A screening of audiovisual work * MISS UNIVERSO *, written and directed by Juana Dolores and produced by the Temporada Alta Festival (online ‘A distancia’ programme) + discussion with the author and Rita Rakosnik.
In one of the 15 frames from the film Masculin, Fémenin (1966) by Jean-Luc Godard, the main character, Paul, a Marxist, interviews Elsa, ‘Mademoiselle 19 ans’, a girl who has no self-image relating to intellectual and/or revolutionary ideals but is, quite simply, happy with all the advantages obtained from having been selected “the most beautiful”: fame, travel, luxury. Socialism, the Vietnam war, female suffrage and the pill are some of the political matters on which Miss 19 gives her timid and confused opinion; conversely, she has no trouble expressing her enthusiasm about the USA, a country where, she believes, women have a more important role to play than in France. Building from the collective consciousness regarding beauty pageants and the dichotomy between masculinity and femininity, and with the poetics of this short film segment – a role she took on herself for an acting workshop directed by Joan Ollé while studying at the Institut del Teatre – as the main inspiration, Juana Dolores takes on the role of a Miss Universe who can discuss the concept of eroticism in the work of Georges Bataille while being interviewed on a Barcelona roof terrace from where one can see Barcelona’s male penitentiary, commonly known as La Modelo prison.
Juana Dolores Romero Casanova, commonly known as Juana Dolores, is a Catalan actress, dramaturg and theatrical director, as well as poet and videoartist. She has published Bijuteria (Edicions Galerada), which received the 56th Amadeu Oller Award for Catalan poetry in 2020, and after Limpieza (2020) and Santa Bárbara (2020), has written and directed Miss Universo (2021, Temporada Alta), a short film somewhere between video art and video essay. She is currently on tour with her first theatrical piece, # JUANA DOLORES # * massa diva per a un moviment assembleari * (2019-2020, Antic Teatre).
Rita Rakosnik (Barcelona, 1993) is a graduate in History of Art from Barcelona University and an independent critic and curator. She writes and gives lectures on art, literature, thought and pop culture on media such as Núvol, La Llança and Radio 4, where she recently started collaborating on magazine programme Avui sortim. As an artist, she has taken part in La transformació sensible (Fabra i Coats, 2021), Locus Amoenus: espais digitals habitables i contra-normatius (Festival Panòptic, MAC Mataró, 2020) and Hybris Viral: artefactes en temps de pandèmia neoliberal (2020). For her, curatorship is a complementary activity inseparable from critique, and from this perspective she curated Com no ser vista: Notes sobre fotografia en femení (Espai Fotogràfic Can Basté, 2020), also shown via the Carpetas Project. She is currently producing an exhibition, El nom és pols d’estrella, winning project of the Mirada Pilot call out for emerging curators. She was a member of the jury and tutorial team for Sala d’Art Jove 2020-2021 and is also a tutor for Amb A d’Amant, included in Avui és demà: 10 relats per repensar el futur (Editorial Pagès and Editorial Milenio, 2020).
With passion as her currency and elegance as her watermark, everything she does is an excuse for learning from the affects and effects of writing. She is interested in contemporaneity – not topicality – and so gives the same amount of attention to the thoughts of Hannah Arendt as to Kim Kardashian’s butt. She describes herself as a ghost influencer who is an expert at selfies, and everything she produces is an exploration of the tensions between tenderness and accumulation. If she could speak for an image, she’d say: “I’m tired of this Full HD aseptic clarity; I want things that are tender and blurred.”