Ale Gutiérrez & Astro

La Sagrada Maldita

La Sagrada Maldita (The Holy Damned) is an ongoing collaboration between Ale & Astro exploring the polysemy of the word madre (mother) through new media narratives. Madre is at once origin (origen), matter (materia), motherland (madre patria), grandmother (abuela), womb (vientre biológico-afectivo), cause (cause), leaven(masa madre), culture (cultura madre), nun (monja), MILF (mamacita), Mother Earth (Pachamama), Mother of God (Santísima Madre), and motherfucker (puta madre). It sacralizes and banalizes, honors and discredits.

As two Latinx living in different parts of the US, we use multimedia communication to create a simultaneous experience around this term. The project started with a question on a video call: What is the meaning of madre? What does madre mean in family dynamics, popular digital culture, and biology? The question sparked a trip to Chicago, where we met IRL. In a hotel room loaded with materials from photographs to makeup, the script began to transform. Astro’s mother became an unsuspecting character and active collaborator. We documented the encounter. Stitching the images together with a zipper, we marked the first chapter of our project.

La Sagrada Maldita (The Holy Damned) grows as a virtual rhizome that experiments with lens-based practices, intervention, and performance. It is an evolving dialogue to deepen the meaning of a word that is universal, ambiguous, and contradictory.