According to Marta Moreno Muñoz, “Lost Paradise deals with the theme of the regression towards our animal condition, approached from a perspective close to pantheism and with a feeling of oneness with nature. The main idea of this project is becoming buffalo; for that, I intended to establish a coexistence with the water buffaloes by bathing daily with them in the water for the duration of one month in which for some extended periods I remained completely silent in a meditative state. In Lost Paradise, becoming buffalo is intended as a journey, an expansion of the being through the dissolution of the self, an attempt at ontological transformation. Mircea Eliade examines identification with the animals in the shamanic world: ‘to learn the language of animals, especially birds, means knowing the secrets of nature’. The dissolution of the human-animal frontier mentioned by many mystics – ‘I am in all beings and all beings are in me’ – has also been approached by Donna Haraway from a radical new perspective in her work. Those above are certainly references for me when conceptualizing Lost Paradise, but it was the time I spent living in India that had the most profound influence, where humans and animals, even in urban areas, are all part of the same ecosystem and where the human-animal ontological border is thinner, due partly to the Hindu and Buddhist beliefs in reincarnation and rebirth present in that cultural context.” The whole process was documented with texts and video, being the main project of the artist´s PhD research ‘Art as an Experience of the Dissolution of the Self.’
Marta Moreno Muñoz (Spain, 1978) is a performance and video artist with a background in experimental theatre and other time-based arts. Graduating in 2002 with a M.A in Fine Arts, her work has focused predominantly on “feminine” subjectivity, dissolution of the ego and the notion of pre-oedipal nostalgia in response to a patriarchal and undesirable reality. She is at present in a transitional stage, shifting towards the conceptualization of larger-scale projects exploring the complex interchange between performance art and the cinematic language. Marta Moreno has lived, produced and engaged in artistic works in Spain, UK, Turkey, India, The Netherlands, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and exhibited internationally. Currently nomadic, she is working on personal art projects, researching for her PhD thesis “Art as an Experience of Dissolution of the Self” and directing The Unifiedfield.