María Teresa Hincapié

Vitrina (Showcase)

NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona
Jan 20 - Apr 6, 2015

Her actions, of intense gestural and poetic character, address gender issues such as oppression, loneliness and abandonment.

NoguerasBlanchard is pleased to announce the exhibition Vitrina by Colombian artist María Teresa Hincapié born in Armenia (Quindíos) in 1943 and deceased in 2008. Following presentations by Anna Bella Geiger and Lotty Rosenfeld, this is the third in a series of exhibitions in the gallery space in Barcelona focusing on works produced in the seventies and eighties by Latin American women artists. Here, the exhibition centres on the documentation of an action performed in 1989.

Trained as an actress and dancer, the work of Maria Teresa Hincapié developed especially in the field of performance in Colombia, where she became one of the most prominent representatives of this genre. Her actions, of intense gestural and poetic character, address gender issues such as oppression, loneliness and abandonment.

Carolina Ponce de León has written: “Vitrina was performed for the first time in a street cabinet in the centre of Bogotá. It was basically an anonymous act without cameras, outdoor media, press releases, etc. For eight hours a day – the normal working hours of a business day – Maria Teresa Hincapié engaged in cleaning the case. The glass that separated the private sphere of public space acted as a transparency, a barrier and a screen- like a protective dual surface. Her movements were defined by functional gestures: lathering, rinsing, sweeping, etc. She also wrote intimate monologues that communicated outwards through inscriptions on glass, written in blood-red lipstick: like a graffiti of seduction which manifestly alienated tensions of the psychological, social or political violence exerted on the identity of the feminine”. Made with artist José Alejandro Restrepo in the Latin American Meeting of popular theatre, the artist herself said: “I was inspired by the ladies who will clean glasses in these places. It is something that is very common to see. I used a blue apron, gloves, all necessary equipment, but I thought that despite being such a petty trade, it could turn into a party. Like saying: today I’m going crazy, I am going to clean these glasses differently, today I am going to play. That really nice lipstick appeared. I remember that when I gave kisses to the cabinet, the drivers of the buses stopped and sent me kisses too, that became very nice. It was like highlighting how beautiful it is to be a woman. All this ordinary world made me look into my own safety, my own nobility, my femininity”.

Maria Teresa Hincapié (Colombia 1956-2008) trained as a dancer and actress, studied experimental theatre in France, and techniques of contemporary dance in Indonesia, India and Japan. After a collaboration with Alvaro Restrepo in 1986 she moved from theatre to visual arts. She has performed in the following biennials: Havana (1991), São Paulo (1996 and 2006) and Venice (2005). Her work has been shown in prestigious institutions such as Musée d’Art Moderne (Paris), MNCARS (Madrid), IVAM (Valencia) or Philip Frost Art Museum (Miami).

With many thanks to Casas Reigner, Bogotá.

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Selected Works

María Teresa Hincapié


Single-channel video