Sara Hebe . Historika

“¿Quién va a deternerte? ¿La muerte, la edad o la idea?

De tanto que se siente eufórica
Antes que histérica histórica
De tanto encanto, pictórica
De tan gustosa rica, tan re-rica
Fabrica hormonas, calienta, lubrica
Hasta a los maricas hechiza
A veces le da besos a dios, por unos pesos
A vos, gracias por ser como sos.

Si te vas la salida te indica,
Es una estética con poética,
Con la base que suena sin ética
Y simpatiza con el tipo de tu lírica
Pero a vos ni te ubica, te desubica
Sube acá y sube acá
Hace adivinanzas gitana,
No tiene un método lo hace con y romántica
No tiene un titulo: Tiene lencería.

Erótica se pone
Romántica un poco
Afónica un poco
Visionica te enferma
De forma crónica.
Primero te da forma después te deforma
De tanto que sabe te informa con pocas normas
Piensa en la reforma
Transformers, se transforma
Y con el ritmo cambia la forma.
Forma la fila y aniquila te formatea.
Gracias a dios es atea.

De tan histérica, histórica
Antes que histérica, histórica
De tanto que siente, eufórica
Antes que histérica, histórica
De tan histérica, histórica.

Simplifica con mímica, te lo dice con mímica
Cero místicas pura físicas de este lado para que me miren y no me toquen
Desde este punto para que se acerquen, pero no sofoquen
De arriba o abajo, para que me enfoquen
Para que empiecen a probar que me provoquen y la emboquen y no me toquen
Se siente el Espíritu invoquen
movete ken
No sumen, no resten, simplifiquen, multipliquen
Morite ken
Somos adultos pero algunos son muy muy billiken.

O, es cuestión de tu gen
Gente que te aplaude por aplaudir público,
bobos como monos no sabe a quien seguir, no sabe a quien elegir,

No hay candidato ni candidata
Son todas ratas
Mentira las encuestas
Por eso yo por eso yo por eso yo
Show el voto anulo me postulo
Voy a ser presidenta
El petróleo no será para la venta,
El gas es como para la gente friolenta
Cuando sea presidenta, argentina se reinventa.

De tan histérica, histórica
Antes que histérica, histórica
De tanto que siente, eufórica
Antes que histérica, histórica
De tan histérica, histórica.

“Hysteriska Historiska (2018-∞) is a project that aims to reflect different states in which institutional violence aims to erase us women from writing- or taking part of history.

This project was curated and produced by Gallery Majkens, feminist mobile gallery, and hosted by ABF-Huset.

This exhibition opened on the 29th of November, 2018 and was going until December 13th of the same year.

Just one day after its vernissage, Hysteriska Historiska was abruptly canceled by ABF’s administration without any possibility of dialogue.

Histeriska Historiska planned different activities such as a knitting- in/for-public-spaces workshops, live painting, and spoken word interventions. We hosted a space for video work by colleagues, Angélica Chávez, Paola Torres and Ami Kohara.

People who’s work and effort built Hysteriska Historiska: Magdalena Blom, Marie-Therese Luger, Natalie Högström, Lotta Hedin, La Wara, Hysterix collective (Cecilia Rejtman and Angélica Chávez), among others.

Today November 29th it has been a year after our festive and strong vernissage.

I still have fear. I still hold a precarious status, but we come prepared to face precarity by creating community and shelter where we find rejection.
We continue our work and find a way for our cultural expressions in this precarity. Evicted from the history of some buildings and institutions. 

More about it/ Más acerca de esto:



Waqay explores the latent threat of things disappearing. It seeks to evoke the loss of what is being erased as a result of time passing, colonization, destruction, climatic change, etc. This ongoing project is presented in Venice in the form of ritual-action in Campo San Pietro on Monday 18th of November 2019

Waqay in Quechua, means ‘Tear’, ‘To cry’, and ‘the musical timbre of instruments’- It’s common to say that when one plays an instrument you are making it “cry” or helping it bring its voice up to the surface)

As an interface, we have three replicas of pre-hispanic instruments called “Vasija Silbadora de Agua” (Whistling vessels or whistling water jars) due to its capacity of producing sound without a ‘human’ whistle or intention. This instrument could be seen as an amplification of water’s natural sound. The history line of this object has many blanks since its use was stopped after the Spanish conquest. There is no continuum.

At its first stages, this project sought to resurface the sound of water in Venice, almost lost due to the loudness of tourism, commerce, and visitors to the Bienalle. During these past days, nature and water have made their voice clear and loud, and we ought to adapt to the intensity of acqua alta (tides) and rain.

Ritual guide: Alexandra Nilsson (http://www.alexandranilsson.com)

instruments by: Dimitri Manga Chavez and Alfredo Najarro

Support in Venice: Rosario Sorbello and Elena Mazzi

Participant in Venice: Nicola Di Croce

Interviews in Perú: Gianfranco Solis

Video and sound: Handrez Garcia

Translator: Natalie Högström

“They are living objects. They are made to be activated. To sound. We would do wrong in leaving them in museums as still objects. History is a living thing. It is constantly reconstructed.”

– Dimitri Manga

“This is a whistling jar. Everyone calls it the astronaut because they think its a helmet. But it´s just a person inside a house. Archaeologists say it´s a representation. Another friend calls it the time-traveler. Everyone gives it their own name.” 

– Alfredo Najarro

Link to transcript of interviews


Interview with maestro Dimitri Manga
Interview with Maestro Alfredo Najarro

Water as an essential element, vital to ancestral cultures and rituals. Water being poisoned and privatized in the lands where these ancestral cultures come from. 

Water that nurtures the seeds that will later feed us and our children, water flowing through biodiversity, through life. Water, absent, by the destruction of our glaciers. Water controlled by migration international laws, using forecasting technology to deliberately send people to die at the sea. Water destroying lives in its path. Water flooding cities, cultures, history. 

Water we need, water we crave for. water we fear. 

