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Camila Cañeque, the philosopher and artist who embraced inactivity as a form of resistance, dies at 39

2024-02-23T13:32:16.231Z

Highlights: Camila Cañeque, the philosopher and artist who embraced inactivity as a form of resistance, dies at 39. The artist, with a renowned international career and whose 'performances' about existential fatigue marked a milestone, suffered a sudden death while she was sleeping. Her work was revolutionary in defending passivity, horizontality, ostracism and absolute inactivity at a time when the capitalist system encourages efficiency and productivity as meters of personal success. Her exquisite bitingness, coupled with her depth, her sensitivity, and her suggestive vision of the world, made her a brilliant and genuine artist.


The artist, with a renowned international career and whose 'performances' about existential fatigue marked a milestone, suffered a sudden death while she was sleeping


Camila Cañeque (Barcelona, ​​1984-2024) was a philosopher and conceptual artist who worked with performance

,

installation and writing to reflect existential fatigue that, as she explained in her biography, concerns “a physical, political and environmental hangover.” ”.

A fundamental part of her work was based on reclaiming inactivity resulting from fatigue as a philosophy of life.

Her work was revolutionary in defending passivity, horizontality, ostracism and absolute inactivity at a time when the capitalist system encourages efficiency and productivity as meters of personal success.

Cañeque suffered a sudden death at the age of 39.

She died on Wednesday, February 14, in her sleep.

Her exquisite bitingness, coupled with her depth, her sensitivity, and her suggestive vision of the world, made her a brilliant and genuine artist.

Her way of being brought together extravagance and sophistication, intelligence and a sense of humor.

Few intellectuals are so genuine and spontaneous as well as complex.

Theirs was a rebellion that did no harm to anyone, that invited a different, playful, always more interesting contemplation about everything.

That authenticity, together with an impulsivity motivated by a contagious childish illusion, and the freshness of her eloquence, aroused admiration.

No one who knew her was indifferent to her presence.

More information

The artist censored in ARCO when she symbolized the death of Spain

Cañeque studied British Literature at the University of Oxford and Philosophy at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and to theoretical excellence were added experiences throughout some of the most emblematic cities in the world.

She lived long periods in Paris, New York, Madrid, Barcelona and São Paulo, where she specialized in Cinema Performance.

But his refuge was always his house in Girona, where he felt freer than anywhere else.

He imagined Camila growing old there, in the place that would become a pilgrimage center where new generations of artists could come to meet her, who was very much a legend and a literary character.

The work 'Teatro Durmiente' by Camila Cañeque in an image taken from the artist's website.

Camila Cañeque's work hit the media when she was censored at ARCO in 2013. There she went dressed as flamenco and, without being part of the program or belonging to any gallery, she performed a

surprise

performance ,

Dead end

, in which She threw herself on the ground and remained face down surrounded by verses from Lorca's

Romancero Gitano

and red carnations, symbolizing the death of Spain and the general exhaustion of the system.

It was the culmination of a project,

Where are our dresses

, which consisted of a 27-day trip (number of letters in the Spanish alphabet) in which she toured the United States dressed as flamenco as her trademark, documenting people's reactions to her passed.

It was the departure of an increasingly solid trajectory around that existential exhaustion (historical and physical), the different forms of rest, the acceptance of uselessness and the outright denial of accumulation and progress.

His performances address passive activities such as napping, waiting in a car, sauna, sunbathing or receiving a massage;

and his paintings focus on furniture designed to relieve sustained fatigue (sofas, chairs, divans, beds).

His work has been seen all over the world, from the Vermelho Gallery in São Paulo, to Microscope Gallery, The Kitchen, Glasshouse Project or The Queens Museum, all of them in New York, to the Kulturhuset Museum in Stockholm, passing through the CaixaForum, the Joan Prats gallery and the Vicereina of Barcelona, ​​to the Lucía Mendoza gallery or the Lázaro Galdiano Museum or the Teatros del Canal in Madrid, among other spaces.

