The loving ritual of the electrical witch: Pola Weiss (1947-1990)

For: Salvador Mendiola, Hortensia Moreno, Maria Adela Hernández Reyes, Gloria Hernández and Candy Mar (Choreography of sociocultura and Gender: Pola Venusina)

The feminism has been the first political moment of
Historical critique to the family and to the company.


Twenty years ago, in 1990, Pola Weiss committed suicide. And with it, his suicide, everything his had just complicated it up to the infinite. It was capable of doing what wanted, capablly of taking his dear freedom up to the highest point. To take the life from him. And a permanent crux to turn. Thing that scandalizes and terrifies the pro-been gentecita who believes that only diosito saint gives us and takes the life from us, and that because of it any life makes a sense and that anyone can know it. But everything it undoes the act of taking the life from him for own hand. The suicide, probably an authentic miracle, one surprises marvel of the freedom. A transcendent silence.

But she, Pola Rabiosa and Voracious, committed suicide faked the suicide well and because of it, rightly because of it, already nobody will know why not why. Everything stayed silently. Because, being only of her for her, it seems that it did it for any world and for nobody. How does one can so much in this sense? The truth is that nobody can solve this type of libertarian cruxes. Determinants, it is true, in valuing the works of art and the life of those who produce them. But uncompromising to the critical speech. They happen, we surprise them and confuse everything. That about it treats itself the supreme freedom of the suicide, of being able to make everything like that: in puritito scrawl. Absurdity. A bottle empties lance-thrust to the emptiness. In order that from there, from the recognition of the incompletez and the scrawl, from the failure before the need to live through the life, from the emptiness and the silence, we rethink everything what the life and the death mean as incompletez and scrawl. The love to the suicide like legitimate defense against the conjugal yawn and the calm catastrophe of the financial globalization of the tardocapitalismo ... the one who can know? Nobody.

Though, then, against the illness and the spectacle, which from here remains clear: Pola Weiss did not commit fakes the suicide opposite to his of video camera. It did not turn into this type of images such to tragic act. Probably everything happened because she could not die opposite to his Kid, because of it everything stayed forever in the senseless darkness, in the truth of the life, that everything is absurd.

Things of the art in steal of the end of the art, after the romanticism and the absurdity. After everything.

But then, to understand itself better, it will be necessary to say that Pola Weiss was born in the city of Mexico on May 3, 1947, in a family of proletarian well-off class of the colony Rome South. His father, Leopoldo Weiss, was of alsatian origin; and his mother, Emma Álvarez, Mexican. Everything makes suppose that he came to Mexico to move away from the war in Europe. For what motives? Impossible to imagine it. Of the origin of the mother it is known less, almost at all. Though, good, often Pola said that Venus was coming from the Planet and that she was a daughter of yes same, as Antonin Artaud. But also often it did signs of that daughter of Leopoldo was considering more that of Emma, declaration that increases the confusion of his life. His not wanting to be like his mother it wanted that it was, and to want that his father her wants more to her.

Still nobody knows when, where and how it was that Pola Weiss obtained his first video camera; we do not also know if he acquired it with his own money or with that of another person, where we suppose that, then, Leopoldo played a decisive paper; but yes we know that, after some hesitations in the powers of history and philosophy and letters, he studied the master in sciences of the communication, more something of cinema in the UNAM. Of it of the cinema is not brand in the files, she was saying it. His thesis of master in communication was the first work of video that was titled in this university: it was an article it brings over of an event of Latin-American studies (1975). And Pola Weiss gained the bread himself with the sweat of his forehead of intellectually, giving lessons and doing trabajitos of TV, when nobody believed in the TV and anybody or almost nobody understood his classes of TV. It worked and worked all the time that could, and all the time complained about that was never reaching the money to do everything what wanted. As the whole people.

It is difficult to document well a life as that of Pola Weiss. So near in the time and the geography but so distant in the documentary historiography. His suicide made eliminate many things, also it makes the investigation difficult. Many people prefirió to guard silence on it, to try to forget it and to forget her. Twenty years are a little time, as we see, still there are many people affected still by it, many people in process of endless duel. Of there much silence that wraps his history. For it there has been crucial the great work of rescue realized by Edna Torres, who, shortly after Weiss was taking the life from himself, received in his house all the things of his teacher of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences. So that there there were all the fingerprints that stayed of Pola Weiss's work with the electronic audiovideo. Works that Edna arranged, it classified and copied in order that now we could preserve and study them.