“Sin Nombre” – Performance (Edsåsdalen, Sweden)

“Sin nombre” performance at “Konst-tid” organized by IntraGalactic arts collective (2-4th August 2019/ Edsåsdalen, Sweden)
The action took place from 11:30 to 4:30 (30 min break in between).
During the action I invited the walkers at the trail to read a text with me and share a drink, we poured some on the land. Along the hours, besides reading every thirty minutes, sometimes alone, sometimes with the visitors, I drank beer and crocheted a heart. This video is from the final bit of the action.
Audio: “Ekekas” by Hysterix collective/ Voice: Maria Högbacke
Camera: Anita Wernström Pitcher

The text was first created and written on the walls as part of installation piece “Vida Bohemia/rossanaconda” at Exhibition ‘Hysteriska historiska’ (2018) at ABF huset. This text has been updated and translated to swedish in order to be read at this performance Text translation to Swedish: Natalie Högström. https://www.scribd.com/document/421755632/Sin-Nombre-RMR-EngSweEsp

*Text in English/ Svenska / Español*

I’m the savage, the otherness
I’m the savage, embodied complexity
I’m the savage you discover in her own lands
I’m the savage you raped and kept as a slave
I’m the savage that inspires you to overfeed your children
I’m the savage that drinks beer before the weekend
I’m the savage that dances while mourning
I’m the savage that makes you lose control
I’m the savage you desire
I’m the savage you despise
I’m the savage that laughs and cries at the same time
I’m the savage you don’t understand
I’m the savage you admire but want your distance from
I’m the savage that understands the drugs you want to get high on
I’m the savage who needs to be sterilized
I’m the savage who has too many kids
I’m the savage who should not have kids
I’m the savage who rents the womb for you to have kids
I’m the savage who inspires you to help
I’m the savage who needs to learn and behave
I’m the savage who needs to be ashamed of her way to speak
I’m the savage who needs to learn spanish
I’m the savage who needs to learn english
I’m the savage who needs to learn swedish
I’m the savage who stinks
I’m the savage who makes beautiful crafts you want to buy
I’m the savage who has her kids taken by the socials
I’m the savage who neglects
I’m the savage that doesn’t take meds
I’m the savage that has a broken back
I’m the savage who celebrates too loud
I’m the savage who is invading you
I’m the savage in your eyes, ears, heart, brain
I’m the savage dancing with the bodies of their families, killed, tortured, impoverished
I’m the savage drinking her pain away
I’m the savage drinking tears
I’m the savage knitting her own heart
I’m the savage you should not talk about
I’m the savage you need to be ashamed of
I’m the savage you shouldn’t love
I’m the savage who makes you protect yourself and hide
A wounded beast demanding a hug
I’m the savage who Is Not your problem
I’m the savage who could not be killed by the machine
by the disregard and misbelief
I’m the savage who gave birth to you and us
I’m the savage inside my daughters and granddaughter’s blood
I’m the savage who will overcome
I’m the savage conquering you

Jag är vilden, den andra
Jag är vilden, förkroppsligad komplexitet
Jag är vilden som du upptäcker i sitt egna land
Jag är vilden som du våldtog och behöll som slav
Jag är vilden som inspirerar dig att övergöda dina barn
Jag är vilden som dricker öl innan helgen
Jag är vilden som dansar medan hon sörjer
Jag är vilden som får dig att tappa kontrollen
Jag är vilden som du åtrår
Jag är vilden som du föraktar
Jag är vilden som skrattar och gråter på samma gång
Jag är vilden som du inte förstår
Jag är vilden som du beundrar men vill hålla på avstånd
Jag är vilden som förstår drogerna du vill bli hög på
Jag är vilden som behöver steriliseras
Jag är vilden som har för många barn
Jag är vilden som inte borde skaffa barn
Jag är vilden som hyr ut sin livmoder så att du kan skaffa barn
Jag är vilden som inspirerar dig att hjälpa
Jag är vilden som behöver lära sig att uppföra sig
Jag är vilden som måste skämmas för hur hon pratar
Jag är vilden som behöver lära sig spanska
Jag är vilden som behöver lära sig engelska
Jag är vilden som behöver lära sig svenska
Jag är vilden som stinker
Jag är vilden som gör vackra hantverk som du vill köpa
Jag är vilden som får sina barn omhändertagna av socialen
Jag är vilden som försummar
Jag är vilden som inte tar mediciner
Jag är vilden med en bruten rygg
Jag är vilden som firar för högljutt
Jag är vilden som invaderar dig
Jag är vilden i dina ögon, öron, i ditt hjärta, i din hjärna
Jag är vilden som dansar med sin familjs kroppar, mördade, torterade, fattiga
Jag är vilden som dricker bort sin smärta
Jag är vilden som dricker tårar
Jag är vilden som stickar sitt eget hjärta
Jag är vilden som du inte borde prata om
Jag är vilden som du måste skämmas för
Jag är vilden som du inte borde älska
Jag är vilden som får dig att skydda och gömma dig
ett skadat djur som kräver en kram
Jag är vilden som inte är ditt problem
Jag är vilden som inte kunde dödas av maskinen
av likgiltighet och misstro
Jag är vilden som födde dig och oss
Jag är vilden i mina döttrar och barnbarns blod
Jag är vilden som kommer att segra
Jag är vilden som erövrar dig

