Marina Lopez is a Mexican American performing and aspiring social practice artist, massage therapist/somatic educator, and cultural organizer. Her experience as a bodyworker is essential to her practice as an artist because we can’t separate the art from the body that makes it. Care work is culture work. As an artist, her work is an interdisciplinary weaving of many voices that links to history, social movements, and tradition. As a cultural organizer, Marina has worked closely with Cooperation Humboldt. She is a Co-coordinator and Creative Collaborator for Art.Coop’s Study-into-Action. She also co-anchors the Arts, Culture, Care and Solidarity Economy working group held by the New Economy Coalition, the U.S. Solidarity Network, Highlander Center, and Cooperation Humboldt. Marina seeks to create work that articulates and provides an embodied cognition of the ways in which art, culture, and care are foundational within a thriving society, and economy. To bring these undervalued, but essential elements into relationship within a public-sphere that creates access to embodiment as an experience, but also as discourse. Her work challenges the status quo of who we as a society uplift as expert voices, and inspires curiosity, collaboration, and solidarity.
Postcards From Mexico: Cartography of Identity, Trauma, and Curated ‘Self’
This project utilizes embodied art practice as a methodology to explore trauma, identity, and a curated ‘self.’ This multi-lingual work is the product of many voices that have co-authored a journey chronicling the formation, revision, and authorship of belief systems and identities that are fabric of the self. I call on research and theory from Western Psychology, Neuroscience, Narrative Psychology/Medicine, Chicana Feminism, and Borderlands Theory as a means of conducting a deep exploration of the layered self where a symbiotic dynamism between identity and belief systems is a constant gravitational dance. We experience in multiple dimensions, and from many angles, so the ways in which we approach the observation, critique, and exploration of the self may benefit from a similar consideration of many points of entry. A unique aspect of this work is the observation, acknowledgement, and inclusion of a curating self. Our interactions in relationship is a constant exercise in hand selecting from the anthology of stories that is ‘I’ in order to present a highly curated version the self. An underlying concept is this notion of fracturing that is born and bred in many facets of this work. It is the physiological process in which our brains process trauma and the stories associated with trauma, separating and compartmentalizing the experiences as a mechanism of survival within our bodies. Fracturing as the dismemberment of our bodies in medicine and the treatment of [dis]ease. And the disremembering of history, culture, and tradition that is also a mechanism of survival of and survival within this white supremacist, cisheteropatriarchal society. There is also the political division of geographical spaces that consequentially leads to the fracturing, uprooting, and [dis][mis] placement of community, culture, and persons. Through the engagement of diverse lenses, this project explores the edges of these vast landscapes as a means of witnessing the frayed edges as places of knowledge and [re]formation of ways of knowing and being.
Movement of a Movement
Invites us to return to something so human at its core and to be within the condition of body and flesh. It is an embodiment of the observation of how the social systems that we move within shape our bodies. And it illustrates how what may appear as a micro-movement is filled with infinite possibility and potential to cultivate something so much bigger. It reminds us to ask, “how am I standing in this historical moment?” And to use the knowledge gleaned from that embodied discourse to serve us in shifting political discourse.