The Juan Gallery, dedicated to performance, hosted several of his exhibitions and dedicated a retrospective to him, “the day after the day after.”

During the last season he lived in New York (from 2016 to 2019), Cañeque developed suggestive conceptual projects such as

The Sleeping Theater

, where all the chairs in an auditorium appeared unoccupied and lying on the floor.

But perhaps the most interesting thing was the creation of sculptural puddles intended to inhabit interiors, representing stagnation and vital paralysis.

“Puddles are territories of inactivity that must be watered (taken care of) by their owners.

They are dead objects, but alive,” the artist explained then when she showed the first one as part of the

Synonyms

exhibition at the Soho20 gallery in New York, in 2017. “The unanimous gaze is the source of my allergy, I feel fed up with the collective opinion that makes a pleasurable experience become an imperative.

The beach in summer is the expected well-being, assimilated, endorsed by a hypothetical majority.

I like storms.

When it rains there are puddles.

I like to think of what is rejected as possibly desirable.

I refuse to accept the creed, the dictatorship of the good, the beautiful, the happy.

If I tend to look at a puddle with respect to a river, it is only as a matter of justice.”

The performance 'Sauna desert' by Camila Cañeque in an image uploaded to her web portal.

Cañeque loved gray and rainy days, this imposition of seclusion was always fruitful for him.

She had a sensitivity to capture nuances and frequencies that escape the perception of the majority and, although this innate overexposure could make her more vulnerable to injury, she was always brave, resilient, constructive.

She was a born creator.

She was not a woman of excess, both the most infernal and the most extraordinary always happened in her head.

She liked coffee, cooking pasta in her East Village apartment listening to classical music.

Sightseeing.

Read.

Her work is full of winks and references (

The Divine Comedy

inspired her series

El Purgatorio

, in what constitutes a scathing critique of the decrepitude of the 21st century).

She conversed with both talkative and extravagant people, as well as with those who were shy and strange.

She wanted the simplest and the most complicated: to love and be loved.

And she was a very loved person by everyone who knew her.

La obra de Cañeque abarca además los ensayos y la literatura. Su singular manera de escribir, en la que importa tanto lo que narra como lo que deliberadamente omite, está cargada de humanidad y de belleza. Muestra de su sensibilidad es el texto Los olvidantes que forma parte del libro colectivo Olvidar / Forgetting publicado en la editorial Brumaria o su texto Compartir intemperie, en Jotdown. Su estilo es tan personal que no se me ocurre ningún autor con el que compararla y es una suerte para todos que entre marzo y abril su primer libro vea la luz. La última frase será publicado por La Uña Rota.

Cuando conocí a Camila por primera vez, me habló de su proyecto Rehearsal (ensayo) durante una residencia artística en Nida Art Colony, Lituania, en el 2014. Consistía en evocar el mito de Sísifo arrojándose rodando cuesta abajo desde una duna de arena para volver a subir una y otra vez, durante horas, cada uno de los días. Un ejercicio de resistencia, para trabajar la alternancia infinita entre fracaso y esperanza. Un gesto de rendición ante la filosofía del absurdo. Que Camila acabara falleciendo antes de cumplir 40 años de una muerte súbita estando sana, concuerda con este paradigma del sinsentido.

Murió súbitamente mientras dormía. Se fue colmada y al borde de todo. Antes de que su hijo naciera, antes de que se publicara su primer libro. Antes de que todo eclosionara.

La recordaremos así, brillando en lo más alto, en el momento antes de, que es siempre el mejor momento. Yéndose acompañada.

Ahora es pertinente repasar y saborear el valioso legado que Cañeque dejó a su paso por el mundo como artista. Sus performances, sus instalaciones, sus libros. Deglutir su obra, recordarla. Que, sobre todo, quede integrada en el canon. Y darle a ella la corona que merece. Tenemos en nuestras manos la responsabilidad de que su trayectoria y su radiante singularidad no caigan en el olvido. Es difícil recordarla sin sentir mil emociones, sin esbozar una sonrisa.

Gracias por iluminarlo todo, Camila.

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Source: elparis

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