es cena project

es cena blog >>>​

En es cena, Pepe ocupa la cocina y asume el rol de cocinero para hacer algo de lo que hay en un espacio / tiempo dado. Su tarea principal es satisfacer las hambres inmediatas y locales del momento, empezando por la suya. Pepe empezó a cocinar sobras para diferentes cocinas por Madrid en Abril 2012 como un medio para investigar crisis, no como un concepto singular con C mayúscula, sino como un mapa de varias cenas, o crisis con c minúscula. Se trata de una práctica itinerante que invita a quien participa a rumiar de las sustancias de los tiempos precarios. Es una deriva que marca y atravesa una temporada bien larga de la vida de Pepe que le permite participar en las vivencias de lugares donde se encuentra.

In es cena, Pepe occupies the kitchen and assumes the role of cook to make something out of whatever is found in that given space / time. His primary task is to satisfy the moment’s immediate and local hungers, beginning from his own. Pepe began to cook leftovers for different kitchens all over Madrid in April 2012 as a means to investigate crisis, not as a singular term with the capital C, but as a map of various dinner situations, or crises, with a small c. It is a continuous practice that invites whoever participates to ruminate on the nourishments of precarious times. Its a derive that marks and crosses a season in pepe’s life that lets him participate in the lives of places where he finds himself.


This project was developed under the Performing Arts Practices and Visual Culture program held at the National Museum of Reina Sofia and Matadero Center for Contemporary Creation in Madrid. It initially consisted of a series of 12 dinners organized in different households in different parts the city. Assuming the role of guest cook and armed with his traveling spice kit, Pepe went to the houses to cook the leftovers, or whatever food was found in the host’s kitchen and ones that were brought by guests. It was as much a social recipe as it was a gastronomic experience as the mix of mostly Asian spices and food found in the kitchens were as ‘unusual’ as the mix of people that participated in the dinners.

As an artist-as-anthropologist (Kosuth), Pepe used the pretext of creating dinner situations, a liminal space between private and public, as an entrypoint in investigating the micropolitics of ‘Crisis’ that has been plaguing this country. Through the unlikely encounters of strangers, friends, spices and leftovers, and through making something of ‘what is left’, he ‘cooked’ an ephemeral community to locate and localize the human voices that live through this marked collective event. Within each dinner, a crisis was ‘staged’ and each member of the community was made to ‘live through’ it. Each dinner situation became a unique performance in itself.

The project inevitably generated a rhizomic map of crises, exchanges, and social network. The ‘leftovers’ of this experience brought about a wealth of materials, processes and itinerary gathered during the dinners. Pepe took these leftovers as elements and displaced them from the original context to produce new artistic derivations // ‘take away’ works in the form of performances, install-actions, further collaborations, and a working manifesto on the artistic attitude and methodology around the ideas of precarity, the moment, and ‘cooking what is there’. The dinners, other derivative projects, text reflections and the memories of this project will be mapped in this blog.


slippery identities

There is an increasing human demographic, one that I would call slippery identities, alluding to creatures that elude captivity due to their slipperiness: like fishes in the water, or snakes that cyclically molt to born new skins. Likewise, there are slippery human beings that move for a plethora of reasons and are resistant to any sedentary grip, ready to ‘swim’ from one city to another, and to cross one discipline to another. This open-ended project profiles the movements of artists that are characterized by flux and shiftings; of increased levels of mobility and constant negotiation with their subjectivity. Experience form the basis of their artistic practice resulting in performances that transgress somewhat hardened borders of art, emerging out of modern conventional spaces and institutionalization. Their ambulant identities and corporeal resistance to subscribe to too fixed constructions lead to the activation of the human subject as a nomad. The practice of nomadism, according to Rosi Braidotti, implies internalized awareness of the ephemerality of any boundaries, for boundaries merely serve a temporal purpose, and when they are no longer useful, they are to be transgressed, trespassed, deterritorialized and reterritorialized.[i] How then do nomadic artists negotiate (transgress or trespass) a transnational practice in an international scene that is still often dealt within national terms? When the processes of globalization create more and more deterritorialized transnational citizens that at the same time experience clashes with existing real national borders and a fixed notion of national identity, I question how far the performer’s body and practice challenge these borders? What perspectives do autobiographic, mobile performance practices propose to constantly rethink outdated configurations of human subjectivity?

[i] Rosi Braidotti, Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 36.

Image: Klaus Maehring


second hand | segunda mano


Nave 16 El Ranchito, Matadero Contemporary Art Space, Madrid
June 28-July 01, 2012

An installation that reflects on the nature of second-hand experiences. Using the metaphor of gossiping, the artist invited the audience to inhabit a ‘used space’. There they encountered remnants of eaten food, tampered newspapers, and random conversations that could be heard on earphones. The public was given freedom to interpret these elements however they want the same way they catch and hold on to gossips, and leave their own traces behind.


a dining table with traces of food
stains of sauce drying on the plates and on the edges of the forks
wine glasses with lip marks
the lingering odor of grated cheese
shrinking bitten slices of watermelon
table napkins
empty chairs
newspaper as table cloth with some of the texts deleted in black
earphones that connect to random conversations

everyday for the duration of the installation, Pepe prepared food for lunch and ate it there with his friends. after lunch they abandoned the installation but the traces of food were left. the public was invited to inhabit this space as authors of a second hand experience
they were asked to gossip and / or recreate the fragments of narratives that they might encounter in the space and for them to leave their own trace in the table napkins to populate the perceived absence with their own presence. the table was at once a private space and a public platform, and for a few days, a loose collective memory was generated.

gallery >>>


cotileos (images)

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performing a manifesto that inspired the artist one night while washing his dishes

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performance / video / interaction (approx. 45 mins.)