Soy la salvaje, la otredad
Soy la salvaje, complejidad encarnizada
Soy la salvaje que descubriste en sus propias tierras
Soy la salvaje que violaste y mantuviste como esclava
Soy la salvaje que te inspira a sobrealimentar a tus hijos
Soy la salvaje que bebe cerveza antes del fin de semana
Soy la salvaje que baila mientras está en duelo
Soy la salvaje que te hace perder el control
Soy la salvaje que deseas
Soy la salvaje que desprecias
Soy la salvaje que ríe y llora al mismo tiempo
Soy la salvaje que no entiendes
Soy la salvaje que admiras pero de la que quieres mantener distancia
Soy la salvaje que entiende las drogas que con las que te quieres drogar
Soy la salvaje que necesita ser esterilizada
Soy la salvaje que tiene demasiados hijos.
Soy la salvaje que no debería tener hijos
Soy la salvaje que te alquila el útero para que tú tengas hijos
Soy la salvaje que te inspira a ayudar
Soy la salvaje que necesita aprender y comportarse
Soy la salvaje que necesita avergonzarse de su manera de hablar
Soy la salvaje que necesita aprender español
Soy la salvaje que necesita aprender inglés
Soy la salvaje que necesita aprender sueco
Soy la salvaje que apesta
Soy la salvaje que hace las hermosas artesanías que quieres comprar
Soy la salvaje a la que le quitan sus hijos los servicios sociales
Soy la salvaje que descuida
Soy la salvaje que no toma medicinas
Soy la salvaje con la espalda rota
Soy la salvaje que celebra demasiado fuerte
Soy la salvaje que te invade
Soy la salvaje en tus ojos, oídos, corazón, cerebro
Soy la salvaje bailando sobre los cuerpos de sus familiares, asesinados, torturados, empobrecidos
Soy la salvaje bebiendo su dolor
Soy la salvaje bebiendo lágrimas
Soy la salvaje tejiendo su propio corazón
Soy la salvaje de la que no deberías hablar
Soy la salvaje de la que debes avergonzarte
Soy la salvaje que no deberías amar
Soy la salvaje que te hace protegerte y esconderte
una bestia herida que exige un abrazo
Soy la salvaje que no es tu problema
Soy la salvaje que no pudo ser asesinada por la maquinaria,
por el desprecio y la incredulidad
Soy la salvaje que te parió, a ti y a nosotros
Soy la salvaje dentro de la sangre de mis hijas y mis nietas
Soy la salvaje que vencerá
Soy la salvaje conquistándote, ahora.

Text: Rossana Mercado-Rojas
Translation English to Swedish: Natalie Högström

Photography: Anita Wernström Pitcher

elementos: vestido de novia, manto hilado hace 60 años por bisabuela Victoria y regalado por la abuela Vilma en Orcotuna (Perú), lanas regaladas por amigas y familia, cerveza sueca, agua de florida, frutas, fresas, sangres y cuchillo de cocina del hogar que nos acogió en Edsåsdalen.
-cuerpo de mujer chola latinoamericana, cicatrizado, estriado, ensangrentado en matorral-

Occam’s Razor: Collective performance with C/P/S

C / P / S, led by artist Tarek Atoui, is a post-master course
within the research programme of Kungl. Konsthögskolan/
Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. The approach of C / P / S
stems from Atoui’s work with music, instruments and performance. Together the group think and work around these
notions and their interconnections; experimental instruments
and instrument making become the starting point for creating
encounters with diverse audiences and engaging with the
reality and musicality of a place.
C / P / S is Alan Affichard, Ami Kohara, Igor Porte, Jeremiah Runnels,
Johanna Mårtensson, Julia Giertz and Rossana Mercado-Rojas, all
professional practitioners from areas such as music, visual arts, art history
and performing arts.

C / P / S open studio session + bar Platform has since autumn 2018 hosted Kungl. Konsthögskolan/ Royal Institute of Art and functioned as an external studio for C / P / S. A creative place for research, meetings and discussions with guests and professionals from different fields as well as a space for developing new work togeth- er. The first part of Occam’s Razor is an intimate open studio session + bar at Platform with various contributions from the C / P / S members.

  • Platform_2019

Eric Ericsson Hallen

Eric Ericsonhallen C / P / S x LUMEN PROJECT
This special collaboration between LUMEN PROJECT and C / P / S will generate an atmospheric experience through time and space at Eric Ericsonhallen. It is an evening where individual and collective works of sound, performance, and video by the C / P / S members are interlinked and together activate different architectur- al aspects of the church and immerse its visitors.

Rossana Mercado-Rojas explores the transitions of former religious buildings into secular spaces for cultural activation. Through exploration with different media, Mercado-Rojas seeks to recall notions such as religion, power, history, nation, and culture.

Poner el cuerpo/Embodiment/positionera sig kroppsligen

Poner el cuerpo (feat Natalie Hölmström) – Faculty of Action presents Performance Gossip – this is important! en Nordic Guest Studio Malongen – Stockholm, 2018

Text presentation at Open Call, Faculty of Action presents Performance Gossip – this is important! at Nordic Guest Studio Malongen. October 15th *In collaboration with Natalie Högstrom* Text: Rossana Mercado Rojas Interpreter: Natalie Högström Audio: Hatrapadah Ku (beat Copa 38 B) **Download text/Descarga https://www.scribd.com/…/PonerElCuerp…

Camera: Igor Porte

“poner el cuerpo” means not just to talk, think, or desire, but to be really present
and involved; to put the whole being in action, to be committed to a social cause, and to assume the bodily risks and demands of such commitment.

Embodiment of women * Political REsistance


Sobre la performance
La necesidad de poner el cuerpo
El cuerpo de las mujeres desde las mujeres

Mente, alma, idea, pulsión, espíritu, entrañas, llanto, grito
Poner el cuerpo decimos en las marchas cuando ponemos nuestros rostros
Y nuestra integridad física como barrera de defensa contra un sistema que nos minimiza

Poner el cuerpo cuando parimos, cuando criamos
Cuando el trabajo que realizamos dentro y fuera del hogar es ignorado o abiertamente escondido

En el mundo del profesionalismo y academicismo patriarcal
El cuerpo y sus experiencias, de cansancio, de poder, de fuerza descomunal, de complejas emociones
De “contradicciones” como llamarían aquellos que no saben entender complejidades y necesitan encajonar y tabular.
Nuestro conocimiento complejo
Nuestra cuerpa, sujeto que actúa social e históricamente
Histérica, loca, emocional, llorona, quejona, Bruja, frígida, maldita,
En el mundo de monumentos, de edificios altos, de tanques, de akm´s, de bazookas
El cuerpo de las mujeres irrumpe e interrumpe

