“Azpilicueta began working with cloths and textiles during her university period in Buenos Aires, and then moved to Rotterdam, where she was introduced to performance art. It was in Italy, where she has been living recently for two years before heading back to The Netherlands, where she connected again with craft work, as well as with her fascination with the Baroque. A movement that she understands as a transhistorical force, or an expressive drive that inflames language, meaning and aesthetic forms in its way.”
Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga, El viejo sueño de la simetría / The old dream of symmetry, NoguerasBlanchard, Madrid, 2019.
“Mercedes Azpilicueta’s works have the potency of a love letter found in a wardrobe, a text wished for in the middle of the night, the yearning memory of a relative’s words. They deal with personal emotions familiar to us all. A long-distance call, an email that arrives just in time, a heart that beats like when we run for a bus that waits for us to catch up. The fade- out of the reggaeton of the van pulling away from the traffic light, the street trader’s words and catchphrases and singsong calls. Her work investigates—through language, the body and what we hear—all that we take from the outside and all that settles in us, becoming something personal, but also something that connects us. Her voice is the one that listens attentively to what has passed through us in everyday life and reassures us: “trust me sister, those words have to do something, even now.”
Laura Hakel, Cuerpos Pájaros (Body-Birds), Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, 2018/19
“Mercedes Azpilicueta’s artistic practice brings together various characters from the past and the present, who manifest as voices, shapes, texts, traces and memories into her multi-layered works. Calling herself a “dishonest researcher”, Azpilicueta navigates through multiple references and fields of knowledge, from art history to popular music, literature to street culture, falling in love with dissident figures and trajectories — feminist, queer, migrant, exiled individuals — who haunt her scripts, performances and videos. Yet, her work never indulges into cold reverence or archival fascination. By engaging the body with all its flaws and potentials — her own body, that of her models and collaborators, that of the spectators, but also fantasized ones — Azpilicueta embraces its fragility as well as its capacity for resistance and care.”
Virginie Bobin for Bestiaire of Tonguelets, (2017 – ongoing)
“In her practice Mercedes Azpilicueta utilizes her voice and body as affective media. Recently she has introduced dance, movement and choreography in her live works. Various elements and bodies interact within a space to constitute and convey emotion and meaning. Azpilicueta opts for an increasingly loose methodology to allow for contingency and make room for improvisation, association and more playfulness. Starting point is sensing and understanding the other through non-rational relations. Central to this investigation is the female body, its relationship with other bodies, reproduction and bacteria.”
Vincent van Velsen, Molecular Love, RijksakademieOPEN, Amsterdam, 2016.
“Azpilicueta´s work is significant insofar as she reproduces the affective marks of lived language even when she does not understand the logical markers of the language before her. Mercedes uses her own body as space where the affective traces of others´ language are gathered as sediment, traces that she brings back to life in making her work. In the privileged selection of the affective markers for her work, she retraces the evolution of language towards the total systematisation of ancient forces of production and mimetic reception, and tends to release those of magic.”
Daniela Brunand, Geometric Dancer Doesn’t Believe in Love, Finds Aspiration and Ecstasy in Spirals at SlyZmud, Buenos Aires, 2016.
“Somewhere between the body and language, without being either but perhaps both at the same time, the voice is that space where our inside and outside merge. Using the voice as a primary source, Mercedes Azpilicueta unmasks on one hand the way the voice is created by the whisper, the shout, onomatopoeia, singing, snippets of conversation and poetry. On the other hand, the voice is also crossed by the absurd, the cliché, the sagacity and even violence, within the time and space in which we develop our humanity and locality. In Azpilicueta´s provocative and hypnotic vocal arrangements where the body is used as a musical instrument, that unique, inimitable voice appears in full nudity, showing its ability to lead us out of ourselves, to places where neither the body nor the mind would have allowed us to reach.”
Aguado, Alejandra, Todo Afuera Adentro / Everything outside inside at Móvil, Buenos Aires, 2015.
“Mercedes’s work addresses the ambiguity of a personal and unrestrained at times collective subjectivity, applied to a rigorous formality and experimentation with sound and the affective quality of language.”
If I Can´t Dance I Don´t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution. Amsterdam, 2013