Limbs, Ligaments, Parts: My Body is There

La Estación Gallery opened in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies on September 12th with the exhibition “Limbs, Ligaments, Parts: My Body is There” by performance artist Erica Gressman. The exhibition, curated by Professor Sandra Ruiz with the support of students and department staff, highlights Gressman’s body of work by exposing what it means to sound Latinx, queer, Brown, Colombian in everyday life by reordering our ideas of listening, seeing, touching, and moving. In the exhibition, Gressman, both queer and Latinx, complicates race, gender, and sexuality while never entirely revealing her own flesh. Yet, as the exhibition title shares, her body is there. The exhibition asks spectators to tap into their senses and to do the difficult work of finding her body through their own bodies. From sound and light installations, to videos and photographs, to a reproduced touch center of a live performance, the show underscores Gressman’s refusal to give us her skin; instead, she covers up her body to witness it transform into another organism. For Gressman, the world, like art, is a scientific experiment in which constant variables change at the line between the human/humanoid. Spectators are allowed to touch objects, make noise, and encouraged to reenact Gressman’s own performances, as the artist blurs the boundaries between embodiment, sound, and science. To read more about La Estación Gallery, Gressman and the exhibition, read the interview with Professor Ruiz by La Estación intern Chloe Nagle in Smile Politely.

The exhibition is running from September 12, 2018 to May 3, 2019 in Latina/Latino Studies, 1207 W. Oregon, Urbana. The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 9-5pm.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Gressman performed her newest work, Limbs, at the Krannert Art Museum on September 14. Limbs is a collaboration between Latina/Latino Studies and the Krannert Art Museum. To learn more about the performance, visit /news/2018-11-17/erican-gressman-performs-limbs.


Wall of skin
Wall of Skin performed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the Being Down, Being Brown: Performances of Spic & Span Symposium on April 7, 2016. Photos taken by Alicia P. Rodriguez.