28 July 2012
El Taller, Matadero Contemporary Art Space, Madrid /
spaces in the performer’s house

“what if we stop being artists”, Paz Rojo

…we dont need more dressing room mirrors, we need a kitchen… Carlos Marquerie

Fairy is a performance about what is a performance, and what else it could be; about where is the performance space, and wherelse it could be; about when we perform, regardless if there is a beginning or an end to it. Through playing with the notions of time, and planes of reality, performance became the meeting point between my private life and the public realm. It is about what preoccupies me as an artist, which does not have to be far from my own preoccupations, and of others, in life. And that the agency of the artist begins by satisfying and celebrating the moment’s local hungers.

People enter the gallery space and finds themselves in a restaurant, with makeshift tables, chairs, carpet and candles. As they enter, I show to them a video that my lover shot of me earlier that day, trying to waking up and get out of bed (with much difficulty), and heading into the kitchen and cooking food for the evening. It resembled a little cooking show. While they watch, I approach the guests one by one, and whisper in their ear, asking them about how their day was, where they were before coming, what where they thinking, what were they expecting. After the video finished, I made a live manifesto, explaining the connection between the process of cooking and contemporary art, and about what preoccupies me as an ‘artist’ and as a human being, and hunger. Then later I serve the food as seen prepared in my cooking show, and while they partake of it, I ask them again of their own preoccupations, immediate or chronic, and I wrote all of them in my body, as it was projected into a big screen through a camera. The meal ends as I finish every last preoccupation of each other, reading them, sharing them, and being together.


cuerpos expositivos (bodies expo)

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site specific performance (approx. 90 mins.)

barrio de las artistas (artists’ village festival), Pamplona, Spain

collaboration with Maria Escobar and Estitxu Arroyo

May 2012

A display window of an expensive furniture shop that resembles a living room in ‘PleasantVille’ gets inhabited by a group of unidentified bodies performing very identifiable things (reading the newspaper, talking on the telephone, sipping coffee, dancing). This durational scene in a pleasant Saturday morning presented an uncanny image to passersby that made them either turn away or make a second look.


migrant by number

performance  | 20 minutes
simultaneous actions from different locations
in the spirit of complicity with Rebecca Weeks, Ian Whitford, Poppy Jackson, Sohrab Kashani

Amsterdam. University of Amsterdam Theatre
December 2011.

an action declaring myself as a migrant by looking at my life as a series of numbers, numbers that signify constant movement and transformation. A suitcase is opened and I am there, I stuffed myself there the same way one stuffs a small suitcase for a Ryanair flight. I stay there a few moments longer before I decide to come out and perform my numbers.
As of this day, I migrant no. 5-28-4-7-8.1-X-5-19. I am subject to change without prior notice.
5 // shoe soles // languages i have learned to speak
28 // winter coat // houses where i have lived
4 // jersey // countries where i took up residence
7 // shirt // cities i have called home
8.1 // skin of my back // times i have crossed a border needing a visa, once refused
X // several hands touching my skin // nationalities of people i have for friends (lost count)
5 // armpits // lovers who shared my life and my bed
19 // the back of my thighs // my age when i announced to my mom i was gay, and everything else followed…
then one by one, all those present with me thought of their own numbers, and vocally declared themselves migrants too.



pocha nostra encounter in amsterdam

urban interventions / performances

public spaces in Amsterdam
October 2011
La Pocha Nostra and Guillermo Gomez Peña international workshop
workshop led by: Guillermo Gomez Peña; Erica Mott; and Saul Lopez

gallery >>>


berlin is you and me

mapping the city in 10 remakes

August 2011

Arriving in Berlin for the first time, I thought of doing a pilgrimage in behalf of friends who have been to the city before. I collected stories of their’ meaningful experiences and asked each of them give me a special task that has something to do with these memories. The stories and the tasks were connected to either places they visited, events that occured during their visits, or persons they intereacted with.

I mapped the city through the memories, itineraries and the tasks, the present in continuity with the past, and the linear trajectories becoming rhizomic. I performed the tasks, simultaneous with remembering my relationship with my friends, and creating for me new experiences and relationships as well. Berlin came alive. Berlin became intimate. Berlin became me, you and the other.


liminal bodies # 1

series of performances, derive and site interventions

]performance s p a c e [ london
isle of dogs and blackheath, london

liminal bodies collective’s first encounter // intensive professional development project for body-based performance practitioners organized by the UK Live Art Development Agency. This led to the creation of new performances / works in progress, and the formation of a new network of performance artists that deal with liminality, transience and nomadism // project organized by Poppy Jackson with Bean, director of performance space // participating artists: Joseph Patricio / Rebecca Weeks / Nusa Pavko / Lynn Lu / Holly Keasey / Beth Savage / Arriana Ferrari / Anna-Marya Tompa / Jeffrey Andioni

]performance s p a c e [

(performance, video, sound: 20 mins)

August 22, 2011

Inspired by the idea of rites of passage, Turner’s liminality, of red, white and black fluids and flows, of ritual and ritualizing, subjecting body through a ritual, of molting, like a snake changing its skin in within a cycle of time, of names and identity, and getting new names and identities, arrival and departure…


in blackheath…

Staying in a hotel for one night, it reminded me of other similar liminal spaces, the airports, the borders that give you a feeling of having already arrived, but not quite yet…a state of suspension, like lingering in a corridor on the way to a definite door. Why not settle there, and be settled while being suspended? So, out of the hotel room’s fresh blankets, I made myself a hammock…

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in the isle of dogs…

collaboration with Rebecca Weeks and Nusa Pavko
and articles from our overnight bags

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