Nuestros cuerpos tienen la capacidad de transmutar el mundo
Muchas mujeres artistas no quieren la palabra “mujer” después o antes de “artista”
La Abramovich y muchos colegas en todo rincón de la cultura han sostenido que
El arte no tiene género
El arte es Bueno o no es Bueno, y punto.
¿Entonces, el déficit de mujeres en la historia del arte, en los puestos con poder decisión, en las colecciones se debe a que de 10 solo 3 han sido realmente buenas?
Quién, cómo y por qué se nos ha sesgado un conjunto de sensibilidades
¿Es acaso imposible de clasificar dentro del arte bueno?
Serán estas sensibilidades, estas experiencias las mismas que son invisibles cuando se generan políticas públicas
¿Políticas públicas para el bienestar humano? Políticas reproductivas. Imposibilidad de abortar y ausencia absoluta de soporte estatal para la crianza, no guarderías, educación pública colapsada
Desde allá hasta acá
Hablamos de equidad
Cuánto se puede hablar de la desigualdad cuando la ley dice que somos iguales, que tú y tu esposo son iguales. Que la crianza es equitativa
Y tu cuerpo cansado. Y tu mente desgastada. ¿Y tus ganas de explotar?
No, somos mujeres profesionales del primer mundo. La ley dice que somos iguales. Debemos callar.
La ley está escrita con un pene

aquí, allá y en el más allá
Poner el cuerpo en el arte
Es un acto subversivo
Nuestras cuerpas invitan y promueven el desacato

Un acto instantáneo e irrepetible en este mundo de enlatados vendibles
Una microrelación con un otro
El impacto directo
La acción, no la actuación
La experiencia del cuerpo como entidad plástica
Como objeto y sujeto

Romperémos las fronteras

Romperémos el sistema

Histéricas e Históricas


About performance
The need to put the body/embodiment
The body of women from and for women
Mind, soul, idea, drive, spirit, entrails, crying, screaming
“To Put the body” we say at the demostrations where we put our faces on front
And our physical integrity as a defense barricade against a System that minimizes us
To Put the body, when we give birth, when we raise our children
When the work we do inside and outside the home is ignored or openly hidden
In this world of professionalism; patriarchal academicism
The body and its experiences, of fatigue, of power, of enormous strength, of complex emotions
Of “contradictions” as those who do not know how to understand complexities would call it in their need to put everything in boxes and tabulate.
Our complex knowledge
Our body as a subject acting socially and historically
Hysterical, crazy, emotional, weepy, nagging bitch, Witch, bitch frigid, evil.
In the world of monuments, high buildings, tanks, akm’s and bazookas
Women’s body breaks in and interrupts
Our bodies have the ability to transmute the world
Many women artists do not want the word “woman” before “artist”
Abramovich and many colleagues throughout the Culture world have argued that
Art has no gender
Art is good or not good, period.
So the deficit of women in art´s history, in positions of power, in the collections is only due to the fact that only 3 of 10 have really been good?
Who, how and why we have been biased a set of sensitivities
Are those impossible to classify in “good art”?
These sensitivities might be these experiences, the same ones that are invisible when public policies are created
Public policies for human wellness?
Reproductive rights policies. Banning abortion and the absolute absence of state support for parenting, no daycares, collapsed public education
All the way there, and in here
We are talking about equity
How much can we talk about inequality when the law says we are equal, that you and your husband are equal? That the house chore/raising kids is equal
What about your tired body? And your worn out mind? And your urge to burst?
No, we are professional women of the first world. The law says we are equal. We must shut up.
The law is written with a dick, here, there and beyond
To Put the body, in art
It is then a subversive act
Our bodies invite and promote breaking the law
An instantaneous and unrepeatable act in this world of salable canned comodities
A micro relationship with other/another
The direct impact
The action, not the acting
The experience of the body as an art materiality/entity
As object and subject
We will break the borders

We will break the system

Hysterical and Historical


Om performance
Om vikten av att positionera sig kroppsligen
Kvinnors kroppar av och från kvinnor
Sinne, själ, idé, puls, ande, inälvor, skrik, gråt
Positionera sig kroppsligen säger vi när går ut på gatan för att manifestera och ställer våra ansikten och vår kroppsliga integritet som en barrikad mot ett system som förminskar oss.
Positionera sig kroppsligen när vi föder, när vi uppfostrar.
När arbetet som vi utför i och utanför hemmet ignoreras eller helt öppet göms i den profes- sionella, akademiska, patriarkala sfären. Kroppen och dess erfarenheter, av trötthet, av makt, av överjordisk kraft, av komplexa sin- nestämningar. Av “motsägelser” som de som inte förstår komplexitet och måste rama in och kategorisera, skulle kalla det.
Vår komplexa kunskap.
Vår kropp, subjekt som agerar socialt och historiskt.
Hysterisk, vannsinnig, emotionell, gråtmild, gnällig, häxa, frigid, djävulsk.
Kvinnors kroppar stör, och förstör, i en värld av monument, höga byggnader, stridsvagnar, AK44:or och bazookas.
Våra kroppar är kapabla att transmutera världen.
Många kvinnliga konstnärer vill inte ha ordet
“kvinnlig” före “konstnär”.
Abramovich och många kollegor i alla kulturel- la hörn har vidhållit att konst inte har ett kön.
Konst är bra, eller inte bra, punkt.
Beror då underskottet på kvinnor i konsthistorien, i maktposition, i konstsamlingarna, på att bara 3 utav 10 verkligen har varit bra?
Av vem, hur och varför har en uppsättning sensibiliteter klippts av från oss?
Eller är de möjligen omöjliga att klassificera inom ramen för god konst?
Är dessa sensibiliteter, dessa erfarenheter, de samma som är osynliga när socialpolitiken utformas?
Socialpolitik för en human välfärd? Reproduktiva rättigheter. Omöjlighet att göra abort och en absolut frånvaro av statligt stöd för barnuppfostran, inga förskolor, ett kollapsat skolsystem.
Därifrån och hit
pratar vi om jämställdhet
Hur mycket kan vi prata om ojämlikhet när lagen säger att vi är jämlika, att du och din man är jämlika. Att barnuppfostran delas lika. Och din trötta kropp, ditt slitna sinne, och din lust att explodera.
Nej, vi är yrkeskvinnor från första världen. Nej, vi är yrkeskvinnor från första världen. Lagen säger att vi är jämlika. Vi borde hålla käften.
Lagen är skriven med en kuk. Här och där och bortom.
Att positionera sig kroppsligen i konsten
Är alltså
En motståndshandling
Våra kroppar inbjuder och uppmuntrar till lagbrott.
En omedelbar och oupprepbar handling i den här världen av säljbara konserver.
En mikrorelation med en andre
En omedelbar påverkan
Aktion, inte föreställning
Upplevelsen av kroppen som konstnärsmaterial
Som objekt och subjekt Ska vi krossa gränser Ska vi krossa systemet
Hysteriska och historiska

