Combining experimental research on ethnobotany, curative practices, and wellbeing, Patricia Dominguez’s art focuses on the relationships between living species in an increasingly corporate cosmos. Her practice is directly connected to her activism, and she understands art as a field of possibility that can disrupt existing political narratives, challenge interpretation, and propose new ways of approaching problems.
First published online on st_age, Gaiaguardianxs (Gaia’s Guardians) (2020) is an interactive publication that emerges from three years of research—a personal journey through conflicts connected to the issue of water in Latin America. Its origins lie in Bolivia, where drought and fires in the Chiquitanía region have destroyed more than 4 million hectares of forest in recent years. In her native Chile, Domínguez reached out to eco-social movements and raised awareness of people who have been blinded by the police during protests. The third part speaks about the privatization of water in Chile, and how fresh water has been diverted to irrigate large-scale corporate avocado plantations in the Petorca region. Since the 1990s, Chile has been plagued by the appropriation of water by the agriculture industry in collusion with politicians. Many people do not have clean water for drinking and basic sanitation, a situation made even more troublesome with the spread of Covid-19.
For How to Tread Lightly, Domínguez has transformed the latter chapter of the publication into a new sculpture–totem and video La balada de las sirenas secas (The Ballad of the Dry Mermaids) (2020), for which she collaborated with with Las Viudas del Agua (The Widows of the Water) a group of women who are devoting their lives to the fight for access to water resources within their communities. The Ballad of the Dry Mermaids examines the complex flows of water in terms of the possibilities for crying, healing, and spirituality in the digital era.
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st_age, is a digital platform launched by TBA21 as a response to the Covid-19 crisis to present newly produced works. It aims to offer refuge and support and at the same time to establish ground for discussion and collaboration between different disciplines and generations in order to build the foundations of a new cultural space.