As the legend counts: she was his mother grandmother, dona Maria, who woke the love up in Pola for the audio-visual images, since from very girl it took her to the cinema, when fewer three or four times per week. Thing that seems to us to be a bit exagerate. When the cinema happened in a few immense pantallotas and in a few architectural sites in deed sacred, for us thousand and one times more beautiful than Teotihuacan or San Pedro of Rome. Then it was not going away to the daily cinema. But a grandmother does rare things. Then, we imagine the conversations between granddaughter and grandmother on what it happened on the screen and his minds. The conversation of the movie. Where it enjoys itself and controls the receipt. Also it is known that from very pequeñita she itself organized theatrical representations and performances of all kinds for his family, neighbors and companions of school. In addition, his father, mad lover of her, photographed her, recorded and filmed so much since it could for the familiar means that epoch left him to possess and to use. So that, with big efforts and many dedication Pola Weiss a mad imaginative narcissist developed, with a marked attraction for the positive look of the father and with big complaints against the mother. A strange exhibitionist, who identifies in intense form with the images where it turns out to be engraved, out of the life, returning in fixed, stable, still form.

Nobody knows with certainty in what year it was when his mother died. It must have been at the end of the adolescence of the daughter. Everything seems to indicate that it happened before Pola was expiring 25 years, also it seems that the duel proved more than endless, since there are brands of which it affected him in serious form. Because it seems that dona Emma in deed tried for all the means to govern and direct Pola's will, hitting for it, we suppose, with Leopoldo.

In the middle of the seventies Pola Weiss travels to Europe with a university scholarship to realize investigations on artistic, experimental and educational television in the BBC of London, the VPRO of Holland, the OFRATEME of Paris and her I SCRAPED of Italy. It puts a day on what it happens with the new way as object and aesthetic subject, discovering the value of the works with portable chamber, the essential tool for the videoarte. When it returns to Mexicalpán of the tunas and speech from it, any world sees her as if in deed it was coming from Venus or from a rarer site still; in this epoch who could believe that the TV was an art or at least an intelligent thing? Though, good, also there were people as Gustavo Sainz that the retroalimentaron well in all that, people who was connected really in this frequency and this direction, the electrical radical communication.

In 1976, during a trip led-zeppelinesco - "The Song Remains The Same " - to the city of New York, enters in touch with the people freak dedicated thoroughly the videoarte. There he attends the exhibition of some Nam June's works Paik - the one who is considered to be today one of the big creators of the videoarte. The effect of the meeting will be forceful, Pola already does not doubt not for an instant, at once it realizes of that like that is like like she it wants to express. His way is the art that desconstruye the art across the performance and the electricity.

Already for 1977, twelve years after Nam June Paik was initiating the videoarte, Pola Weiss autonames "teleasta" and his first work realizes in audiovideografía electronics: Cosmic Flower (15 minutes). Everything was done, literally, by his own hands, without technological any sophistication, in the most absolute independence and autonomy. Without modifying seriously the institutional structure of the device TV; but generating meant completely abnormal, hyperaesthetic, without linear statement, without bourgeois story. Images more near the kinetic sculpture and the electronic music that to the commercial TV or the painting.

Against what he says the legend: the innovation and quality of the work of very prompt Pola Weiss was recognized by a select and valuable minority, from his first experiments there was capable public of value the importance and depth of his works, so much in audiovideografía as in performance, installation, setting and everything else that it means desconstrucción of the bourgeois art that she practised. This way it will manage to see exhibited in 1979 three of his works (Still we are, 12 minutes; Warrior's Cuilapan, 8 minutes; and The dead men in Etla, 2 minutes) in the Center Georges Pompidou of the Museum of Modern Art of the city of Paris.

