Regina José Galindo

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Regina José Galindo
Regina José Galindo en Ciudad de Guatemala. .jpg
Galindo in 2016
Born (1974-08-27) August 27, 1974 (age 45)
Guatemala City, Guatemala
OccupationPerformance artist

Regina José Galindo (born August 27, 1974)[1][2] is a Guatemalan performance artist who specializes in body art. She was born in Guatemala City.[2]

Early work[edit]

Remarkably, for an artist who is known for the political themes of her work, Galindo grew up in a lower middle class household where politics generally, and the Guatemalan civil war more specifically, were not discussed. She attended secretarial school and her career as a secretary was not a successful one.[3] Her work as a poet developed through attending workshops and groups which met in friends' houses, at which time she wrote the pieces that became part of her book Personal and Intransmisible.

After meeting Jessica Lagunas and Marianela Dias, performance art grew in importance in her practice. Aníbal López (also known as A-1 53167) has been a lifelong mentor for Galindo, and is noted as an important influence on her work.[4] Galindo's first performances were based upon her earlier written works.[4]


She first gave two performances in Guatemala in 1999, and gained international fame. One of her well-known acts include ¿Quién Puede Borrar las Huellas? (Translated: "Who Can Erase the Traces"), made in 2003, in which she walked from the Congress of Guatemala building to the National Palace, dipping her bare feet at intervals in a white basin full of human blood as a vigorous protest against the presidential candidacy of Guatemala’s former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt.[5]

Another of her notable works was titled Perra (2005), in which she carved the Spanish word perra, or bitch, on her legs, in protest against violence against women.[6]

She frequently collaborates with other art performers, including compatriot Aníbal López.


In October 2008, Galindo exhibited alongside renowned artists like Tania Bruguera and Jimmie Durham at MoMA PS1 for NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, an exhibition co-organized by The Menil Collection.[7]

Between January 31 until March 29, 2009, Modern Art Oxford featured Galindo in Regina José Galindo: The Body of Others.[8] According to Clare Carolin, the show was the first major UK presentation of Galindo's work as well as the first monographic survey of her work.[8]

Between March 25 and June 8, 2014, Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea (PAC) exhibited a selection of Galindo's work in Estoy Viva. The show was divided in five sections: Politics, Woman, Violence, Organic and Death. Works such as ¿Quién puede borrar las huellas? (Who can erase the traces?, 2003), Himenoplastia (2004), Mientras, ellos siguen libres (While they are still free, 2007) and Caparazon (Shell, 2010) were presented alongside newer works that had not been exhibited before in Italy.[9]


Galindo received the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale in 2005, in the category of “artists under 30”, for her video Himenoplastia.[10] This work, nevertheless, got a particularly hostile reception during its first showing in Guatemala, in 2004. The controversial work depicted surgical reconstruction of the artist’s hymen.[11]

In October 2009, Exit Art showed a solo exhibition of Galindo's work as part of their SOLO series and Performance in Crisis program.[12]

A book on Galindo’s performance work has been published in Italy (Vanilla Edizioni, 2006). Galindo is also a writer of poetry and narrative; in 1998 she received the Myrna Mack Foundation's Premio Unico de Poesía in Guatemala for Personal e intransmisible (Scripta Coloquia, 2000).

In 2011 the jury of the 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana (Dave Beech, Christian Höller, Urška Jurman, and Ulay /Frank Uwe Laysiepen/) awarded her with the Grand Prize for the works: Confesión (Confession), 2007 which was produced in Spain and inspired by the extraordinary rendition flights uncovered by a team of local reportes in Palma de Mallorca, and the Prince Claus Awards.[13]

List of works[edit]

Selected works
Year Performance Location Comment
2014 “Exhalación (Estoy Viva)” PAC Milan For this performance Galindo lied naked at the ground floor of the pavilion. Under cold temperatures, one person at a time was invited to hold a mirror under her nose. The clouded mirror being the only sign of life, contradicting all of the signs of an apparent death.[9]
2011 “ALARMA” Banco de España Metro Station, Madrid, Spain A site–specific video installation by Regina José Galindo, commissioned by La Caja Blanca[14] for the tunnels adjacent to the vaults which protect Spain’s national gold reserves.
2007 “Confesión” Palma de Mallorca, Spain Inspired by waterboarding. Based on recently declassified CIA documents.[15]

A videotape of this performance was presented as an installation during the Sydney Biennial of 2010.
A videotape of this performance was presented as an installation at the Venice Biennial of 2009.[16]
‘Performing Torture’,[17] Essay by Professor Julian Stallabrass, preface to "Confesión", Regina José Galindo, to be published in 2011.

