Requiem for Mirrors and Tigers
‘Life in His Mouth, Death Cradles Her Arm’
During April and May 2016, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, travelled to Guatemala to film the third work in his cycle of performances. Entitled Life in His Mouth, Death Cradles Her Arm, the work was performed directly for the camera, and was staged within the elegant arcades of high-rise grave complexes of Guatemala City’s General Cemetery across an evening’s transition from night to dawn. Alongside this change of light, the work follows the steady melting of a block of ice, which is wrapped in a blanket as if a baby and cradled by the artist who stands quietly steadfast throughout the performance. The duration of the performance’s action was dictated by the transformation of the ice from a solid to liquid state, while the final video work is edited into an abbreviate meditation on the material’s transformation, the passage of time, and the surrounding architectural features.
Life in His Mouth, Death Cradles Her Arm was a recreation of an earlier live performance of the same title, which was originally performed in 2006 within a group exhibition of the artist run gallery, Western Front, in Vancouver, Canada. The video documentation of this first performance was later lost to a house fire. The new video of the performance was first presented as part of Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa’s participation in If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution’s Edition VI – Event and Duration Finale at Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam on 24 November 2016. It was screened alongside Illusion of Matter, and the fourth live performance in the cycle, Mimesis of Mimesis.
Life in His Mouth, Death Cradles Her Arm (2016) was commissioned by If I Can't Dance, Amsterdam and first presented on 24 January 2016 as part of the Introductory Event to VI (2015-2016), Event and Duration.