Margarita Azurdia, Poet. That Was How I Flew
Encounter and Performance Lecture
In conjunction with the exhibition Margarita Azurdia. Margarita Rita Rica Dinamita, this encounter explores the Central American artist Margarita Azurdia’s (Guatemala, 1931–1988) lesser-known work as a poet and the different poetry collections she published throughout her career. In 1974, after completing one of her most emblematic series Homenaje a Guatemala (Homage to Guatemala, 1971–1974), the artist left Guatemala and settled in Paris, where she started to develop a unique relationship between art, drawing and body movement. As a core part of these aesthetic experimentations, Azurdia embarked upon a series of artist’s books, accompanied by poetic and self-referential texts, and it was in that burgeoming context that her poetry, characterised by its colloquial, playful and confessional style, took on a life of its own, forming an essential part of her oeuvre and an undeniable contribution to Guatemalan poetry written by women.
The title of the activity, Así fue como yo volé (That Was How I Flew) comes from one of the poems the artist wrote and published in one of her indispensable books, Iluminaciones (1989), which assembles twenty-two drawings, each one accompanied by a poem in Spanish and in English. The encounter in the Museo comprises a tour through the exhibition, led by its coordinator Beatriz Jordana, while Paula Aparicio Barbado, Dolores Herrero Agüero and Claudia Moreno Piedra recite, interweaving voices and echoes superimposed in the different rooms of the show, a selection of the artist’s poems chosen by the show’s curator, Rossina Cazali, from the artist’s books El encuentro de Una Soledad (1979), 27 apuntes de Margarita Rita Rica Dinamita (1979), El libro de Margarita (1987) and Iluminaciones (1989).
The activity concludes with the performance of Sampleando a Margarita Azurdia (Sampling Margarita Azurdia), a piece created by equipo1821 which draws from the exhibition, remixing sampled phrases and verses in a homage to Azurdia via the voices of the young people involved. Equipo1821 is a programme within the Museo’s Education Area and is made up of and directed by young people between the ages of 18 and 21. During the 2022–2023 academic year, its members are: Ana Álvarez González, Héctor Blanco Ayllón, Luiza Brzozowiec, Manuel Camacho Mohedano, Rebeca Fernández del Campo, Uxue Lotero Torres, Ana Mardones Isla, Clara Martínez Ramos, Sol Muñoz-Baroja, Zoe Pellerin Le Galo, Lúa Peña de La Casa, Carmen Rodríguez Conesa, accompanied by Fran MM Cabeza de Vaca and Ruiseñora (Atilio González and Elia Maqueda).