For Huanca, the body and skin are an ongoing focus and she employs them as both pure surface and material. Cosmetics function as a medium of transformation and performers are painted from head to toe. They are choreographed to move glacially, in a meditative state, through her installation environments which consist of paintings, sculptures and ephemera. The performers’ presence both activates her studio works and relate to dissimulation, fusion, and camouflage, furnishing the beginnings of a poetic narrative on the fragmentation of identity.
Huanca’s Skin Paintings combine documentation of past performances, overlaid with thick, gestural painting created in a trance-like state. On their own, they exist as microcosms of performance, incorporating both images of the body and are overpainted with pigment camouflage. Within the context of the larger installation, the Skin Paintings create both points of reference and architecture for the performance.
Huanca’s totemic sculptures merge tactile materials such as clothing, natural and synthetic fibres and other cultural artifacts, which are then deconstructed and reassembled to create delicate abstract compositions. Using both the body and its armor as an abstract material in this way, Huanca reveals the underlying primordial and mammalian character of the garment and its relationship to our body as a form of cultural transmission.