Mariana Parisca

Parakupá Vená
(The Fall from the Highest Point)

Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar, has exceeded 10,000,000% inflation rate, the highest recorded inflation rate in the world. In this video turned artist book, I narrate diasporic personal and national histories as I view the hyper-inflated bills through a microscope. Through the use of English and Spanish, I play with issues of translation that run parallel to issues of value conversion. The images of Venezuelan landscapes on the bills reveal the persistence of image making as a colonial tool for the blind incorporation of land into accumulated value. Yet seen through a microscope, these images become, lines, pigments, fibers, skin, water, they regain their infinity. I reveal the existence of value beyond the collapse of these economic structures and ideological polarities. Parakupá Vená, the tallest waterfall in the world, becomes a metaphor for the extreme collapse caused by the failures of abstracted political ideology.

Artist Statement

My work manifests as experimental photographs and videos, installations, acts and performances seen and unseen, sculptural artifacts, books, and writing. From my bedroom, from the ground, from memories, from my body, with my voice, I take a sensual, personal, and ontological approach to consider value, mobility, visibility, and consumption in global neoliberal capitalism and its historical roots. I consider the present moment as the projected future of modernism, with its accelerating time and its ideals of suppressing and surpassing materiality. I develop rituals that slow down this trajectory that seems to stop only in collapse and crisis. I contrast and recalibrate human time with geological time. I think of my seen, gendered, sexualized, Latina body, as matter in an infinite process of integrating and disintegrating with the world. The moments where materialities meet image surfaces shed light on the complex ways images support empire through the manipulation of visibility and invisibility. 


Artist Mariana Parisca immigrated to Toledo, Ohio from Venezuela in 2000. In 2015, Parisca earned a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in Studio Art and Anthropology and she received a MFA in Sculpture & Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2020.  She has received various awards including the Eliot Scholarship, the Paul F. Miller Scholarship, and the Graduate Research and Travel Grants. Parisca has shown commitment to critical engagement in art pedagogy through her past work as Admissions Counselor at Sam Fox School of Art & Design, her involvement in community projects with Immigrant Movement International, and St. Louis Story Stitchers, and her current teaching position at University of Mary Washington. Her work has been shown in various institutions including the Virginia MOCA, the CAM in St. Louis, Bruno David Gallery, Sheldon Gallery, Des Lee Gallery, and New Works Gallery in Chicago, IL.

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