Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Textile Details

'La cueca sola', by Aurora Ortiz. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'La cueca sola', by Aurora Ortiz. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:La cueca sola / Dancing cueca alone
Maker: Aurora Ortiz
Country of Origin: Chile
Year Produced: 2012
Size (cm): 38cm x 48cm
Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto burlap
Type of Textile: Arpillera

The traditional Chilean dance, La Cueca, is danced in pairs - an important fact considering the dance is meant to represent the different emotions and stages of romance.

In La Cueca Sola, though, the women dance alone. Their husbands, sons, brothers, or lovers have been disappeared or exiled, so they continue the dance, wearing the image of their loved ones over their hearts. “The dance represents a denunciation of a society that makes the bodies of victims of political violence disappear, denying them a proper burial and silencing their mourners. Through la cueca sola, the dancers tell a story with their solitary feet, the story of the mutilated body of a loved one. Through their movements and the guitar music, the women also recreate the pleasure of dancing with the missing person.”

La Cueca Sola has become a powerful story. The women prove to the world that their dance, their culture, cannot be stopped by military action. “By dancing the national dance of Chile alone, the women begin to emerge as historical beings with an identity of their own.” Their courage and determination has inspired people all over the world, including musician Sting, whose song has been covered by many other artists including Joan Baez and Holly Near. La Cueca Sola has inspired many different interpretations in textile, with this 2012 interpretation by Aurora Ortiz.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Donated to Dr. Karen Nickell, Northern Ireland
Location: Dr. Karen Nickell. Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh

Textile exhibited at: RETAZOS TESTIMONIALES: arpilleras de Chile y otras latitudes, 28/09/2013 - 10/11/2013
Women 31 , 7/03/2014 - 15/04/2014

Textile Detail Image(s)