sculpture - video - audio - mixed media  

Some time ago a domestic short news item overflowed into the international press territory. A heroic teenager escaped after eight years of captivity in a madman's basement. Short after her escape she gave some interviews. Surprisingly, she appeared as a rather serene and very intelligent young woman. In one of her first interviews she declared: "I made a pact with my older self that I would come back and free that little girl"; this complex statement gives a disturbing but clear picture of the sedimentary nature of time in the mind. This piece was first inspired by her testimony.

The kidnapper built a cell in his basement containing everything she could need. From her declarations one could deduce that he wished to groom her to be a perfect woman. From a certain viewpoint, this kidnapping can be seen as an extreme case of the quotidian reality of millions of women.

In the toy market Compact Houses are today a great success. They target specifically girls and promote explicitly the pleasures of domestic life. They contain everything that one could need.


occupation layer- excavation 1-simulation

An occupation layer –also called occupation level- is, in Archaeology, a layer of remains left by a single culture, from which the culture can be dated or identified.
An occupation is both the act of occupying and of being occupied.

In the Occupation Layer series Compact Houses are displayed in the form of excavations. As vestiges of contemporary culture found by future archaeologists or as remains of a rescue operation to liberate someone kidnapped in a basement.

If you get very close to the sculptures you will hear voices, fragments of daily life dialogues, noises from electrical appliances, feminine radio and tv…

Might it be possible to free those little girls! Might it not be too late!

Tania Ruiz Gutiérrez / 2008 - in progress