UA determinant element in the works audiovideográficas of Pola Weiss is precisely the band of audio, his intelligent use of the sound and the music in the construction of the audio-visual statement. Area where poet highlights at once the originality of this one. In many sonorous bands the music, with Pola's direction, was composed and executed by his friend Federico Luna, in others it was created by his sister Kitzia Weiss and in other Pola it used music pregrabada. Always the result for the ear was the dialectical expression of the sound and the visual figure. Electronic music. It never uses the sonorous band as a pleonasm.


When there presents cosmic Flower in the Meeting IX International of Videoarte (1977), effected in the Museum Pulley Gil of the city of Mexico, the journalist Froylán Lopez Narváez writes: " The logic of this work is that of a personal liberation presented with a speech icónico the freest, where the music accompanies indeed to the images and these they are not only to his care. " And during this meeting it is when it knows in person Nam June Paik, who values it at once as an important pioneer for this type of art for Mexico and influences of way sobredeterminante the aesthetics of all the creations of our teleasta.

Little later, in 1979 he presented the video Papalotl (3 minutes) in a channel of cable of the city of New York. The same year presents some of his videoes in the International Exhibition of Art in Kansas City, where a letter of congratulation receives for it received well that were his videoes for the public. And also the same year obtains FONAPAS's scholarship to be present at the meeting of Performance and Videoarte in Venice, Italy, where he presented his performance alive Videodanza Videodanza.

In the year of 1980 the video presents to two times: The Venusina Renace and Reform in the esplanade of the National Audience, where, with a heavy chamber to the shoulder, she dances opposite to several mirrors, catching images of the public and of his own reflection. In the promotional cartel, Tununa Mercado wrote: " Despliega his devices of videotape and, simultaneously creative and creature - Pola and Venusina - of an act of the only love, it crosses and catches with his chamber the images and the sounds that surround it, it captures them in his absolute momentaneidad while dances... "

At the end of 1982 it will begin to live with Fernando Mangino, whom it had known ten years before, in a program of university TV, called " He Debates before the image " where they informed both. But the loving relation began in 82, when, after the divorce of every whom, in a symbolic wedding celebrated in a cabin of the forest, they announced his union. Already from this moment it was well-known that were not removing very well, and that prompt would take conflicts as Pola's leading character.

In 1983, together with other persons dedicated to the experimental tv, it founded the successful television project Videocosmos, in the channel 9 of opened television, beside exposed his work in the Video Cankarjev Dom of Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, and in the Videosud of Paris and the Video/Culture of Toronto, Canada.

According to everything it seems to indicate, Pola had an involuntary abortion about the year of 1984, when with many scares it was trying to live together with Fernando Mangino. It seems that it of the involuntary abortion happened during a trip for Europe, when she was in Venice - like they leave us to suspect Videorigen's narrraciones (21 minutes, 1984) and My Co-Ra-Zón (10 minutes, 1986). It does not seem that it has been the only time that aborted, but, then, it seems that almost always it happened in involuntary form. But on these questions the work turns out to be still very difficult historiográfico, since it becomes evident that still there is no a history of the women ("Her-Story").

Already from 1982 Pola Weiss it was supporting without hesitations the theory of which the videoarte is the dialectical overcoming of the tv as idiotic box, since it constitutes an ethical and philosophical radical offer for the beings whose thought is visual electrically. Of this form also he will say little later that the pop video type MTV only is an expression of creative mediocrity, since there everything it governs the market of the spectacle. His poetics on the video correspond to the second generation that practice in autonomous, aesthetic form.

In 1987 it creates the amazing Magician (8 minutes), more than a self-analysis psicosemiótico, that is supposed already was his work audiovideográfica number 50; and he is present like invited at the Festival of Montpellier, France, where one presents a retrospective of his work and declares itself a: " The most important videasta of Latin America ". Also this year is a part of the juror in the section of video of the Festival IV International of Cinema, TV and Video of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In this occasion it will come up to Buenos Aires, where in the Cultural Center St Martin, as us Graciela Taquini reports, he presented a performance with video before a public who, amazed, understands and celebrates it at once, turning her into lasting memory for the electronic sea "underground" of the moment.

The year of 1988 his father falls ill with cancer and begins Pola's emotional decline. His last video titles Inertia (8 minutes), and it was everything what it could do. Since Polito dies in the spring of 1989. The emotional blow is such in her that will not return to produce anything. And only a few days before comes to his birthday number 43, in May, 1990, Pola Weiss realizes his traffic for own hand.

