Marisa Caichiolo

How Else Can I Serve You? / En Que Mas Puedo Servirle?, 2019
installation with human hair and serving ware
Price Upon Request
Andrés Isaac Santana, Art Critic, Madrid, Spain, 2019

"How else can I serve you?" is a mise-en-scène, a declaration of principles and an installation of objects with an eminently feminist discursive emphasis, supported by her relevant and daring critical commentary. In this piece, the artist unfolds a web of her own hair, a sort of strange vine, onto "the body" that defines the repertoire of silverware, providing a new meaning for the utensils’ dual semantic-linguistic nature.
The piece is beautiful in itself, in its most radical autonomy, but the title is what truly determines (and amplifies) the discursive context of its interpretation and possible meanings. Even with its straightforward enunciation, it refers to the troublesome social contract that nominalizes gender inequality, condemning ongoing loyalty to power relations and their governing structures. The piece itself is a kind of memorandum for a geography of fury. However, her proposal transcends a mere feminist interpretation to attain other discursive elements of a broad symbolic and narrative implication. In fact, its statement refers to the de facto nominalization of the subservient role that the "female symbol" has been reduced to, where women are subject to constant humiliations and silences by the phallocentric narrative and its extensive mechanisms of domination and control. Nevertheless, that same statement and those same objects retort to speak on the constant condition of otherness and the stratification of contemporary subjects. By saying this, I don’t deny the piece’s feminist dimension (in fact, this semiological component is quite obvious), but I believe that, due to an extension of the real or figurative meaning, it should be taken into account that these objects are, by force majeure, the mirror of many subaltern realities and lateral subjectivities. The artist has experienced in her own flesh, like myself and many others, this situation of withdrawal and violent (arbitrary) distribution of law. More or less recently, after spending enough years on American soil, she finally came to uphold the "power" of owning an American passport. As far as I know, this means conquering one nationality, provided you give up another. Once more, control mechanisms offer an advantage that will imply loss and uprooting in the long run. I strongly believe that at is core, this piece passes a sharp critical comment on all operations of authority, segregation and loss".

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