Bodybuildings, a newly commissioned site-specific installation, draws upon Mariela Scafati’s work and research about gender and queerness, public space, and the human body to reflect upon the relationships between the physical form of humans and the spaces they inhabit. The exhibition seeks to explore the ways in which a body can be understood as a space in and of itself, taking as a starting point the notion that to be inside a space is to effectively create it, and at the same time to be affected by it.
The exhibition will host the Argentinean cooperative Taller de Serigrafistas Queer (Queer Silkscreeners’ Workshop), of which Scafati is an active member. Through activations, members of the workship will collectively produce silkscreens with pro-LGBTQ and feminist messages intended for use in public space through gatherings, public meetings, and events ranging from individual actions to large-scale marches.
Bodybuildings takes its title from Storefront’s 1987 exhibition by Diller + Scofidio, the then burgeoning firm’s first exhibition. The show presented a collection of the firm’s early experimental work, much of which contested the notion of architectural space as a static set of built elements, and exposed the tensions between user and building. Scafati’s installation presents an interpretation on use of space and one’s own body that is aligned with contemporary conversations around gender and identity.
Scafati completed her studies in Visual Arts at the E.S.A.V. in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. She has been exhibiting works in and outside Argentina since 1998. She is a co-founder of the Taller Popular de Serigrafía (T.P.S.), a screen printing workshop created collectively with the Popular Assembly of San Telmo that emerged from the December 2001 insurrection. Since 2010, she has worked at the Centro de Investigaciones Artísticas (Center for Artistic Investigations). Scafati has also participated in many group-based and collaborative projects that range in medium from serigraphy to education, radio and theater.