Sign up for our newsletters. You can change the settings or unsubscribe at any time.

I would like to receive the following newsletters (select at least one):

Previous Navigation Arrow

exp. 1

exp. 2

exp. 3


Elena Tejada-Herrera

Venue: KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Elena Tejada-Herrera

Born in Lima, PE – lives and works in Lima

They Sing, They Dance, They Fight (2020) is a three-channel video installation in which several short video clips are collaged into a disjointed narrative of female struggle and resistance with a punchy, post-Internet aesthetic.

Within the context of widespread femicide around the globe, They Sing, They Dance, They Fight is informed by what Elena Tejada-Herrera has called “the aesthetics of the politics of empowerment.” The artist deploys beauty, glamor, and absurdity to generate narratives that redefine notions of female physical strength and social agency.

In one clip, scenes in which a woman demonstrates her skills as a “scissor dancer”—a Peruvian vernacular dance normally reserved for men—are combined with footage of a group of women and girls fighting as part of their self-defense training. In another video, a trans woman plays the palla corongo, a typical female character in Peruvian folklore. We see a non-binary blue unicorn, an elderly mermaid, a trans mermaid, and lesbian vampires singing songs from various musical genres which metaphorically refer to social struggles, as well as the life stories of a number of women interviewed by the artist. These scenes are intercut with footage of different transgender women practicing their self-defense techniques, filmed on their own devices in their homes in Lima while quarantined during the Coronavirus health crisis. All these images flow together in a feminist fiction of real life.

They Sing, They Dance, They Fight presents different groups of women unapologetically performing alternative constructions of femininity. Completed by Tejada-Herrera while under lockdown in Lima herself, the work is a joyful celebration of girls, trans women, and women of all ages—as well as of sorority, love, and female power.

Florencia Portocarrero

By using this website you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our data privacy policy.

By using this website you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our data privacy policy.