Photo of the artist with slicked shoulder length hair and bare shoulders, looking down into the camera.

PORTAL A MI M(I)AMI by Maria Del Pilar (PILI) Lopez-Saavedra

Content warning: nudity.

“PORTAL A MI M(I)AMI” (2019) Installation, Performance. My Hair, My skin, Water, Metal pitcher, scissors, laptop, MILALMAS.

“PORTAL A MI M(I)AMI” is a performance piece which comprised of video, painting, and performance which resulted in an installation. The performance included the video work JUST CHILLEN/JC 305 (2018). The video played scenes of me reinterpreting a crucifixion thru leisure in Miami.

Photo of the artist laying on the ground, topless with tan lines, wearing black jeans, with head resting on strands of hair.

PORTAL A MI M(I)AMI

An altar installation/performance in which my tan lines, a video piece, hair floor installation, and two of my paintings, serve as a passageway thru which the Miami tropics and northern New York landscape/energies that I exist in as a first-generation immigrant at a predominantly white university merge to create a portal that breaks binaries, barriers and time.

Photo of the artist standing in front of a white wall with head poking through a coloured painting.

PORTAL A MI M(I)AMI

In front of me, “AMANTE PERFECTE: PRETTYBOI/PUTASBOI”(2019), a painting exploring notions of being a perfect lover + my gender-queerness within the realm of the divine. Visual imagery + Paintings included in my performance pieces accompany/contextualize my genderqueer Brown body.

A painting featuring two brown people side by side, joined together, with partial facial hair.

AMANTE PERFECTE: PRETTYBOI/PUTASBOI

Behind me, MI RUANA, a painted Colombian ruana depicting the spirit and physical world, with the head as the central point between these two spaces. The paintings are included within this piece in order to accompany and contextualize my genderqueer Brown body in a predominately white space.

I began to unbraid hair I cut off in my 2016 RAICES performance. Using the unbraided hair, I made a shape reminiscent of a palm tree leaf. Then I wore MI RUANA while receiving feedback.

Photo of the artist crouched down on the floor, wetting strands of hair and laying them onto the ground.

PORTAL A MI M(I)AMI

Thinking about how we connect and travel to our QTBIPOC origins thru visuals n emotions, with or without tech, via a phone, computer screen, a painting, a memory, a feeling…

Photo of the artist with slicked shoulder length hair and bare shoulders.

THEY/THEM/PRETTYBOI/PUTABOI

THEY/THEM/PRETTYBOI/PUTABOI (2018) (Self-portrait, My body, My hair, water, MILALMAS) is series of self-portraits in which I use mi cuerpo, and energy to explore various physical/spiritual gender transformations, continuing the conversations on the semiotics of gender identity brought forth by Mendieta to explore and conceptualize my New Realist theory of MILALMAS.

Photo of the artist with slicked shoulder length hair and bare shoulders, looking down into the camera.

THEY/THEM/PRETTYBOI/PUTABOI

MIL: a million + ALMAS: souls. MILALMAS. A person who is ancestrally connected and therefore genderfluid/embodying a million souls in one. The concept of MILALMAS as a non-western way to explore ideas of gender queerness through spiritual/ancestral connection and language.

Photo of the artist with slicked shoulder length hair and bare shoulders. The slicked hair is displayed in strips across the artist’s upper lip like a moustache.

THEY/THEM/PRETTYBOI/PUTABOI

About the artist

Maria Del Pilar ( PILI ) Lopez-Saavedra: I am a Brown, Genderqueer, Colombian born, Miami raised, New York-based creative co-struggling for a Black/Brown Utopia.

My multidisciplinary exploration of reality questions ideas surrounding power, intimacy, divinity, and art’s relationship to society. Envisioning truth through body-based performances, installations, sculptures, paintings, video, text and audio work.

My practice of existence and creation has its foundations in questions. The core questions I have always lead to more questions: How do we cope with/destroy white supremacy? What is gender? And how is it connected to divinity? What is the soul? What is God? How do we connect to the ancestors? Is revolution possible?

The primarily material within the work has been mi cuerpo. Since, It is the vessel through which I experience this life and through which this world perceives me. My brown body as a vessel to communicate niche/universal experiences of identity.

Photo of the artist with slicked shoulder length hair and bare shoulders, with face to the side of the camera. The slicked hair is brushed in strips across the artist’s upper lip like a moustache.

THEY/THEM/PRETTYBOI/PUTABOI

For example: “PORTAL TO MIAMI” (2019), An altar installation/performance in which my tan lines, a video piece, hair installation, and two of my paintings, serve as a passageway thru which the Miami tropics and northern New York landscape/energies that I exist in as a first generation immigrant at a predominantly white university merge to create a portal that breaks binaries, barriers and time.

“AMANTE PERFECTE: PRETTYBOI/PUTASBOI”(2019), a painting exploring notions of being a perfect lover my gender-queerness within the realm of the divine. Visual imagery + Paintings included in my performance pieces accompany/contextualize my genderqueer Brown body.

Or: Collaborative performances, “PROFÉTICO DE VIOLENCIA CINÉTICA: SOCIAL VIOLENCE” (2018) with Omar Abreu (MUJERO) in which we questioned and subverted t-he relationship between power + identity found in white supremacist institutions such as the new school by performing gestures of BIQTPOC queer intimacy in front of the new schools logo.

I am cultivating a reflective, creative, self determinated existence resulting in cultural production for the benefit of Queer/LGBTQ Black Indigenous Latine/x people of color and/or anyone who identifies with mi vision.

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