Workshop at k.ö.k (Kvinnor önskar kollektivitet – Women Desire Collectivity)- Tensta Hjulsta / Estocolmo

16 May 16, 10-13 Rossana Mercado-Rojas will do a workshop at k.ö.k where we examine how different form of images and sounds (rhythms, music and songs) make us feel present, loud and strong in difficult times. Rossana will also present actions she has done earlier in her practice and with the collective Hysterix in Peru, and how they used music and noise as part of the actions. We will share audio and video and share our own stories. http://kvinnocentertensta-hjulsta.org/kok/en/event/hysteria/

Rossana Mercado-Rojas is an artist, curator and one of the initiators of the collective Hysterix.

Hysterix is a female artist collective in Peru that uses artistic methods to influence public and private places. Hysterix wants to question how we divide the world, create inequality, and pay tribute to rational logic.

Hysterix encourages hysteria.

k.ö.k (Kvinnor önskar kollektivitet – Women Desire Collectivity) is a feminist platform that experiments with ways to build a feminist institution from the existing experiences, location and context of the community of The Women’s Centre in Tensta Hjulsta. http://kvinnocentertensta-hjulsta.org/en/startsida/

My words

ungovernable (emotional excess)

Statement: Rossana Mercado-Rojas

Statement – Hysteriska Historiska

Rossana Mercado-Rojas

Hysteriska Historiska is a project that started approximately one year ago after the invitation from Gallery Majkens. This exhibition was my second solo show in a gallery space after many years. The past eight years I have been working mainly in public spaces with my collective Hysterix (consisting of women artists), as well as my involvement in other activities with cultural state institutions as a curator, and producer.

The pieces in this exhibition reflect different states in which institutional violence aims to erase us women from writing- or taking part of history.

Linking the term “Hysteria” (Hyster = Uterus/ ungovernable emotional excess) with History (the study of the past as it is described in written documents) I aimed to contradict different states and layers in which the “ungovernable” was systematically oppressed, silenced and erased by patriarchal colonizing systems of control.

The projects hold three main installations resembling a beginning, middle and present.

The process of making these pieces demanded going through my personal- and family history. I researched personal documents and explored alternative materials, such as materials derived from the human body, or actual everyday clothing from deceased family members. The process was harsh, painful and long. Yet, the outcome aimed to be festive with the struggle perceived as strength gained.

The first installation “Pater Familias” gathers photocopies of documents issued along eight years of process in Peru for getting sole custody of my child, up until today with the ongoing migration process of bringing my son to Sweden. The words “father”, “god” and “husband” are repeated in a lot of the documents, even when the father is completely absent in these processes. The piece reflects the violence in which institutions force women to go through long evaluations that demand money, time, and emotional waste in order to reinforce the “pater familias-figure”, where a family is incomplete without a father, without a husband.

I covered these documents with tracing paper, on which I drew portraits of my son using cooking oil. Portraits of how I remember him when these events occurred. They were based on the absence and remembrance of how I think and feel about my child on top of the documents that foster his absence.

-Holy father, father of god.

The second installation “Penurias, pick a dick” depicts a shadow painted with organic tint and blood. This is based on my silhouette projected onto the fabric – a process that symbolizes how the female body is viewed and interpreted by others. Our bodies coded as fragile or inviting to violence and sexual abuse – starting at a young age. Our bodies in the view of strangers, of family, and of people you need to put your trust in. They remain without faces, in anger and in fear. The unclear state of the silhouette poses questions such as: how do we “portray” ourselves when walking on a dark street in order to stay safe and not to provoke? How can we “draw” ourselves when going to the police, in order to be taken seriously in front of authorities? How does our body language make us look like we are asking for it when we “project” ourselves onto institutions of safety and protection?

Attached to the fabric with the silhouette is a group of knitted colorful penises. They are placed on the floor, looking fragile and soft. Demanding penises that want to be respected, feared, touched, taken care of, seen, sucked, and loved. Penises the audience on the opening night was invited to step on.

The third installation “Vida Bohemia – Rossanaconda” is a homage to my great-grandmothers. In my family´s history they are mentioned and remembered as the impoverished and uneducated past. The past we should be ashamed of in order to fully adapt and be accepted into “wealthier” environments.

I perceive my great-grandmothers to be the turning point for my own family´s history and also in a collective context dealing with the situation of indigenous communities in my country. Which also reflects the general history of how whole cultures were planned to be erased using different argumentation in each case.

The idea of racial and cultural hierarchies stems from the power of colonial storytelling –portraying the indigenous population as dirty, obscene and uncivilized savages. Stereotypes of ‘uncivilized’ people were at times further framed within an evangelical context, allowing European military forces to present their conquest of ‘savages’ as divinely ordained: a colonial military doctrine. During 1969, the agrarian reform was implemented in Peru to take the Haciendas from the patrons (Spaniards or Criollos) to give them to the working-force: the indigenous-farmer communities. By doing so, the silenced objectified working-force regained a voice, at least on paper.

During the Fujimori government (1990-2000) around 294 000 women were sterilized in Peru. Most of them were Andean women on the grounds that they were the uneducated poor that would only breed more poor to the population. This was Fujimori´s strategy to manifest a progressing country on the path to success.

