The Kiss by Maria Jose Arjona

The Kiss: Live Performance
Wednesday, May 30, 6-8pm

Additional Performances: June 6th and June 13th

The Kiss is a performance where the presence of the artist becomes the force maintaining two bodies in continuous flow. The performance emerges from researching several aspects of kissing and pinpointing the marvelous system adopted by each body when kissing occurs. It is a transformation of an action into gesture, allowing the audience to experience, in a magnified mode, the relevance of such event, what it promotes and affirms. -Maria José Arjona

The Kiss
Component 5/7 from the performative cycle ACTIVE VOICE
Exhibition by Maria José Arjona
May 23-June 22, 2012

Sound design by Shawn Greenlee
Videographer: Agata Domanska

The Kiss is an exhibition mapping a system uniting two bodies. It is a gesture, magnified by the use of sound, emerging from the action of kissing and intensified by the working presence of the performer’s body.

Throughout the space each element is woven by simple associations between body (present and absent), sound, and various materials which are all used to reveal the nature of this binding gesture: the kiss. The exhibition does not display one privileged moment of the kiss – rather, it dislocates it through its many representations, thereby underlining an aural intensity which evokes the possibility of an image of kissing within each spectator.

The exhibition could also be thought of as a microscope slide where some of the components of kissing are extracted and isolated in order to better understand them. It is not a rendering, it is not a choreographed sequence, it doesn’t function within linear time. But it proves the force contained in a simple gesture (kissing) simultaneously giving it a voice and an expanded corporeality.

The audio element is integral to the piece, much more essential than simply serving as a “soundtrack.” On the video “Strap”, the association between a plastic strap used to connect two cables, and the sound it produces when closed is linked with the sound of a kiss. Both sounds are connected by an image where the actual gesture of sending a kiss is recorded while simultaneously two hands close a plastic strap. These two parallel actions, shown digitally, are reflected into the space in the form an object created by the plastic straps.

“The Kiss” (long durational performance), a breathing system where the performer’s body becomes the intersection enabling the entire organism to work, reveals the intricate rhythm between lungs, fluids and muscles while kissing. The body is the kiss: the plane of action created by it. This intersecting plane finds its translation into sound via the repetitive action of inflating and deflating two huge latex balloons.

“Muted”, the second video in the installation, refers to childhood memories of wondering what kissing might feel like; the embracing aspect of it, is associated with the binding function of the straps, the sound carried by the cables interconnecting the speakers, the kisses sent and the edited sound produced by a couple kissing (from where the actual sound emerges)...all of them fluid extensions of the kiss into the space.

Sound as fluid, sound as connector, sound as image, sound as memory, sound, body, sound...time suspended in and by a gesture...also a sound...a minimal voice.

MARIA JOSE ARJONA Born in Bogota/Colombia 1973 Living and working in New York Master in Plastic Arts HIGHER ACADEMY OF THE ARTS OF BOGOTA (ASAB) 2000 Previously trained as a dancer. Maria Jose Arjona is an artist whose practice is mainly focused on long durational performance. Throughout her career she has developed several approaches to endure, resist, and understand what she considers the biggest and most critical element in performance: TIME Arjona participated as a re-performer of the iconic pieces of Marina Abramovic at her retrospective THE ARTIST IS PRESENT in MOMA (NY) on 2010 and was also involved in the wrokshop "Cleaning The House" given by Abramovic herself. Arjona's work has been exhibited in numerous institutions, musuems and galleries throughout Europe, South America, Asia and the US and the performances had appeared in publications such as The Guardian(UK), The New York Times, Art In America, Whitewall Magazine, Art Nexus International, Arte Al Dia, The Miami Herald, The New herald, Wynwood Magazine, MAG Magazine,Miami NewTimes, Street, El tiempo (COL), Revista Arcadia (COL), El espectador (COL), Corriere della Sera (IT) and many others.

Special thanks to Heather and Tony Podesta, Andre Lepecki, Location One's International Committee, Julian Navarro, Laura Lona and Anita Beckers.

For press inquiries, please contact Heather Wagner at press@location1.org

Location One is extremely grateful to The NY State Council on the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Location One's International Committee for making this event possible.



Based in the Soho arts district of New York, Location One is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to fostering new forms of creative expression and cultural exchange through exhibitions, residencies, performances, public lectures and workshops. Traditionally focused on technological experimentation and new media, Location One's residencies and programs have favored social and political discourse and dialogue, and acted as a catalyst for collaborations. With a unique environment providing individualized training, support, and guidance to each artist, as well as exposure for their creations and collaborations, Location One continues to nurture the spirit of experimentation that it considers the cornerstone of its mission.
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