• Performance

  • Video ensayo

NO SOY UNICORNIO

By Martica Minipunto

Cuba

  • Spanish
  • Medium length film, 30 minutes; performance-art conference, 60 minutes
  • +12

A political piece from Cuba that brings feminism and LGBTIQ rights to the fore. It’s neither performance, video or a talk: it’s all of these at once.


No soy unicornio is an experimental piece that takes the figure of this mythical animal as the pretext for a ‘performance-art conference’ that explores the relationship between biography, power and freedom. Using records of how the masses in Havana speak, as well as public interventions, poems and an eccentric collection of objects, the unicorn is exploited. The focus is on the mythical horn that is either in place or has been amputated, on the irreprehensiblity of using an extinct or invented species for dialogue and on the persecution of the bull who sees red (and who embodies every dominant power and fear).

As a video-rehearsal piece, it shows the fatigue and fragility of a process: the huge deficit at the forefront of binary thinking, censorship, fear, colonization, rape and persecution. It’s a song of fictional and poetical resistance that experiments with different forms of narration.

Cast and crew


Performance-art conference: Martha Luisa Hernández Cadenas [Martica Minipunto] | Audiovisuals: Joanna Montero | Costume design: Celia Ledón | Coproducers and/or sponsors: the Theatrical Lab for Social Experimentation, Royal Embassy of Norway.

Joanna Montero

Martha Luisa Hernández Cadenas

Martha Luisa Hernández Cadenas

Martica Minipunto

This Cuban performer, cultural consultant, theater studies specialist, poet and improviser is renowned for her involvement in several different genres. Among her creations are the performances Nueve (2017), Extintos, aquí no vuelan mariposas (2018) and No soy unicornio (2019), as well as the interventions La última ópera china (2018) and Las fundadoras (2019). She has taken part in festivals, workshops, residencies and international programs in Bogota, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Montreal, Berlin and Zurich. She won the David poetry award for Días de hormigas (2018), the Havana Poetry Biennale with Los vegueros (2019) and the Franz Kafka 2020 book award for La puta y el hurón. She set up the independent publishing house Ediciones Sinsentido and is coordinator of the Theatrical Lab for Social Experiments (LEES in Spanish). She also writes a column called Pucheros in Hypermedia magazine.

—Martica Minipunto is part of a group of Cuban artists who have made being multidisciplinary their thing. In an interview with the Hermanos Saíz Association, she said, “If I could set up a place tomorrow that’s completely different to anything else that has come before, I’d do it with Rogelio Orizondo, Nara Mansur, Joanna Montero and Celia Ledón”, respectively a playwright, poet, video maker and designer, all of whom she’s worked with on this Santiago a Mil performance.

—It’s a reinterpretation of Unicorn (1970), a performance by German artists Rebecca Horn, who does cinematic installations and bodily sculptures that look into the value of the body as a mechanical object. In this play, a middle-class woman is getting ready for her wedding while walking through a field of wheat and wearing a white horn held on by string.

—In her own words, “Talking about a unicorn is to laugh in the face of censorship. I wanted everything to be seen from the perspective of the concept’s fragility, so it becomes a pretext for discussing the theatrical relationship put forward using image and pretense”. For the artist, there’s structural censorship in Cuba which can only be outwitted through micro-politics. “My generation’s relationship with censorship is a little different because there are also independent and alternative spaces, allowing across-the-board dialogues”, she said in the magazine 14 y medio.

Performance: An avant-garde art form in which the play’s medium is the artist’s body and the play itself is made up of the actions this carries out, normally combined with multiple other elements such as the visual arts, music, dance and theater. It’s one of the art forms that transformed art in the middle of the twentieth century.

The Living Arts: Based on the English expression live art, this genre includes well-known practices normally excluded from literary or visual theater: performance, body art, the visual arts, dance, physical theater, mime, political actions and the art of action, according to the definition of the Loja International Festival of Living Arts. “It conveys direct, live contact between the audience and the artists. The category includes multiple combinations of the performing arts with other disciplines, such as the visual arts, music, cinema, architecture, design, anthropology and philosophy and with that whose main element is the ‘social body’ produced by live acts. It lays bare gestures, writing, performance-art, showmanship, art formations and other forms of expression”.

—Read Martica Minipunto’s blog entries, in which she comments on exhibitions and artistic events and gives her take on different topics.

—Watch Cuban filmmaker Janis Reyes’ interview with Martica, in which she talks about feminism, art and politics.

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