For “Vida Bohemia – Rossanaconda” I built a sculpture of my great-grandmother with a metal skeleton as a base, positioned as if it was dancing the Huayno (a folkloric traditional Andean type of music), then I built the organs with materials such as soft fabric, yarn, paper, and plastic. I made the skin with transparent delicate fabric tinted with wax, hair and blood – blood of my blood. The sculpture wears a pink skirt that was given to me as a gift from my grandmother and I have brought this skirt to different celebrations around the world. There are four old monitors surrounding the sculpture showing images of women, colleagues, and friends from Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Sweden celebrating in different cities such as Lima, Visviri and Stockholm. The audio of this installation alters from songs by the Andean folk diva Flor Pucarina to distortion- and techno queer noise. Framing the piece is hand-written text covering the walls on which I have cited a poem that starts with: “I’m the savage, the otherness / I´m the savage, embodied complexity / I’m the savage you discover in her own lands / I’m the savage you raped and kept as a slave”.

Hysteriska Historiska aimed to touch upon urgent issues and at the same time project an over all festive tone. The vernissage was colourful and inviting. During the opening ceremony we had live painting where a lot of young girls participated. Just before that, Natalie Högström and I read the text “Poner el cuerpo: Om performance” which is about the embodiment of women´s political resistance and how we approach that through performance as an art form.

This project gathered not only my personal work but also the effort of different women involved in different aspects of the whole exhibition and its processes.

We showed video works by Paola Torres Nunez del Prado, Angélica Chávez and Ami Kohara. Their works touched upon the topics described above from different angles, such as the submission demanded of the colonized population until current times and the body of women as a work-force, neglected and objectified.

Other women were also present in my own installations. In Vida Bohemia: Angélica Chávez, Cecilia Rejtman (from Hysterix), Sara Sanjinez (Bolivia), Margarita Kalfio (Mapuche activist), Josefina Jimenez (Peru) and other sisters brought great joy and strength to the work.

For the piece “Penurias, pick a dick” Lotta Hedin and La Wara collaborated with the knitting process and were set on participating in the “knitting-confessions-workshop” that was meant to happen during the exhibition period.

Last but not least, the entire exhibition design with scenography, press and curatorial texts were made by Marie-Therese Luger and Magdalena Blom from Galleri Majkens. Together we created the festive-looking aesthetics: combining selected materials of shades of pink and purple assembled on site in the ABF-house gallery.

After just one day, the exhibition was abruptly cancelled over a phone call made to Magdalena Blom (founder of Galleri Majkens) by representatives from the ABF-house. Due to their unwillingness to meet with us we were not given a possibility to discuss their decision before closing it down and covering specific parts of the title´s design (a vulva and a uterus) with immediate effect.

I am a member of two women artist collectives: Hysterix in Peru and Galleri Majkens in Sweden. I feel baffled by the fact that with Hysterix, we are used to being shut down by different types of authorities in the middle of a process of creating street art in the public realm of Lima. Not only while painting and performing, we are usually confronted about the discourse and content of our work. However, this time around, I felt safe to exhibit at ABF: Sweden´s Workers Educational Association´s open gallery space –indoors yet public. My solo show was also the first project Galleri Majkens took on as a collective board. So it really came as a shock to me that a renowned nationwide organization could behave so aggressively towards us.

While in Peru, as in many “third world” countries we fight against physical and critical violence towards women (with a high rate of femicides), could it be that in countries like Sweden women struggle with the every-day, passive-aggressive violence in the shape of diplomacy and bureaucratic silence by laws and legislation? Is this all in the same thread? Is this all about a patriarchal system doing what it does simply because it can, and nobody wants to address these matters?

The fact that ABF denied us a proper dialogue before executing this abrupt decision reinforces the urgency of having platforms focused on women and intersectional feminism. Spaces where we can openly talk and make work about issues relevant to us, such as the society´s over all control of our body and behavior, and how it affects us in different areas and stages of our life, without fearing to be censured or erased from the public sphere.

I can’t help but wonder if this situation could have turned out differently if we were a group of men? What if we weren´t calling ourselves a Feminist gallery? What if we were less loud? Or, what if I was a Swedish artist, would this have been handled so fast and without any hesitation?

Rossana Mercado-Rojas,

Stockholm, December 2018


M. Blom

Rossana Mercado-Rojas,

Stockholm, December 2018

Open letter denouncing censorship of the Hysteriska / Historika exhibition

(En Español, abajo)

Open letter denouncing censorship of the Hysteriska / Historika exhibition (Nov. 29 – Dec. 13) by Rossana Mercado Rojas on November 30.

This letter serves to denounce the censorship of the Hysteriska / Historika exhibition by the Peruvian artist Rossana Mercado at the ABF-Stockholm, in the Swedish capital. We want to express our solidarity with her and the curators of Galleri Majkens. On November 30, the artist and curators were forced to dismantle the exhibition that included installations, video, textiles, and paintings from the premises of the ABF.

In an exchange with the artist and curators, the administrators of ABF Stockholm denied that their decision to take down the exhibition was related to its contents, arguing instead that the reason was that the assembly guidelines were not followed by the curators, as there were many nails damaging the walls of the gallery. However, the actions taken upon the images of the exhibition tells a different story. Both the artist and curators have noticed that drawings of vulvas and ovaries included in the exhibition were censored by the administrators of the premises, who crudely covered them with paper. This was not the first time that Galleri Majkens -whose members include artists aligned politically with feminism- organized an exhibition with ABF. For that reason, ABF is accustomed to hosting projects of this kind. As usual, the Galleri Majkens curators were committed to the total restoration of the space, so AFB’s reaction is unjustifiable.

In addition to being verbally aggressive during the conversation with the curators, and because of the hurried nature in which the exhibition was taken down, this censorship is surprising given that ABF is an Educational Association of Workers whose work focuses on adult workers, many of whom are immigrants in Stockholm. How then does a progressive cooperative of this type censure a Peruvian immigrant artist whose work demonstrates the violence of a sexist system? Why was the punishment so exemplary if the venue in collaboration with Galleri Majkens had already served as a space for other feminist exhibitions that had also used women’s bodies as vehicles for criticizing patriarchy?

