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Coco Fusco 

Cuban-American Born in New York, 1960.

Performance, Photography and Installation.

What got me going for developing a series of works was the phenomenon of these young Latin women dying very tragic deaths and then becoming instant household names.”  Interview with the MOMA, 1999

Coco Fusco is an exceptional case. Half Cuban and half American gave her the opportunity to include in her art Latin-American topics. Coco’s artwork faced topics as race, gender. The Performance, installation “Better yet when dead” was presented in Canada and Colombia. Based on the culture of death Coco performed her own funeral. She discovered the different perceptions of death in the two countries:

“I did in Toronto and Medellin in 1997. It was interesting: in Canada people tended to be a little bit flipped, all their cultural baggage about death would come out, and they'd step back and be a little weirded out. And then some would come and poke, and a couple of people tried to kiss me. But in Colombia, particularly in Medellin, which is kind of like the "City of Death" where violent death is a way of life. People were cavorting with me as a corpse in a way that I couldn't have imagined, trying to pull me out of the coffin, pouring wine down my mouth. A woman would come every night and read me the same set of poems about death, read them into my ear, tell me that I was in some kind of zen state and that she knew that I couldn't really communicate with her, but that she was communicating with me. It was a very, very intense and very interesting experience, and because I was the only [living] dead thing in the whole biennial there was a whole line of people going to see the live woman being a dead body. It was a really bizarre moment." Extract from conversation with MOMA, 1999.

Picture taken from Fusco website.

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