Livia Daza-Paris, The Witness at the Boundary Layer, 2019.
Intervention at Banff National Park. Registered in hand-made developed and printed 35mm photography.
Is a Venezuelan-Canadian interdisciplinary artist and researcher. In her work, the personal and the political are always entangled. Her interest with attunement as an investigative method originates at the intersection of her background in somatic dance and her family history of political disappearance during Cold War-era Venezuela. Her ‘attunement investigations’ speculate on beyond-the-human testimony that includes the nonhuman (nature) as witness to state violence and nonofficial history.
Early studies on the radical pedagogy in somatic dance of Joan Skinner, inspired Daza-Paris to become a certified teacher in Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT). Her artistic practice with attunement is deeply informed by SRT’s pioneering dance and kinetic awareness immersed in poetic imagery and interconnectivity with self and world.
Additionally, as her practice approaches contemporary art from a decolonial perspective, it also draws from Indigenous ways of knowing to participate in the politics of testimony, appealing to a plurality of ways of knowing that expands notions of testimony and evidence beyond the logic of singularity, dominant in conventional international legal frameworks. It includes the testimony voices of Venezuelan campesinos (1) that have been marginalized from historical representation.
This practice is what she has come to call Poetic Forensics. “Poetic” comes from the Greek “poiesis”, to bring into being what was not there before, while “forensics” is from the Latin "forensis", to speak notions of truth in a public forum. With Poetic Forensics, she contests official histories of forced-disappearances—including that of her own father—by revealing seemingly tenuous evidence and testimony beyond-the-human, in a Latin-American context of systemic colonial violence and US interventionism.
Currently a PhD candidate at University of Plymouth, UK, Daza-Paris holds postgraduate degrees from Concordia University, Canada, in Community Economic Development, and Digital Technologies in Design Arts. She also has an MFA from University of Plymouth, UK. Her works and writings have appeared in Performance Research Journal, VIS NORDIC Journal; THEOREM and Ruskin Gallery Cambridge, UK; Project Anywhere, Parsons Institute, NYC; Alchemy Festival, Scotland; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas; aluCine Latin Film + Media Arts Festival, Toronto; Optica Gallery, Montreal. Her performative video ‘The Family Visits’ won the 2018 Videoarte International Prize at “Visiones del Arte” awarded at MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo and UNAM Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
(1) In Latin America, the term campesino usually refers to peoples of Indigenous origin that live on parcels of land, often working for a landlord.