La Ribot, Mas Distinguidas (‘More Distinguished Pieces’)

Review in Issue 11-3 | Autumn 1999

This is the second in La Ribot’s series of ‘distinguished pieces’. The project was originally conceived in 1993 and consists of a series of short pieces which are then sold as living artworks to ‘distinguished proprietors’.

Although some of the pieces do feature costumes, for much of the show La Ribot is naked. In the blackouts, she is little more than a tiny white sliver in the light – although it is obvious that her hair and pubic area have been dyed a vivid red. This transforms her body – more than just a symbol it becomes rather like a costume itself. The body and its response to stimuli and space are the recurring theme of the thirteen pieces that make up ‘Mas Distinguidas’. La Ribot’s control is unparalleled. No gesture is surplus and there is heart-stopping poetry in this economy of movement.

Some of the pieces are humorous, others thoughtful or pretty, some are unexpectedly poignant – like when La Ribot takes Polaroids of first one breast, then another, and, finally, of her pubic hair. Each picture is then attached onto the body over the corresponding area. The magic of the moment, however, is when La Ribot turns to the audience to display the undeveloped Polaroids.

Rapt, the audience witnesses the appearance of breasts and pubic hair. More than a mere visual pun, it is, perhaps, a quiet comment on the effect of adolescence on the body. In the final piece La Ribot dances against stationary crayons, mapping the movement on her body, like a kind of Geiger counter measuring the pleasure of dance. It is potentially enough to render all other forms of dance notation defunct. It is the artist’s intention that there should be a hundred such distinguished pieces. It promises to be a project well worth watching.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 1999

This article in the magazine

Issue 11-3
p. 19