She Has Many Names


M HKA, Antwerp

10 February 2023 - 21 May 2023

Performances during the exhibition from Wednesday – Sunday, 14:00 - 17:00 

Exhibition Brochure [PDF]

< Captions [PDF]

The exhibition She Has Many Names by Spanish artist Dora García surveys some of the most important performances, drawings, installations, printed matter and films created throughout a career spanning three decades.

Dora García's practice relates to community and individuality in contemporary society, exploring the political potential of marginal positions, and paying homage to eccentric characters and antiheroes. These characters have often been the centre of her film projects, such as The Joycean Society (2013), Segunda Vez (2018) and Amor Rojo (2023). An essential aspect of García’s work is entanglement with political movements such as feminism, and the ways they occupy public spaces. The notion of ‘collectiveness’ in her work relates to the political potential of love, friendship, companionship, as well as a way of working with and transforming social environments.

This exhibition is the first to focus on a central element in García’s work, namely her performance-based practice situated at the intersection of visual and performing arts. Drawing installations, objects and spaces are activated with scripted and unscripted performances. She Has Many Names considers the relationships between audience, artwork and context, using to the gesture of drawing, writing and the act of speech.

García's work references texts by French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, Irish novelist James Joyce, Argentine psychoanalyst Oscar Masotta, Chicana-Tejana* writer-activist Gloria Anzaldúa and Russian revolutionary-theoretician Alexandra Kollontai among others. The title of the exhibition cites a poem from Anzaldúa’s book Borderlands / La Frontera (1987) in which she challenges the way we understand identity by presenting it as a disputed social, psychological, political and cultural concept. Ideas elaborated by Anzaldúa are close to the critical practice of García, who in her work refers to concepts such as the juncture of cultures, class struggle and different notions of borders in relation to physical and mental spaces.

García’s new feature film Amor Rojo (2023) will premiere as part of this exhibition. The work is part of a large research project based on the historical figure Alexandra Kollontai, a Soviet revolutionary and radical feminist. The experimental film discusses the tradition of over one hundred years of feminism in Europe and Latin America and explores how transnational forms of feminism correlate with ecological and postcolonial struggles. The most recent wave of feminism in Latin America agrees with Kollontai in her proposition that feminism must go beyond the fight for equality, and that a complete change of paradigm, a full subversion of society, is necessary.

As part of the exhibition She Has Many Names, M HKA offers a unique performance, screening and activity programme, including a philosophical café, reading sessions and guided tours by experts.

The programme is published here and updated every month.

Publication: Inserts in Real Time: Dora García Performance Work 2000 - 2023

Inserts in Real Time is the first monograph dedicated to the performance work of the artist Dora García from the past twenty years. At the heart of this book is a Chronology of all García’s performances to date—listed, illustrated, described, and contextualized. This body of work is framed by three newly commissioned texts—by art historian Sven Lütticken, performance theorist Bojana Cvejić, and Dora García herself, as well as new a conversation between the artist and curator Joanna Zielińska. An Appendix of Selected Scripts makes this archive an especially vivid relay of her decades of public experimentation, provocation, and activation.  

The publication accompanies Dora García’s exhibition She Has Many Names. Both the exhibition and publication provide unique if distinct overviews of the artist’s performance-based works and gestures, as well as new political, feminist, and queer readings of various artworks.  

The book is for sale in our museum shop at the price of 29 euros.

Curated by Joanna Zielińska

Dora García lives and works in Oslo. She studied visual arts at the University of Salamanca in Barcelona and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in the early nineties. Subsequently, she moved to Belgium, where she spent fifteen years developing her personal visual language, experimenting with film, printed matter, performance, theatre and web-based works. García’s practice is situated at the intersection of the visual arts, performing arts, theatre and literature. She represented Spain at the Venice Biennale in 2011. She has participated in the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, Documenta 13 in 2012, and other international events such as Skulptur Projekte Münster in 2007, Sydney Biennial 2008, and São Paulo Bienal 2010.

* Chicana: a woman of Mexican descent living in the United States; Tejana: a woman of Spanish or Mexican descent descended from people who settled in Texas before the area became part of the United States of America.


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