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Montserrat Vargas

Photopoems – La Mordida: The Bite & The Bitten

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

it’s afraid

it dodges

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.

Montserrat Vargas

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,
in this:
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 discordant.

Montserrat Vargas


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

– 2nd Photography: Painfully Laugh
Photographer: Andressa Furletti / Costume and Concept Montserrat Vargas

This Legal Body poem, translation from Spanish to English by Sandie Luna

– Rebirth poem, translation from Spanish to English by Sandie Luna

Renacer / 62×60 cm / Materials: rice paper, thread and tempera @​Montserrat Vargas #LaMordidaProject

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