La Congelada de la Uva – Rocío Boliver
(Mexico D.F., 1956)
La Congelada de Uva, aka Rocío Boliver, is the most controversial performance artist in Mexico and probably in many other countries. She disturbs the good consciences, although she also manages to make the most liberal uncomfortable. She is the most criticized performance artist and at the same time the performer that attracts the highest number of people. Her work is bizarre, grotesque and brutal. What makes her unique is that she uses her genitalia as her tools.
Rocío took her pseudonym after doing a performance that consisted in masturbating with a grape popsicle. She has done even more extreme actions, such as tying her legs behind her neck and eating sushi she was carrying in her genitalia using the typical ritual of the chopsticks, the soy sauce, and all the associated ornaments.
Boliver was not a child like all the others. She says that when she was 12 years old, she had already read the Marquis of Sade, Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre and Franz Kafka. An illness in her kidney forced her to stay at home between the ages of 11 and 16, devouring books from the library compiled by her parents, a Spanish woman who had arrived in Mexico during the Spanish Civil War and Mexican painter and muralist Ángel Boliver, some of whose works can be seen in the Chapultepec Castle.
“I grew up in an environment where culture and naked models were commonplace. There are five siblings in my family and four of them are artists. I also have two half-sisters, one studied cinema in New York and the other one studied English Literature and lives in London. My maternal grandfather, Enrique Jiménez, was a mathematician and the Dean of the University of Sevilla”.
“So I think that because my education was different and I didn’t socialise with other men and women, I invented everything and when I came out into the world, my way to interpret reality was also different”.
As a tall blond woman with green eyes, Rocío was offered participation in TV commercials from an early age. Her work in designer clothes advertising allowed her to travel around Europe. “Then I met a millionaire and I gave up modelling to go into the business world. I was like 20 years old and I started earning a lot of money, to the point that I could take a private jet to go wherever I wanted, spend money in the best hotels, cars, restaurants, jewellery and clothing”.
“When we separated, I spent all the money I had left in trips, clothes, signing and signing papers until one day they told me I had no money left”. Then she had to go back to work. Although he hadn’t studied communications, she worked as an anchor in a TV station in Guerrero, in Radio UNAM, in Televisión Mexiquense and even in Televisa’s Eco, led by Jacobo Zabludovsky. Even while being director of the Ministry of Interior’s press office, she wrote “erotic, dirty and sexy” texts. In 1994, she started studying philosophy in the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and her career as a performance artist kicked off.
From that point onwards, she led a double life: Rocío Boliver, the government official and Congelada de Uva, the performer. “I was censored and I had to leave the ministry because they told me I could not be a press official and show my butt at the same time”.