter 17 of the exquisite 96-page book, López Austin asked himself: "How would an adult man behave with his feces if not was determined by any society? ", and later pointed out:" There is not much initial game between the ways of ingesting, of loving, of protecting ourselves, of excreting. They are not pure forms, they are not natural " To the impurities, to the artifices, to the social and sexual conditioning of the intestinal movements, Patricia Torres refers tangentially and feministly, making use of a painting with an emphasis on drawing and an economy of color only comparable to that of José Luis Caves Although there is use of reds, blues, ocher, almost everything seems to run in black and white For the viewer to notice the difference, Patricia Torres suddenly applies in small details a pure white, which turns out to be a shrill color
Good part of the conceptuality of the visual texts of Patricia Torres derives from her way of composing by planes that accumulate in an arbitrary way on the surface of the paper or the canvas, without attending to perspective conventions. Her memory has recovered portions of life, of daily situations repeated, certain objects of domestic life: coffee maker, sink, cups, taps, toaster, can of sardines, table, fork, gloves, chairs, benches, ladder, carrot peeler, door, column, potatoes, carrots Live to eat, eat to live, Patricia Torres remembers it with Kafkiana melancholy and gracious autobiographical sincerity Cut and cut figures and objects; puts them on their feet, head or side Bases of them in any position to enunciate their normative or enslaving presence Their quality of sign is underlined by writing some names: coffee, air, matches, water, man, anito, intestine, cow, heat The protagonists of these fragmented pictorial comics are young women surrounded by things so autonomous that they seem to be in rebellion against the humans whose lives determine Home, sweet home! with smells, temperatures and effective carrots for bowel movements that are sometimes lovingly kept in the bodice as in the work of Mónica Mayer or Magali Lara, in Patricia Torres's the arguments and the way of exposing them are definitely feminist. To the militant energy of Monica and the lyricism of Magali, Patricia adds a more critical embarrassing than jocular and, for the same, widens the vein opened by María Izquierdo and Frida Kahlo: that of images with non-transferable female identity
“ Patricia Torres comes to life when speaking of her complex and powerful works, indicating that there lies a gold mine beneath the surface . . . But what can these figures of women so stylized in their conception, tell us about women, about the role of woman as creator of image or as created image? . . while Torres’ work is figurative, the figures are not intended to be central to the works; in fact, the women tell us very little about Torres or her work . . . she intends the stylization to be a negation of the negative. Just because the women look alike or are stereotyped does not mean that their existences are, or that they are limited to what they look like. The canvasses which are most effective in relaying their feminist message about the depth of women in spite of appearance, break up the protagonist into various planes or distort them through reflective mirrors . . . Torres’ use of numerous planes within a single canvas disrupts the otherwise stylized and nondescript looking figure. Chopping the figure in two . . . most effectively negates the problem inherent in stereotyping the figure, because the focus becomes diverted from the figure to the objects that surround her.
Catherine Clark Gallery
“My first experience of Patricia Torres’ work is one of humor. The sexual content of the pose is neutralized by many of Torres’ formal decisions, and I appreciate that. It’s as if [she’s] created noise, so I can’t hear what the image is saying. It’s primarily an emotional, then later, an intellectual experience. The context of [her] work falls into Cindy Sherman’s work with the movie stills, but also into the realm of printmaking – in the sense of layering. Interestingly, it seems like a still from performance art (feminist) that might have been documented in the 1970’s. (No painter would have made that painting then.) Formally, it takes advantage of what a painting can do – a variety of strategies are used that include rendering realistically . . . to flat drawing. Because of the reduced color, the values act to unify the various styles.
Gail Dawson, MFA
Associate Professor of Art, SFSU”