Josefina Rodriguez Varela is an Argentinian multidisciplinary artist living in Calgary, Alberta, Treaty 7 Territory since 2010. Her current practice and research focuses on eroticism and sexuality, from a feminine and personal perspective. Community work and volunteering have always been important to Josefina and she is actively involved in her community, helping develop an inclusive and collaborative environment between artists.
“Primal Impacto”, the spanglish title from a cross-border collaboration between artists Josefina Rodriguez (Canada) & Deb Leal (United States), uses humor & pop culture to discuss control and vulnerability within the erotic. Intuitive use of performance, sound, and memory, shapes commentary on self-exploration during a period void of interpersonal touch. Comic relief underlines the importance of self-love, sensuality and trust; as if the supple nature of resiliency was breaking news to destructive machista ideologies so ingrained within ourselves and our social fabrics. “Primal Impacto” invites viewers to release.
Strike, Dear Mistress
Mestiza Queen (2020) is a reflection of the the struggle to reconcile my own identity as an Indigenous, immigrant woman. As a result of the divide caused by colonialism and the Eurocentric social fabric of Argentina, I never felt connected to my Indigenous roots and heritage. This collar, inspired by the Elizabethan Era and pre Hispanic gold artifacts was made using garbage and found items only, as a way to reflect on the forced assimilation imposed by colonizers on the Indigenous people.
This work speaks about the fragility, resilience and strength of our female bodies. It was originally made as a compassionate response to the pain of a loved one who was unable to conceive children. But as the piece took form it became evident other that women saw their own frustrations, suffering and strengths reflected in it as well. This work brought on many conversations with other women, and it was a joy to hear their stories and seeing how they interpreted this piece.
The collection "Porn Plates" was created appropriating images of women from pornographic magazines and using them to decorate the surface of dinner plates. It was a way of reclaiming images that are intended to be seen by males only, in a private setting, and exposing them on the surface of a domestic object, making them accessible to everyone. These plates are a reflection on the consumption and exploitation of female bodies for male gratification.