Jorge Eielson, "El Cuerpo de Giulia," 1972

28 January – 1 February 2021

This 1972 work by the late Peruvian artist Jorge Eielson is titled 'El cuerpo de Giulia (247 metros de algodón crudo)' or 'The body of Giulia (247 meters of raw cotton)'. Named after the author's novel of the same title, Eielson presented this performance art piece at the 1972 Venice Biennale. Here, we see Eielson wrapping long lengths of fabric around the nude body of a woman - the titular Giulia - which relates to Eielson's decades-long examination of fabric through his multimedia art practice. For Eielson, fabric became a medium with a rich set of associations and implications, which he used variously to explore clothing, which the artist viewed as entrapping and masking the human body; to represent systems of communication, with roots in the pre-Columbian language of knotted cords; and to embody art itself in his signature 'Quipus' works, in which twisted lengths of fabric form sculptural entities across flat canvases.