Regina JosÃ© Galindo was born in Guatemala City in 1974. As an artist and poet, she began making performances in the public arena in 1999. Galindo’s work received international acclaim in 2005 when she won Golden Lion Award at Venice Biennale in the category of ’Artist Under 30’ for Â¿Quien Puede Borrar Las Huellas? (2003), making her the first woman from Central America to attain this accolade. Today she is considered to be one of Guatemalaâ€™s most acclaimed contemporary performance artist. Her works have been included in public exhibitions at P.S.1 New York, Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno in Guatemala City, Feria International de Arte ContemporÃ¡neo, Madrid and Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporaneo di Trento, Italy. Galindo has been invited to participate in the Venice Biennale (2001, 2005, and 2009), the Prague Biennale 2 (2005), and the Tirana Biennale, Albania (2005). Public solo exhibitions of her work have been held at La Plateau, Paris and most recently in the United Kingdom, at Modern Art Oxford, UK, in 2009.
Galindo’s art is influenced by the violence of her native Guatemala’s history and current culture following the Guatemalan civil war (1960 - 1996). In her performative works, Galindo uses her body as a raw material to express visual metaphors of the Guatemalan condition and injustices towards women in that society. On a universal level her works can be seen to translate issues of the vulnerability, imbalances of authority, and loss of power.
Typically subjecting her body to dangerous and violent acts, past performances have included cutting the word ’Perra’ (’Bitch’) into her leg with a knife in a live gallery performance, mimicking the mutilations found on the bodies of murdered Guatemalan women (Perra, 2005), shaving off all her body hair and walking through the streets of Venice naked (Piel, 2001), and existing for four days chained and shackled, attempting to go about normal daily routines (Peso, 2006). Recent works have involved the audience in participatory acts, such as Warm up (2009) where Galindo invited gallery visitors into a small room to collectively raise the temperature of the room.
Rosina Cazali describes Galindo as ’someone who has taken unimaginable physical and psychological risks, who has transferred all the visual, metaphorical, symbolic and semiotic power of her work to her body’.