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PYNANDI NEITHER SLUT, NOR GODDESS, NOR QUEEN and more art by Claudia Casarino

PYNANDI NEITHER SLUT, NOR GODDESS, NOR QUEEN, 2010
50 x 100 cm (h x w)
3 ao po´i dresses with ñandutí

Claudia Casarino
Asunción, 1974
She studied visual arts at Universidad Nacional de Asunción. Since 2006, Claudia has been director at Fundación Migliorisi an institution that conserves, promotes and diffuses art and design. Among her recent solo shows are Mala Hierba / Yerba Mala in collaboration with Claudia Coca (Galería del Paseo, Lima, 2020); Iluminando la Ausencia (Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas, España, 2018); Trastornos del Sueño (Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, 2017) and Contrafuga (Centro Cultural de España Juan de Salazar, Asunción, 2017). She has participated in multiple collective exhibitions such as Futuro Volátil (Casa Naranja, Córdoba, Argentina, 2018); Entre el Mañana y la Muerte (Museo del Barro, Asunción, 2017); Migrantes (En el arte contemporáneo) Hotel de los Inmigrantes (MUNTREF, Buenos Aires, 2015). Casarino has also been part of Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan, Puerto Rico (2015); I Bienal de Asunción, Paraguay (2015); 54 Bienal de Venecia; Trienal de Chile, Museo del Barro, Una mirada múltiple, Santiago, Chile (2009); V Bienal del MERCOSUR, Porto Alegre, Brasil (2005) and VII Bienal de la Habana, Cuba (2000). She has done a residency in Gasworks, London. In 2011, Claudia received the honorable mention from the national award by Bellas Artes Paraguay. Her work belongs to different art collections that include Casa de las Américas, La Habana; Fundación Migliorisi, Asunción; Centro de Artes Visuales, Museo del Barro, Asunción; Colección de Arte Contemporáneo del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo; Victoria & Albert Museum and Spencer Museum, Kansas.

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Claudia Casarino´s artwork “Pynandi,” was chosen by the German curator Alfons Hug to representing Paraguay in the 54th Venice Biennale. The artwork is composed of three long intertwined dresses. The dresses are made in ao po´i, a typical cotton fabric loom made and used by the peasant guaraní women. The title stands for “barefoot” in Guaraní and alludes to the painting “La Paraguaya” (1879) by the artist Juan Manuel Blanes, in which the Paraguayan women, even though barefoot and surrounded by corpses of war, continue standing.
Hug makes a review of the history of Paraguayan women in allusion to the work: “In the XVI century, the guaranís from Paraguay offered their female children to the Spanish to avoid the arousal of any kind of hostility… Later, between 1864 and 1870, when 90% of the male population succumbed in the Triple Alliance war against Brasil, Argentina, and Uruguay, Paraguayan women had to take over the country's issues on their own, which gave them a new state of independence that exceeded that of neighboring countries.”

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Claudia Casarino´s artworks often deal with subjects surrounding gender issues, beauty canons, the roles imposed to women and those that women impose on themselves. These explorations are frequently intertwined with the body and its relationship with clothes. Her work brings her personal history which she transmits through her own body, to bring it to the social dimension.

“In Casarino’s work, there are moments when her body returns in order to settle itself back in the image. We are referring to her photographs of household activities.15 Privacy materialises at home, the place of domesticity. In many cases, a member of the family – who is normally a woman – is in charge of the housework. She acts as the ‘housewife.’ Generally, housewives not only work at home doing the housework – which includes taking care of the children, cleaning and cooking – but they also work outside the home. The double shift is almost unreasonable. In Entrecasa (Housedress) and Después de vos (After You) (2008), the artist is portrayed tidying up the house, cleaning a bathroom. The clothes she is wearing do not match with those kinds of domestic work. In our society, it is widely accepted and understood that women have to be dressed-up, which is in contradiction with the self-sacrificing and determined role of the housewife. The house cleaned by Casarino, who is ‘dressed up as a woman-queen’, is empty. Nobody is cleaning with her. She seems to be the master of order. Are the other bodies inhabiting the house busy doing something they chose to do?”

Colombino, Lia. “cllaudia casarino´s narratives”. Claudia Casarino: iluminando la ausencia. Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno. 2018. (pag. 92)



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