CLOSING TO OPEN
Wynnie Mynerva’s work transits and widens the limits of the flesh, the body and desire. Mynerva doesn’t paint mere fictions but bodily possibilities: as if the brush were not connected with their hand but with their stomach, with her ears, uterus, tongue, esophagus, intestines and nails. Her paintings are a vibrant extension of her body, an erotic and synthetic field of plastic exploration. Her pieces are both pictorial and performative. The pigment on fabric and plastic operates on the same level as the incisions she chooses to make on her skin: both are technologies aimed at disrupting the normative truth of sex and gender. Both allow Mynerva to contaminate and cross the violent borders of sexual binarism.
For the past years, Mynerva’s creative itinerary reveals a committed and undomesticated practice, far from a mere hedonistic self- absorption. Her work is the echo of a furious collectivity that refuses to accept patriarchal fantasies and heterosexual paradises shaped by the standard. Mynerva’s early sculptural research on genital anatomies (“The Other Sex”, 2018) was the beginning of an exploration of the political possibilities of the dildo to undo heterosexual contracts (“Sex Machine”, 2019). Her next project was a reckoning with institutionalized misogyny and male authority (“Sweet Castrator”, 2020), painting a series of landscapes where stalkers and predators find themselves persecuted and besieged. This also appears in her personal taste for BDSM –and the subjugation of male bodies–, whose forms of experimentation and sexual play shift towards intense and expressive painting. Always charged with autobiographical components, their work gives rise to the urgency of confronting impunity as well as the structure of racial, sexual and class violence that define the contours of the different forms of patriarchal violence.
In her fifth solo exhibition, Mynerva continues to place her body as the axis of her practice, though this time from a deeply intimate and healing dimension. This exhibition is, first of all, an invitation to celebrate the changes that her body has requested. In a world where difference is pathologized and non-normative gender identities are criminalized, any change that involves changing binary signs seems to require medical or psychiatric explanations –always anchored in a heterosexual perspective. But there are no justifications here, she literally takes us to the surgical operation to remove the idea of sexuality as a biological fact. The artist decided to close her vagina to open different possibilities of existing. The closure is actually a grand reopening that allows to rebuild, recognize and reconcile.
Miguel A. López
View of the installation in the room, Peru.
Oil and acrylic on plexiglass, 2021.