This is the text entitled “Ida Píngala II,” written by the Austrian artist residing in Venezuela, Alfred Wenemoser (b. 1954), distributed to the viewing public on a typed sheet at the Bienal de São Paulo held in 1981. Written in the third person, it is an explanation of the work delivered to those present at the event; the work is like a theatre piece in which the viewer’s participation is significant. The participation is important either as a perceptual experience or for the profound symbolic content involved. In the work, the artist introduces a conflict in which his own loss of identity is implied. Those visiting the event put on a mask that reproduces the artist’s features, assuming his personality during the event while they lose their own. At the same time, the artist adopts the personalities of the participants, since he (symbolically) depends on their decisions for his own survival. This being the case, the document raises the problem of identity as a dilemma or selection; in other words, the piece does not instruct the participants on what to do or choose; it simply guides them in their movement through the piece and shows them the consequences of their actions.
In Ida Píngala II, the delivery of this sheet to the viewing public is especially important; it explains that the artist will turn over to the viewers the choice of his immediate future: whether he should continue the three-day fast or, on the contrary, give it up and eat the dove that appears on the set. In this highly psychological work, Wenemoser achieves a sensory stimulation of the viewers; that is a constant in his works, no doubt with all the ethical implications that attend that achievement. The document transmits both the scene and the actual meaning of the event. According to a criticism written by Lourdes Blanco, Ida Píngala II represents a period in the artist’s art life characterized by “works with a marked experimental accent that seem to have distanced him from the sphere of the visual arts” [see Cincoincidentes, “Alfred Wenemoser” (1984) in the ICAA digital archive (1097390)]. Wenemoser considers this work to be a development, a work that perhaps goes beyond Ida Píngala I, an event shown at the 5th Festival de Teatro de Caracas in August of the same year.
Since the artist did not keep a copy of the typed document distributed in 1981, for the ICAA archive, the text was reproduced from the Guía Catálogo/Guía de Estudio No. 136. Exposición CCS-10. Arte venezolano actual (Caracas: Fundación Galería de Arte Nacional, 1993).