( 2001 eBent'01, festival internacional de performance, Barcelona. 2002 Ajuntament de Gràcia, Barcelona. 2002 Escola d'Arts i Oficis, Barcelona. 2002 Memorial Mauthausen, Sant Boi. 2002 Festival internacional de performance MOPE'02, Vaasa, Finlandia. 2002 Là-bas, Helsinki, Finlandia. 2002 Festival Contenedores'02, Sevilla )

fotos: Juan Pardo
vídeo: Carlos Pina, Manuel Morales. Duración: 10'03''

'Liens I
(eBent'01, festival internacional de performance de Barcelona, Espai Jove Boca Nord, novembre 2001)

In the first version, performed in eBent'01, Barcelona's international performance festival, my attitude was careful, evolving between the strings with fluidity and delicacy, with the intention of being a factor of randomness rather than a determining factor. In spite of everything, the strings were tightening around people's necks and, this was my surprise, the participants were stuck in place, nobody moved from waist to waist, they only leaned over me, bent at the waist while the string was tightened around his neck to the point that I remember a person with a hand to the neck and a congested face. Musical quotes created the appropriate environment.

'Liens II
(Gràcia City Council, Barcelona, December 2001)

The second version took place within the II meetings of ACEA's performances, in the City council of Gracia. At the moment of starting the action my mood was slightly more aggressive, which made me get involved in the action with a less protective attitude towards the participants. My movements became more aggressive, less careful, moving in space more freely and therefore dragging with me the rest of the people, who in this case did not resist the still attacks but swayed, went from one side to the other, lost their balance and fell on top of me. One person couldn't stand it and took off the rope, some tried to pull the ropes I was among and even someone tried to link me to immobilize me. My impression is that this action was more experienced but all of us suffered more. Disturbing.

'Liens III
(Escola d'Arts i Oficis, Diputació de Barcelona, February 2002)

The third version was made at the School of Arts and Crafts of the Diputació de Barcelona. In this action I forgot others and myself as a factor of randomness. My evolutions between the strings turned them into such a mess that I was immobilized, sometimes by a hand or a limb, without being able to escape. I was fascinated by his persistence in holding me, my whole body was wrapped and I no longer played with the ropes as on other occasions, I pulled them with force, punishing my flesh by trying to untie me, and dragging the others behind me, which at that time were only ballast. In this action the intention of the original idea was transmuted without changing any of its formal elements. We all suffered a lot in it, as one of the participants corroborated me a few days later. I can only say that it was therapeutic for me, although it did not lose its artistic essence, through that unexpected materialization of a crucial moment in my life, through the ligatures, the knots, the tensions in my body that dragged everyone else.

'Liens IV
(Sant Boi de Llobregat, maig de 2002)

The fourth action took place on 5 May 2002, the anniversary of the liberation of the Mauthaussen camp, in Sant Boi de Llobregat, as part of the inauguration of a monument created in Plaça Merçe Rodoreda by Catalan artists, dedicated to the men and women of our country who were imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp. The public was composed of relatives of the victims; widows, children and descendants; there was also the president of the Amical Mauthaussen Association of Sant Boi, the mayoress and other members of the consistory, general public and many children. The action began, I chose the participants randomly, there were coincidentally many men, a couple of women were offered between the ages of 45 and 50, I had to reject a girl. I placed ropes around people's necks trying not to do harm. At the beginning of the music I started with strong movements, I suppose, the product of the evolution that the action had undergone during the other occasions in which it had performed. In spite of the regrets, my movements did not get much response from the participants, I perceived that they did not move inside that prison, they did nothing to avoid the drowning of the ropes. I was anxious, I thought it was necessary to do something to make them move, it made me angry, we were there to remember a frightening event and I have always thought that the metaphor of the action is clear; in that context I could not bear to feel the inaction of the participants. Then the action became much harder, I put more effort, more violence, I stretched the ropes, I threw myself against them, I fell several times, maybe I grabbed the ropes to get up again. I have the strong feeling that at one point I thought, "I'll move them". And I dragged the people entangled in the ropes in an agonistic effort, unthinkable by my physical constitution, in a circle around the whole square. People didn't help me at all, I didn't accelerate my pace and I became the motor of a movement at the same time as a victim of the inaction of those who were bound by the same ropes that imprisoned me. I still wonder where I got that amount of energy. I fell at the feet, almost, of the president of the Amical Mauthausen, an elderly man of clear mind but reduced mobility who was sitting in a chair in the square. Normally, when the notes of "Here today, gone tomorrow" sound, I take the ropes out of people's necks; this time I fell to the sandy ground of the square and a friend helped me, after a few minutes, to get out of there to go and sit on one of the steps of the steps of the square. Later, an older woman, a relative of one of the victims, came up to me crying and thanked me, hugged me, and thanked me: "This is what children will remember". For me, the possibility of leaving a mark on children's memory that remains through the development of the individual is very important and is linked to one of the essential assumptions of my artistic practice: modesty, as explained above.

