Art

Martine Gutierrez Plays a Humanoid in New Sci-Fi Show

by Chanel Burns

This week, multidisciplinary artist Martine Gutierrez invites any and all audiences courageous enough to step into her secret laboratory at Performance Space New York.

Gutierrez introduces Circle to the public as part of Performance Space New York's The Stages Series, which launched in October and runs until January. Gutierrez's latest show, which runs Nov. 20, as well as on Nov. 22 and 23, combines "cinema's obsession with femme humanoids and other imagined freaks of nature with Mayan legends and unsolved mysteries of Mesoamerican alien sightings."

So far, The Stages Series has hosted works by artists such as Princess Nokia, and its aim is to "transcend the black box and its institutional walls."

Gutierrez's Circle is named after the leading corporation in the development of biological warfare. The show replicates a highly classified laboratory, similar to something from a cult '90s sci-fi thriller. A humanoid named Eve, created by Dr. Red, is kept under militant surveillance inside. Eve is the first humanoid to be bioengineered with alien DNA, which was discovered by Dr. Red in the Mayan cave Xibalba, also known as the "place of fear" or "the mouth of the underworld."

To reduce the pollution of human contaminants, protective clothing will be provided to everyone upon entry. This murky dive into the unknown doubles as an exploration of exaggerated femininity, shaped by pop culture's materialization while reflecting on identity and desire — all common themes in Gutierrez's work.

"Am I suddenly more palatable because of the particular character on display?" Gutierrez asks in a statement. "It is my practice of autonomy over my own image that gives me the power to advocate for and objectify my body without being tokenized or used to assume allyship."

She continues: "I often look to cinema, television, advertisements and pop music as a stage on which to act out my own narrative. These re-imaginings of the self call attention to the fictions that surround and define us all — those we internalize through daily life and those we create."

Performances of Circle will take place at Performance Space New York, 150 First Avenue, 4th floor, on Nov. 20, 22-23 at 7, 7:30, 8 PM. Tickets are $25, and are available here.

Photo courtesy of Martine Gutierrez

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