Jessica Fertonani CookeI am a Brazilian Mestiça woman, Multidisciplinary Performance Artist.
My work exposes the hybridity a Body must carry while navigating the borders it crosses; that being a psychic-spiritual internal space, geo-political land or social landscapes.
As a female individual that carries a mestiça body from two colonial based countries: Brazil and USA (Hawaii) my research stems from the 3rd place view point on the mix-bloodedness of bodies, objects, landscape, rituals, sounds, mythologies, animals, social structures, state-politics living in the context of neoliberal capitalist society. More specifically within the America's, the territorial wars and chronic illness it has manifested upon itself, the construction of its failed system and on its dysfunctional relationship to the land.
My activist background with indigenous communities, primarily Tohono O’odham and Guarani, has built upon my comprehension of ritualistic space, trauma and erased histories, informing my projects on site-specific, politically loaded territories.
The latest projects navigating the US-Mexico border, began a recent practice in my investigations, utilizing Performance Art as a healing tool between multiple communities. The practice's methodology involves people of diverse communities and ancestral origins living in a single territory, performing carefully thought-out and intertwined psychomagic acts between each other. The implications that unresolved ancestral traumas of diverse origins have on current oppressive policies over marginalized communities inhabiting a specific region, is the basis of this investigation.
In the face of manipulated historical accounts, this practice relies on finding truths within the Body - Performance Art vehicles my path to reveal and re-imagine untold history.
I attempt to move beyond the colonizer/colonized dichotomy within the mix-blooded body, by investigating the possibility to transcend or 'border-cross' frontiers of impossible political reconciliations. I believe the Body lives in a system, which has the ability to transform its paradoxes once in profound accountability and relationship to all its facets. As such, the endless amount of diversity a body can carry and borders it can create is the same amount of bridges it can make.
I was born from, lived and studied the power relations between North/South America's and the strategies employed in south-east north-east/ mideast Brazil, California, Hawaii, New York, México, and Arizona. The territories I have agency to speak on, up until now.
I completed my absolvent in fine arts at the Art University of Berlin (UdK) under the mentorship of scenographer and painter Mark Lammert and my MFA in studio art at the San Francisco Art Institute.
I have participated of selected exhibitions such as the San Francisco International Art Festival (SFIAF), Discovery Art Fair in Frankfurt, the 55 project in Miami and Nars Foundation in Brooklyn. As co-creater and performer I have participated in collectives for Blacklash performance festival in Zürich with Jorge Raka, the Taos Paseo Festival with La Pocha Nostra, The Lab in San Francisco with Cristobal Martinez and Guillermo Galindo and for Agora Collective for the Month of Performance Art festival at L’Atelie Kunst Spiele Raum, Berlin, Germany.