2006 “Corona” Main Square, Guatemala City public installation, commemorating over 6040 killings during the year Peace Agreements were signed, ending the 36-year-long war.
2005 “Perra” Prometeo Galery, Milan, Italy Self-flagellation with a knife, carving the word "perra" into her skin, protesting violence to women in Guatemala during 2005.
2005 "(279) Blows" In this performance piece, the artist hits herself 279 times while in a box, commemorating the 279 Guatemalan women who died at the hands of sexist violence within the first half of 2005.
2004 “El Peso de la Sangre” Main Square, Guatemala City Galindo sat under a structure in Guatemala City's main square as a liter of blood was emptied, drop by drop, over Galindo's head and clothes.
2003 “¿Quién puede borrar las huellas?” Guatemala City Galindo walked through the streets carrying a bowl of human blood, repeatedly stepping in the bowl to create bloody footprints, commemorating the victims of the genocide during the Civil War.
2001 “Angelina” Guatemala For the duration of this work, Galindo spent one month dressed as a maid.
2000 “Sobremesa” Guatemala City performance/installation
1999 “El cielo llora tanto que debería ser mujer” Guatemala City In her first performance work, a stark naked Galindo continuously submerged herself in a tub of water for as long as she can hold her breath. It was performed in a higher middle class shopping mall.
“Lo voy a gritar al viento” Post Office Building, Guatemala City For 30 minutes,[18] Galindo hanged herself in the arch of the main post office building in Guatemala City, and read her poems aloud without the use of a microphone. The texts talked about gender issues. The day after, the performance was featured on the front page of the main newspapers[19] in the country.

See also[edit]


  • Cazali, Rosina, and Fernando Castro Florez. Regina José Galindo. Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2011. Print.
  • Díaz, Tamara, and Virginia Pérez-Ratton. "Regina Galindo: Toque De Queda (2005), Perra (2005), Un Espejo Para La Pequeña Muerte (2006)." Estrecho Dudoso. Costa Rica: TEOR/éTica, 2006. 60-61. Print.
  • Sileo, Diego, and Eugenio Viola. Regina José Galindo: Estoy Viva. Milan: Skira, 2014. Print.
  • Siviero, Viviana, and Marco Scotini. Regina José Galindo. Albissola Marina: Vanillaedizioni, 2006. Print.
  • Villena Fiengo, Sergio, Regina José Galindo. El performance como acto de resistencia. Revista Centroamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Vol. VII, nº 1, 2010,
  • Villena Fiengo, Sergio, "Intervenciones intempestivas en Centro América. El anti-ceremonial público en la obra de Regina Galindo", Revista de Estudios Globales & Arte Contemporáneo, Vol. 3, nº 1, 2015,ÚBLICO_EN_LA_OBRA_DE_REGINA_JOSÉ_GALINDO_2016_


  1. ^ "Regina José Galindo". THE SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM FOUNDATION. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Regina José Galindo". Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  3. ^ Savorelli, Livia (2006). Regina José Galindo. Albissola Marina: Vanillaedizioni. pp. 24–25. ISBN 8860570093.
  4. ^ a b Savorelli, Livia (2006). Regina José Galindo. Albissola Marina: Vanillaedition. pp. 22–23. ISBN 8860570093.
  5. ^ Regina José Galindo Francisco Goldman
  6. ^ Regina José Galindo
  7. ^ "NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith". MoMA PS1. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ a b "Regina José Galindo Estoy Viva". PAC. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  10. ^ Women in the spotlight as Venice Biennale opens CBC
  11. ^ Regina José Galindo Mariana David
  12. ^ Micchelli, Thomas (November 2009). "Regina José Galindo". The Brooklyn Rail.
  13. ^ "Prince Claus Awards". Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  14. ^ More information on the project "Alarma"
  15. ^ More information on the project "CONFESIÓN"
  16. ^ Link to video showing "CONFESIÓN" as it was installed at the Venice Biennial of 2009
  17. ^ Essay by Professor Julian Stallabrass, preface to "Confesión"
  18. ^ Roldán, Ingrid (August 28, 1999). "Singular recital." Prensa Libre. Retrieved 2015-12-03.
  19. ^ Newspaper covers from the day after the performance (as seen in Guatemala's National Newspaper Archive).

External links[edit]