Natalia (Nika) Sorzano

Project 1On Desire 2023
Accompanied by performers Fyn [sarafina] Paulina Bonita, Mariana Jurado, Lucija Gregov and Paloma Plantenga.

This performance was an experimental performative activation in the format of a music concert of the sculpture pop group Mud and Sticky Band.

The actions and dialogues between the objects and live performers follow the discursive and embodied analysis I gathered during different site visits and the sound recordings and musical compositions that I compiled through this process. The different actions and props that take place in the performance emerged from a series of scores/collages which served as study documents on textures and shapes. These collages were guiding tools for the making of the band members, they form, their sounds and voices, their shapes, textures, personalities and attitudes. The material qualities of these sculptures determined through their own agency their abilities, capacities and potentials, simultaneously determining how us, as live performers, could engage with them through actions, voice and sound.

Project 2
Mud and Sticky Band2021-2023

Music band made of monster-like characters built from pop-culture waste, recycled materials and natural remains. This object-oriented sculptural band emits sound and voices, taking the shape of a sound installation that can be activated via performance. This work is motivated by the urgency to change our consumption habits, while re-enchanting the relationship between matter -bodies, objects and space-. 

The embodied research process consisted of site-visits to natural and urban locations around the Netherlands in order to explore desire with sound, texture, movement and shape. I am taking Sara Ahmed’s Orientations: Toward a Queer Phenomenology as a instruction manual to navigate these locations while analyzing the relationship between bodies, space, other non-human bodies and matter. Some of these methods have included intuitive collection of objects and their re-organization, recordings of soundscapes, notations of movements and choreographs instigated by objects, bodies and space, sound descriptions of the environment, conversations with friends, workshops with students, among others. 

Project 3 Erotic Encounters: Meditative Scores2022
Considering the current circumstances and the urgency to change our consumption habits, I wonder if our relationship to objects will change; and if it does, how musicality, sensuality and pop culture will be influenced by these transformations, by what's reachable and at hand. How will our relation to our surroundings shift? And in this shifting, can new forms of music making and band creating emerge?

This painting and collage installation is part of the research-based project Mud and Sticky band, consisting of a music band made of monster-like characters built from organic remains and recycled materials.

The paintings are an on-going series of meditative scores for becoming and engaging erotically with other bodies and matter, such as swallowing fire or a score on how to have a sexual encounter with a cactus. The paper collages serve as study documents on texture and shape. These have become guiding tools for the making of the band members, their sounds and voices, their shapes, textures, personalities and attitudes. 

Project 4Contesting Madness2018-2021
Collaborators: RAM Supermarket operator (anonymous), Merel Hooijer, Virgil Zaalman, Floortje Meijer, Esdra Baris, Winti healer (anonymous), Lianne Rueb and Johanna and Vanita Monk. 

Contesting Madness is composed and built around four filmic chapters: The Animal, The Water, The Jungle, and The Nightmare. The installation comprises a sculptural structure that resembles human body parts, video works, paintings and objects. Inside the bodily structure, a universe unfolds with video screens, props from the filmic material and intervened everyday life objects such as wigs, mannequins (limbs), sleeping bags turned into snakes, fences with viscous liquids dripping, spider webs and clothing. In the films I stage performative responses to texts and enunciations with the participation of guests and myself. I layer sound, symbols and hybrid imagined characters that I extracted from conversations I staged around perceptions of madness and magic with different people in Rotterdam. 

These conversations in combination with theory, led me to address the impact of coloniality and diasporic movement over perceptions of sanity; a return to nature and animality that contest modernity’s dichotomies between human and nature, body and mind; the systemic violence of  institutional bio-politics inflicted on ethnic minorities, impoverished communities, women and sexual dissidents; and the capacity of the body to speak beyond language and exist beyond legibility, while finding itself limited and/or invited to access secret knowledge.

Project 5Sissy-phus and the Mother Mountain2019
Collaborators: This work was made in conversation with trans activist and lawyer (RIP) Diana Navarro Sanjuan and feminist queer activist and academic Camila Esguerra.

In this video piece I fictionalize and enact the myth of Sisyphus as a metaphor to comment on the LGBTIQ resistance history in Colombia. While LGBTIQ+ activist and organizations reclaim and gain basic human rights thanks to their unconditional struggle, each government that comes in power scratches off their achievements.

In this film, Sissy-phus assumes different roles and encounters a series of characters and natural elements that represent the law, the politicians, the government, the state, and la Madremonte (Mother Mountain) – a female, nonconformist mythological being that opposes exploitation and extractivism. By putting these two myths in dialogue, a western myth with cis men characters and a Colombian farmer myth with a womxn/femalx character, I insert multiple discursive layers that reflect upon feminism, queerness, de-coloniality and disobedience as acts of resistance. 

In this piece, I also insert excerpts from historically relevant events displayed in Colombian news outlets of political statements made against LGBTIQ+ communities by political figures who have frustrated the recognition of full rights and citizenship. 

Project 6OMNITOXICA     2019
Collaborators: Paula Chaves Bonilla and Thais Di Marco
I contributed to this collaborative work with the scenography. 

Journalistic and forensic performative ritual about the history of Coca and how it passed from being a green, sacred, medicinal plant into a whitewashed, capitalist, toxic product: cocaine. The project borrows strategies from journalism, spiritism, narco-culture, alchemy and activism to construct a dystopian laboratory. Here the politics of death behind what we call the Coca-Cocaine-Cola complex are revealed as the continuation of a neo-colonial order in place. In OMNI TOXICA the coca plant machiavellizes its own court case while shedding light on the incoherent gap between justice and legality, between wellness and toxicity that overshadows this whole multibillion-dollar industry. 

Project 7Office For Irrelevant Affairs  2019
This performance piece addresses the experience that I underwent over four years as coordinator of LGBTIQ Affairs for the Colombian government. During this period, my team and I received cases of violations against the human rights of Colombian LGBTIQ+ social sectors. Together with activist organizations we created the foundations for a national public LGBTIQ+ policy that would orient how institutions across the state needed to operate in order to safeguard sexual minorities’ rights. However, once a new government took charge, everything we did, including the existence of the LGBTIQ+ office, was dismantled and archived. All the monitored cases and the information gathered through political dialogue across the country became insignificant for an emerging Christian supported right-wing government. 

Through this performance, I de-construct official state documents of violent cases and convert them into a pluri-vocal narrative that moves between poetry, factual information and personal storytelling. Orbiting around a desk and an office cubicle, the main character intends to free neglected files entrapped in political unwillingness, while resisting three shadow-like characters. These embody the indifference of politicians, the weight of impunity, and the corruption that undermines the relevance of sexual minorities' lives.
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