On his marital status: it was disastrous. Monogamous, mixed up and stormy loves, with jealous and suspicious males who generally ended for considering her and to turn it mad. Though, it yes, now they all scream because he died and did not make them not nice at all of recollection ... only these mugrosos poems videoelectrónicos.

Young woman still, at the end of the sixties, married with an architect of his age. To a little time they separated. Then it lived together several times, almost always nearly time and with big interpersonal conflicts. The relation with Fernando Mangino, who began in 1982 and lasted practically up to his death, was the most lasting and stable, though with many scares. It never managed to establish an authentic loving stable communication, to every moment it remained alone.

From 1990 the critic Andrés of Moon recognizes the great importance of Pola Weiss's work. Since then more names have been added to the critical receipt of his poetical offer, here it is necessary to mention Elvira García, Octavio Lasane, Fernando Mejía Barquera, Héctor Rivera and Alberto Roblest. Up to where we have news already there are two professional theses dedicated to Pola Weiss's study as teleasta, one is the written work of his principal Evangelist Edna Torres Ramos (The videoarte in Mexico. Pola Weiss's case. UNAM, 1997), and other one is Dante Hernández's video (Pola Weiss, pioneer of the videoarte. UDLA, 1997). The latter has turned into a book and it exhausted at once the first edition.

Already we insinuate a rare oedipal relation with his father, a relation with complex schizophrenic effects, since she develops essential poet, rare, very rare, more than eccentric, amanerada and very impassioned. He identifies with the father in extreme form, up to abyectar to the mother. So also it suits to think that Pola had a "normal" mirror in his mother, with whom it developed an identification fanstasmática tragic. Situation that put in crisis Emma's death.

But the aesthetic thing is that Pola Weiss turns out to be more than a pioneer than the videoarte, the performance, the setting and other aesthetic variants qualified like "postmodern". And everything did it from a platform of Latin-American forefront " (in) voluntarily impoverished ", "subcapitalist", in correspondence to the demands and possibilities of the sociocultural revolt of 68 - and from the beginning with a brand of form and contained manifestly feminist and in correspondence with the logic of the planetary process that will will to have as operational center the " Year of the Woman " (1975). Though, obvious, according to the dogma of the guardians of the "masculinities", the practice feminist of Weiss always proves degeneradota, eccentric, amanerada and very exalted for such contexts, sobremarcada in last instance for an action voluntarily intimist one, autodifferentiated, alternative, underground. Point where an artist develops "freak" and "queer" of a way that this very day transgrede the cánones of the sociocultural intituciones falogocéntricas, of there his extreme secrecía. Therefore, it is a work with a great load of future. Still it is for turn. Since his critical receipt implies an aesthetic action that contradicts and overcomes the scheme of the postmodernity, generated for and for the company of the spectacle: (AR) TV vs. TV (ND).

Up to where we can deal: the love and the dislike weave the substantial unit of Pola Weiss's audiovideos, the love and the dislike of her itself for yes the same, expressed in complex form, sobresignificante, of neovanguardia Latin American of the setentas and always from an extreme exercise (neobarroco) of the imaginative personal freedom. In an extreme zone, the electronics, the video, the tv. A freedom of woman artist in critical, constant present situation in auto-body inside his images, dancer and disordered, loquita and degenerate, according to a creative conscience capable of expressing new figures of " (des) falling in love narcissist " and of " eros desconstruccionista ", you appear to forget the individualistic possessive ego, figure probably today "more "in force" that in the moment of his production, due to his intense radicalidad and fort I am used of " Art Rascuache ", sociocultural actions against the symbolic established order and the industry of the mercantile spectacle of the (des) information of masses.

You appear of errancia without end, figures without fixed identity, variables, stopping to see that to be a woman is a sociocultural construction the same as the feminine sex. That, this way, everything is sociocultura, everything is a thought.

Mad love that will lead her to considering his chamber as a daughter: his "Kid". And each of his works will qualify it as a "illumination". So that it was procreating with his own daughter, thing rarecilla and loquacious as all them of her... Pola Venusina. Creative incest, sublimation transformante.