The action Del Cuerpo al Vacío was performed by Antonienta Sosa (b. 1940) at the Galería de Arte Nacional (GAN) in Caracas on September 15, 1987. A theoretical reflection written by the artist herself, this document is fundamental to research on one of the pioneers of Conceptual art in Venezuela in the sixties. This action was a tribute to Oskar Schlemmer and Armando Reverón, artists who, in Sosa’s view, perform bodily actions to mobilize energy and to express themselves in non-verbal language. This performance by Sosa encompassed her visual and corporeal work and made use of notions she had not used earlier (that is, from 1965 to 1985), among them “surface as space”; the body in space is a central theme of her actions and the chair—which the artist herself designed—is an object that links body and mind. The “chair” object had been part of earlier performances by Sosa: the installation Sillas y mariposas [Chairs and Butterflies] was exhibited at Galería La Trinchera in Caracas in 1978; the work Arte en vitrina [Art in Display Case], exhibited at Galería Cruz del Sur in Caracas in 1979, consisted of photographs of chairs intervened by Claudio Perna, Vasco Scinetar, and Alexis Sequini; in 1982, her installation T.V., silla, T.V. [TV, chair, TV] was exhibited at Corpoindustria in the city of Maracay.
Before Cuerpo al Vacío [My Body to the Void], Sosa had reflected on the use of the body in space at the Coloquio de Arte No-Objetual held at Caricuao in Caracas, where she presented “De la superficie al volumen, del volumen al objeto, del objeto al cuerpo, del cuerpo al vacío: evolución de la obra de Antonieta Sosa, desde 1965 a 1985,” which aimed erasing the limits between the two dimensional (painting) and the three-dimensional (sculpture).
Most of Sosa’s actions have a sound component; sometimes music is the background for the action and sometimes it is played by performers as part of the “situation” (this is the case in ¿Y por qué no? [Why Not?], performed at the event “Acciones frente a la Plaza” that took place in 1981.
Sosa’s early work, from the sixties, consisted of paintings in acrylic on canvas and three-dimensional works. In the seventies, she began to work with the body and space, joining Contradanza, a contemporary dance troupe directed by Hercilia López at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. She also gave classes in corporal expression and drawing to children at CETRAC, a therapeutic community. She continues to work as both an educator and an artist.
For the catalogue texts to Sosa’s show entitled Cas(A)nto held at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas in 2000, see Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas’s “Antonieta Sosa: Antropometrías de la casa” (ICAA digital archive 1157705); curator Carmen Hernández’s essay “Los múltiples tránsitos de Cas(A)nto” (1157721); and “El espacio y el tiempo en Cas(a)nto” (1157689) by Sosa herself . See as well Hernández’s “Antonieta Sosa: La medida de lo personal” (1155378), a study of Sosa’s proposal in the work Desde el cuerpo: alegorías de lo femenino [From the Body: Allegories of the Feminine]. Finally, in the essay “¿Y por qué no?” (865572) Sosa describes one of her actions.