La Mordida: The Bite & The Bitten is a multidisciplinary work series by Chilean artist Montserrat Vargas that combine conceptual imagery with the confessional journey of an immigrant artist. These works have been developed over the past two years in NY through embroideries, photographs, poems, sculptures, audio-poems and performances. The starting point is the mouth as a vehicle of various types of violence that have emerged from the recognition of being a survivor of sexual abuse. That’s how #LaMordidaProject, the Bite and the Bitten was birthed.
«In the sequence of multidisciplinary work that I have created under the #LaMordidaProject, all images are scenarios created from my memories and experiences captured through different mediums. Some have been translated into pictures created with the help of a photographer, others embroideries or other forms using different materials to transform these experiences into something real.
I do not remember if the images or the poems came first. I find all this work to have a single objective, where I try to capture the trichotomy: Word-Image-Feeling; inspired by a photography I write a poem or vice versa. Each of these images live in the words of each poem and they do not exist without each other. «
Like baby teeth
The body of what was once my mouth feels resentment
it doesn’t know how to lick like it once did
avidly building itself again in the coming and going around an unknown abyss
avid and parched
with my tongue between my lips and my lips bitten by my teeth
this body of what once was… wants now to relish everything
completely and without scars
“Let my teeth to fall out one by one!” I say
this body of what once was…
will not resent it.
This legal body
Prosecuting my raging body in flames
The legality of my body presents itself and searches for itself like traces that, I watch, of those who came through me
and now I discover strangers
invaded by insatiable borders, that are eager to be taken, demarcated by fingers and fingernails the violability of my body frontier is open
c o m p l e t e
for you to come and to take it by surprise because I trespassed some margins,
the undocumentability of my body
so take me! fullcomplete
and you’ll see how that the rage will bite you and savor you all over, screaming in raw tears in this stateless life that I search to satisfy my borders in a body.
The rage takes over more and more knowing that I only look for another area to circulate insatiablecomplete
I want to know myself on my skin, by me and for me
(I have to repeat / to-for me)
in this seekroots
demarking the margins of my own limit in this proximity to emptyfullness
I shape the proximity of your body and mine in a raging marginality insatiable expectant
And I’m pulling out the saliva that tasted of us and the bacteria from what was shared, from the bones that held my laughter and showed the grimace of what I called crying.
I’m going to be empty of the water that ran
and there I will smile
holding with my members
(that I will rebuild again)
the fullness of knowing myself clean and ready for another kiss.
– 1st Photography: Like a Baby Teeth
Photographer: Andressa Furletti / Costume and Concept Montserrat Vargas
Like a baby teeth poem, translation from Spanish to English by Sandie Luna