Untitled (science fiction) (2000)
Digital image 1/15
70 x 50 cm.

If the debate between constructionism and essentialism, the theoretical perspectives from which the masculinity/femininity binomial has been analysed, has in recent years tended to favour the former, over this decade it has also been enriched by a discussion on the need to abandon the binary oppositions which demonise science and technology and deify nature. As Donna Haraway says, "I prefer to be a cyborg than a goddess". The phrase is as demythifying as it is provocative; for this controversial theorist, cyberculture questions dualisms, as technology crosses over the border separating the natural form the artificial. Marina Nunez is a passionate lover of science fiction cinema and literature, but also of the Gothic and satirical literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in their critique and rejection of society. Her drawings and paintings are also fed by these references and by the art/science interrelationship, specially Enlightment attempts to situate man in nature through the syntesis of physio-psychological knowledge. From here, too, comes her interest in not representing an essential subject but instead variants on the subject of otherness; otherness and difference are precisely what grammatical gender is all about. The work, in turn, is based on a solid theoretical framework; on the displacement of the patriarchal discourse and the creation of a fictional discourse together with the need for a space for desire (as put forward by Helene Cixous with her proposals for looking at fantasy, the unconscious and the language of the flesh); on the insistence of Irigaray and Kristeva (situated intertextually with Oerrida, Lacan and others) on the subject in progress; and on Bakhtin's analysis of the heterogeneous and the freeing of consciousness through laughter, madness, strangeness. All this theoretical corpus has led Nunez not only to reject universal and essentialist ideas, but also to question the "stability of meaning". This is not possible in the bodies she represents and the states which invade them: madness, monstrosity, as a representation of a critique of the values which strengthen homogenisation, and the control of individuals. With the series painted over recent years, Marina Nunez explores the difference and the wretchedness of conditions of subjects which upset the idea of identity and order. The Monsters, possessed by wires or tumours and ganglions which invade them, represent women who carry in their bodies the hybrid - cyborgs, testifying to Haraway's debate on how the boundary between the self and the other is fading, just like the dualisms of mate rialismfidealism, mind/body, human/animal, natural/artificial, thanks to cybernetics. The expression of those fluid limits is materialised in Monsters, as carriers of voices and "crushers of limits", as well as offering resistance to integration with their twisted and torn bodies; presences which prepare to revive the liberation of the repressed.

Mar Villaespesa & Juan Vicente Aliaga Extract form their text "Transgeneric@s. Representations and experiences of society, sexuality and gender in contemporary Spanish art", in "Transgeneric@s" (catalog), ed. Diputacion de Guipuzcoa, San Sebastian, Spain 1999.