© Jorge das Neves

© Jorge das Neves

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Oriana, 2021–2022
Multi-channel video installation
Courtesy of the artist

Oriana is an ongoing film, started in 2016, based on the 1969 book Les Guérillères by feminist writer Monique Wittig, who began writing it in 1967 in a political context pervaded by decolonization struggles and women’s liberation movements. Appropriating the literary canon, she constructs a long epic poem describing a mythical, colourful guerrilla-style march to overthrow both the patriarchy and the language on which it is founded. This is a war of pronouns: ‘They’ [in French: ‘Elles’, third person plural feminine] are
a collective entity, as well as the main character engaged in a bloody struggle against the patriarchal regime. The book’s three sections are divided by circles, while a poem consisting of a list of names cuts through the narrative at every five pages. The final section is the one Wittig first wrote, the part where the heavily armed ‘They [Elles]’ victoriously overthrow the regime. Then ‘They say, If I take over the world, let it be to dispossess myself of it immediately, let it be to forge new links between myself and the world’. Without quite forming a narrative thread, the text functions as a tool that enables Beatriz Santiago Muñoz to reflect on feminism and decolonialization through the transformation of language. Inspired by Augusto Boal and the Theatre of the Oppressed, the artist develops a performative work with the actors integrating the camera as an active entity within this apparatus. Currently shown as a multiple-channel video projection, the film takes place in the future, after Les Guérillères, after the fall of patriarchy.