This approach may also explains the artist’s ongoing interest in the synthetic substances she employs in her paintings and sculptures—highly textural and symbolically rich substances like pantyhose, velvet, metal, silicon, and leather. In a number of her exhibitions, Huanca has referenced the lyrics of a song by British punk band X-Ray Spex, The Day The World Turned Day-Glo, which alludes to many of the materials Huanca favors—latex, rubber, rayon, nylon, and Perspex, also among them. And yet, color is equally central to Huanca’s experiential exhibitions. “The DNA of the earth; gems, minerals, meteorites, desert landscapes; and hallucinatory states have all taught me about color and its effects on mood,” Huanca explains. These intense studies have led her to employ a psychotropic palette of purple, blue, pink, and green hues, which she applies across her new paintings, sculptures, and the bodies of performers.
Huanca’s works prompt us to reflect on the relationship between visual aesthetics and identity. It’s one of the oldest conundrums of the history of art, but it’s as relevant as ever nowadays, when identity is duplicitous. Huanca asks the viewer to challenge what Amelia Jones refers to as the “politics of visuality” in her seminal book Body Art/Performing the Subject (1998).