The Navel of the World, no.1 The Belly of the World, 1990-1991
Canvas floor, photographic series, video documentation of the performance, broom, text
Galeria Antoni Estrany
'The Navel of the World' is a floor like a carpet covered in cigarette ends and ash. It is an installation in progress. In fact it is three, which show different parts of the female body. The whole cycle has taken over a decade to produce and conserve. The first presentations were systematically swept out of the exhibition space by gallery owners and curators. The absolute lack of resources on my part and the absolute lack of faith on their part led to the repeated sacrifice of various floors which I had built patiently, day after day, rigorously from the layouts drawn in my inks. The toxic material first had to be accumulated or collected by me. Then the task of placing it on the floor was enormous and unrepeatable. Perhaps it was that situation, the abuse I suffered at the hands of the artistic milieus in which I moved in those years that led to my final decision to include their destruction as part of my programme. The condition for undertaking such an operation, to place the cigarette ends on the carpet one by one, was that at the end I would sweep them up myself. I swept away the work with my broom which, like a paint brush, also swept away centuries of painting. From there sprang the need to bear witness to their past existence, the very act of sweeping, of destroying, through the video and the photograph.
Performance held in Galeria Antoni Estrany, Barcelona, 1991. Collection Cal Cego, Barcelona
1 / 20