From her activist and political feminism, starting from her Lima-based collective Hysterix, Rossana Mercado’s work has made visible the historical and systematic violence against women through the medical concept of hysteria and its proliferation in Latin American, Peruvian and global popular discourses. The work that Rossana brought together in the above-mentioned exhibition included an artistic / conceptual fragment made out of her legal experience in obtaining full custody of her son in Lima, and in continuing the process to bring him to Sweden. In her piece entitled “Pater familias,” the artist presented an intervention with different types of documentation that involved legal representatives, and Peruvian and Swedish authorities, and that linked to the case of the parental authority of her son and his immigration status. The visual power of this archival work and the systemic violence it represents, as well as other pieces in the exhibition, are much more compelling than the censored materials.

It must be said that, as critics of Rossana’s work, we believe that it was these and other factors that motivated the censorship of the exhibition. Although ABF insists on affirming its commitment to the educational interests of working adults and immigrants, we believe that this discourse reveals its limits with ABF’s censorship of the work of a woman and artist, mother and immigrant, deeply critical of the values of the pater familias. For ABF, the exhibition called into question the very ideal of the ‘good’ immigrant worker that is behind the ostensibly progressive discourse of ABF, and we believe that was ultimately the reason they decided to dismantle it.

Claudia Arteaga Olórtegui / Scripps College

Olga Rodríguez-Ulloa / Lafayette College


Carta abierta de rechazo a la censura de la exposición Hysteriska/Historika (29 Nov. – 13 Dic.) de Rossana Mercado Rojas ocurrida el 30 de noviembre

Esta carta expresa nuestro rechazo a la censura a la muestra Hysteriska/Historika de la artista peruana Rossana Mercado y nuestra solidaridad para con ella y las curadoras de Galleri Majkens. El día 30 de noviembre artista y curadoras fueron forzadas a desmontar la exhibición que incluía instalaciones, video, textiles y pintura del local ABF-Stockholm, en la capital sueca.

Al inicio del intercambio los administradores de ABF Stockholm, negaron que su demanda estuviera en relación con el contenido de la muestra argumentando que las condiciones del montaje, muchos clavos, arguyeron, no habían sido las acordadas. Sin embargo, esta excusa quedó descartada cuando tanto artista como curadoras pudieron notificar que la exhibición de algunas imágenes había sido censurada por los administradores del local, quienes burdamente cubrieron dibujos una vulva y ovarios hechos por la artista en las paredes. Aunque esta no era la primera vez que Galleri Majkens cuyo grueso de artistas y colaboradoras se alinean políticamente con el feminismo trabajaba con este local, el que por demás acostumbrado a puestas de este tipo sabía que las curadoras se comprometían al restaurado total del espacio.

Además de profundamente violenta por los términos de la discusión y la celeridad con la que se exigió sacar los contenidos de la muestra, esta censura resulta sorprendente en tanto ABF es una Asociación Educacional de Trabajadores cuya labor se centra en la popularización de adultos trabajadores muchos de ellos inmigrantes en Estocolmo. ¿Cómo entonces una cooperativa progresista de este tipo censura a una artista peruana cuyo trabajo evidencia justamente las violencias del sistema machista? ¿por qué fue tan ejemplar el castigo si el local en colaboración con Galleri Majkens había ya servido de espacio para otras muestras feministas que también habían usado el cuerpo de las mujeres como vehículo de crítica al patriarcado?

Desde su feminismo activista y político el trabajo de Rossana Mercado ha visibilizado las violencias históricas y sistemáticas en contra de las mujeres a través del concepto médico de la histeria y su proliferación en el discurso popular peruano, latinoamericano, global, a partir de su colectivo con base en Lima Hysterix. El trabajo que Rossana reunió en esta exhibición incluía una elaboración artítica/conceptual hecha a partir de su experiencia legal por obtener la custodia completa de su hijo en Lima y actualmente el proceso para llevarlo con ella a Suecia. En esta pieza titulada “Pater familias” la artista presentó una intervención de diferentes tipos de documentación con representantes legales y autoridades peruanas y suecas vinculadas con la patria potestad de su hijo y su situación migratoria. El poder visual de esta obra archivo y la violencia que representa, así como de otras piezas de la muestra resulta mucho más contundente que el material censurado.

Cabe decir que, como críticas de la obra de Rossana, creemos que fueron estos y otros factores los que motivaron que se exigiera el retiro de su trabajo. Si bien ABF dice alinearse con los intereses educativos de adultos trabajadores e inmigrantes, creemos que dicho discurso encontró un límite insalvable cuando tuvo que lidiar con el trabajo de una mujer y artista, madre e inmigrante profundamente crítica de los valores de los pater familias y, cuestionadora también, desde su performance pública del ideal de buena inmigrante trabajadora.

Es importante mencionar que la muestra se concibió como una producción colectiva que no solo incluía a otras artistas como Paola Torres Núñez del Prado, Angélica Chávez Cáceres y Ami Kohara, sino que contó con la participación de la comunidad el día de la inauguración. Dicha exhibición además marcaba un inicio importante para las curadoras feministas de Galleri Majkens en su nueva formación, quienes continúan trabajando por valores igualitarios en el mundo del arte.

Claudia Arteaga Olórtegui / Scripps College

Olga Rodríguez-Ulloa / Lafayette College

4 common misunderstandings about feminism (and why they can´t be used to back up ABF s decision to erase a feminist art show about institutional violence)-Marie-Therese Luger

“Hysteriska Historiska” – a feminist art show by Peruvian artist Rossana Mercado-Rojas has been abruptly cancelled by the show´s host ABF Stockholm. The exhibition visualized the consequences of institutional violence against women.

The following text shows that – whether ABF Stockholm was aware of what they were doing or not – there is no excuse for shutting down an art show only one day after the official opening.

