Bruja by Biba Kayewich

BRUJA

As said by the artist Biba Kayewich, this project titled “Bruja” in symbolic or ironic sense is the author’s representation of the female identification.

Regarding the title of the project, the author as an inspiration uses the word “Bruja” (in Spanish) which means “witch”, however unlike most European and close cultures where this word has often been perceived negatively and almost “heretically” (under the influence of the dominant male hierarchy that determines the stereotypes of women and female position), the same word in the Spanish-American culture and tradition has a completely different meaning. The person, perceived and treated as a “witch,” had an active and equal participation in the processes of the Shaman in Central and South America.  She was a person that allowed her intuition to guide her actions; she interacted with the surrounding on a psycho-social and cultural level, and did not fear to face the challenges.

The project “Bruja” is a project treated by the author, Biba Kayewich, as a “work in progress“. The author Kayewich in the notion of the project wants to “position” this old and imposed term related to this “forbidden” history of female identification in a modern and current context in terms of the global situation and the media/exhibitionist position/representation of the woman, and to reveal which are these “witchlike”, and actually essential feminine characteristics in the today’s controlled world.  As explained by the author herself, the idea of the project is “to penetrate beneath the layers of the imposed identification of women, whether social, religious, or personal, and to reach a level where the woman would recognize that essential moment of her existence, that molecule that does not have a name, profession, role – it is pure, unadulterated female essence.”  The real “witch” in the woman that, according to the author, is actually the personal “female essence” or the personal “bruja molecule.”  The essence of femininity, which is neither more powerful nor more important than the male, but different.

For this purpose, in the project “Bruja”, among other art resources, the author uses photography as an important medium in the realization of the exhibition. Photography as an interactive condition. For her photographs, the author selects female models, that according to her idea, have their own particularities and subtle qualities that can be brought to light. Therefore, the selected female models determine the scenery to be photographed by themselves, and also their “look” which should reflect the personal, aesthetic, psychological and social situation is determined by them.  The session is preceded by a “meditative liberation and familiarization” between the author and the female model so that the model could come to a complete yield in front of the lens and to reach the “first” intuitive thought in herself, or to reach a visualization of herself beyond all seductive, feminist, aggressive, superlative, positive, negative and trendy-pornographic forms of experiences and performances. The mutual element of all photographic sessions is a chair where all the chosen models sit… In a symbolic sense, according to the author, “it is the position, or the same chair where we all sit, a condition we are all in, regardless of what point of view we observe ourselves from.”  We are all “brujas”, concludes Biba Kayewich.

Text by Dejan Budjevac