In 2009 Andres Bedoya organized a haunting performance installation "Ultra Madre," in which 57 women lay still on the scaffolding of the main arch of the Museo Nacional de Arte in La Paz, Bolivia. For one hour the women did not move, their long, black hair cascading down the 15-foot structure. The jarring image of the soft hair against the rigid architecture stirred a quiet but lasting sense of unease.
The striking heaps of hair conjure a complex range of associations: they are feminine, sensual, maternal, ephemeral, dark, lifeless, disturbing. Separated from bodies, the hair morphs into floating figures of darkness, revealing the alien capabilities of even our most familiar parts. The performance installation symbolized loss as a collective experience, private but haunting. During a time of mourning, darkness permeates everything and the image of death lurks in the most familiar places.
Now at the Abron's Art Center the exhibition "From Ultra Madre" will revisit the 18 month process leading up to the one hour performance. Viewers can see the sketches, the audience reaction and the women behind the heads of hair. The exhibition will run from February 24 to March 17.
Check out the video of the performance and photographs from the upcoming show. It's very David Lynch meets "The Ring," don't you think?
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