Institutional violence is a phenomenon. A phenomenon that consists of a series of specific, yet almost randomly assorted activities, choices and decisions executed by individuals within the framework of an institution. This complex pathology is the reason for a very common misunderstanding of what a feminist agenda is about: Even though the isolated violent acts of an individual (or a group of individuals) are acts of misogyny, of racism and of oppression, it is the  thereby formed power-structure – created through and perpetuated by them – that entails most danger. The feminist agenda is not to be “against men”. The feminist agenda is to be against the patriarchy. And patriarchy is a structure. An institution.

Feminism works towards a change of the hegemonic order of society. In the words of Guy Debord, this can be achieved through „appropriate actions“.

The word “appropriate”, especially when put next to the word “actions” allegorically exemplify another quite common misunderstanding of what a feminist agenda and feminist practices are about: While inappropriate does not subsequently mean „radical“, appropriate does not mean „submissive or according to the hegemonic order. It also does not mean polite. Add another layer: to appropriate. Means: to take. If we disregard rules and regulations of grammar at this point – which queer practices might be more than happy to grant us – appropriate actions can be interpreted as actions that take a specific place and a specific framework. One might even go as far as to say, actions that take on a specific place and a specific framework – thus revealing a methodology regularly used by critical studies: subversion, mimicry, infiltration. In order to appropriate, the so-called „inappropriate“ can become a tool, often a visual one. This is a procedure that feminism intrinsically shares with the arts – as well as conscious methodology of what artistic and visual representations of feminist practices look like. This encompasses a third common misunderstanding of what a feminist agenda is about: The claim that it has no artistic quality because it chooses to represent the suppressed parts of society by the use of aesthetics that don’t correlate with the hegemonic aesthetic practices in use.

But in any case, it is the specific freedom as well as the responsibility of Art to formulate and give shape to societal issues that need to be addressed. This is why art is always an appropriate action and the censorship of art cannot be tolerated under any circumstances – neither in a controlled gallery space nor in an urban, public environment.

Peruvian artist and curator Rossana Mercado-Rojas explores the possibilities of a feminist agenda to be present in the public sphere through her visual artistic practice, using a language that hovers between the so called in-appropriate and the appropriative. Her work explores tracing the power structures and their violent participation in women’s life through the example of her own body and her own identity. Together with Galleri Majkens Mercado-Rojas has conceptualized the show „Hysteriska Historiska“ which was supposed to be hosted by ABF Stockholm – an institution for the education of workers, established 1916. An institution that – according to their website – creates „faith in the future, emancipation, and solidarity“. Solidarity itself is one of the most important aspects of a feminist agenda – and the failure to anticipate this is a symptom of the fourth most common misunderstanding of what a feminist agenda is about: Even though feminism is striving for a change in society by the means of appropriate actions, feminism is not interested in violence, destruction or vandalization. The appropriation of a space by feminism has nothing to do with overtaking it by force or mistreating it. Even if the visual language of feminist practices can look threatening, daunting, even what we would describe as disgusting (or what we rather should describe as abject) the feminist agenda is not a violent one.

Hysteriska Historiska is an exhibition showcasing Mercado-Rojas work but also a holistic view on appropriate actions: With the visual language of a colorful celebration rather than a sterile gallery space the works visualize patriarchal power structures that have an impact on the artists own life, work and practice. It is undeniable that the majority of the work is inspired by historical and contemporary pains and struggles of female figures – Mercado-Rojas own struggle of gaining custody for her child or the struggle of women who have become objects of physical violence. By negating to answer these oppressions with the same violence, through transformation into an artistic intervention, Rossana Mercado-Rojas presents an optimistic outlook – grounded in the very same solidarity ABF Stockholm is presenting on their website.

It is equally disturbing as it is hysterically funny that this very show was canceled on Friday 30th of November by ABF Stockholm with immediate effect – only one day after the official opening of the exhibition. The disturbing aspects of this decision are not the small details and miscommunications that occurred through the process of canceling the exhibition up to the actual dismantling of the show by Galleri Majkens and the artist: The disturbing aspect lies within the complete refusal of negotiation. The cancellation was motivated by ABFs claims of both the artist and the gallery having disobeyed their rules and regulations – which led to the immediate cancellation without further notice, clear explanation or communication. The erasure of this show is the erasure of a positive outlook into the future, of emancipation and most of all: of solidarity.

As conceptually explained above, both Gallery Majkens as a feminist gallery as well as Rossana Mercado-Rojas as a visual artist with a feminist practice is working with a methodology: Activating space with specific aesthetics in order to work towards a change of society with the use of appropriate actions. These actions are as described above: non-violent, artistic and executed on the base of solidarity and communication.

There is no determinable way of classifying ABFs behavior in this case as…appropriate – in every meaning of the word – since it is a violent expropriation of space. In this case, a space that was knowingly given to a feminist artist in order to produce an art show with feminist aesthetics.

The hysterically ironic aspect of this behavior must be described pre-shadowed by an anecdote: When members of Galleri Majkens arrived at ABF s gallery space on Sunday, December 2nd to begin the deinstallation of the show it was discovered that an unknown individual had covered and thus censured both an abstract vulva and a uterus Rossana Mercado-Rojas had painted in the staircase as part of the exhibition-design. This occurrence was excused by ABF as „separate decision of an employee“  and in no way the decision of ABF. It is ironic that Rossana Mercado-Rojas show about the many ways of institutional violence affecting women is met by an unmasked blow of institutional violence.

ABF Stockholm has through phone calls and emails tried to excuse their behavior with different claims and excuses – all of which can be dismantled by being motivated by the four common misunderstandings of a feminist agenda mentioned above. And this is not acceptable. It is institutional violence and institutional violence is a phenomenon. A phenomenon that consists of a series of specific, yet almost randomly assorted activities, choices and decisions executed by individuals within the framework of an institution. This complex pathology is the reason for a very common misunderstanding of what a feminist agenda is about: Even though the isolated violent acts of an individual (or a group of individuals) are acts of misogyny, of racism and of oppression, it is the thereby formed power-structure – created through and perpetuated by them – that entails most danger. The feminist agenda is not to be “against men”. The feminist agenda is to be against the patriarchy. And patriarchy is a structure. An institution.

Marie-Therese Luger

(Galleri Majkens)