This action made me think a lot about the power of the context in which a work or artistic act is inserted. Here the concrete context in which it was carried out gave a symbolic force to this action that surpassed that which it had had on other occasions, endowing it with an emotional efficacy that served the purposes of the living metaphor, altering some aspects in order to emphasize or distort them. We could think of an object made of a malleable material that can change colour or modify its shape according to the environment to which we subject it; we know what it is, what it is usually used for, but its manipulation, if we look at it from different angles, compared with different colours and textures or put in relation to external sounds, light and other accidents; it could provoke for an instant that we could perceive a shape that would make us capture an aspect of the essence of this object that we are not normally able to see.

'Liens V
(MOPE'02, festival internacional de performance. Vaasa, Finlàndia, maig 2002)

The action took place in the main hall of Vaasa City Arthall on Friday, May 17, 2002.

It began in a spacious room, surrounded by a penumbra that, despite softening the contours, did not hide the rational coldness of the space. The public was made up of artists from various European countries, art students and the general public. First of all, I divested myself of cultural objects to which I give a particular symbolism, rings and earrings, in an act of cleanliness; more importantly, I stripped myself of my glasses in an act of voluntary blindness provoking the dissolution of the limits of inner-outer perception and finally when I stripped of my shoes I acquired the fragility of nudity. I chose the twelve participants randomly, as I normally do. I put the ropes around their necks with care, almost sweetly, with loose sliding knots. The star of twelve points formed, I introduced myself in the interior space of the strings and, from this catalyst center, at a signal of mine the strident and enervating music began and I initiated the movement of evolution between the strings. These are wrapped around my body, and the actuator, already without any of the prejudices of 'Liens 1, moves quickly, urgently, violently, trying to make the space her own, dispensing with the limits imposed by the strings that bind the others; while the strings themselves obeying my spontaneous movements imprison me. I fall several times. I get up taking the ropes that tie the necks. Suddenly, I realize that the strings, loosened, untied my body. A reaction had been initiated on the part of the participants until that moment not obtained on any other occasion. The participants were active and gradually unrolled and left the circle creating an empty space as they left the core of the action. Only two strings, four people, held until the beginning of the theme "Here today, gone tomorrow". I came out of the ropes and, one by one, I freed the necks of all the participants.

Liens VI
(Là-bas, Hèlsinki, Finlàndia, maig 2002)

The action took place within the framework created by the Là-bas space but, given the characteristics of the action I preferred at the time to invite people to go out to the back outside of the Cable Factory, where the terrace of the bar is located; which allowed me to get participants outside the artistic fact and surprised spectators, such as the quiet fishermen who take advantage of the sunny days of the Nordic spring. Within the circle I included participants, artists and non-artists. The environment was harder, there wasn't the receptive and fraternizing atmosphere of the Vaasa festival, I was working in the street. Shortly after starting the music I had tied and entangled my body in the strings as never before; the arms bent over themselves, the chest and the neck, the whole upper part of my body was immobilized by the trap of the ropes. I fought and tried to free my arms, but I could do nothing, the more I debated the more the ropes were tightened around my neck. Finally, exhausted, I let myself fall on the ropes, suspended by the neck and arms. I remember the sound of my breathing, the air coming in and out with a strangled bubble; I was really drowning. No one did anything. The asphalt had cut off my bare feet and drops of blood stained the black ground.

'Liens VII
(Contenedores'02, festival de performance de Sevilla, octubre 2002)

The room is poorly lit, the floor is rough and the participants are among an attendance of young people. I try to make my movements calmer. When I enter the circle I put a hand inside the clothes and from the solar plexus I take out the hidden egg; I start the evolutions between the strings trying to concentrate on the egg. I try to change the quality of the movement, to move more gently, but I discover that the impulses of aggression, of throwing myself against the strings, have become stronger and more suggestive with time. Now the struggle will be to concentrate on the egg that forms a unit with my arm, the movement has to arise from the egg, that which is fragile has to become movement, the limits have to bend, snake, wave like ribbons of fine gauze. The effort is considerable, but unlike all the other actions of the 'Liens' process, I do not allow myself to be dragged by the physical violence that until that moment had entangled me in a circle of impulse-emotion-violence-emotion-emotion-violence-impulse, but I try to canalize movement through the idea of fragility and the care of an object symbolically symbiotic with my own body. This struggle is evident in the video, my movements sometimes seem forced, clumsy, to my critical eye; even so it is the witness of an overcoming. Meanwhile, the strings have tied the participants in beam, it is observed that my position inside the ropes is no longer central but in many occasions peripherical, the participants move through the space and initiate a movement of fluid unravelling that vaguely reminds me of the movement of the popular ribbon dances. I end the action by introducing the egg back into the plexus and removing the strings from the participants.

This result invites me to propose as a hypothesis for my future projects that the axis on which the artistic process has to pivot has to be based on interdisciplinarity with bodywork techniques to obtain substantial changes at the ethical, aesthetic and conceptual level.