Zarahlena is a Berlin-based Mexican-German artist. After working extensively with dualism, she has evolved her artistic practice to explore the concept of oneness through photography, performance and installation. Using art as a tool of self-recognition, Zarahlena has performed, taken self-portraits, and modeled extensively.
Her work has been shown in public space, galleries, festivals, and alternative spaces, and has been featured in the international press. In 2017, after the earthquake of September 19th in Mexico City, she co-founded an aid group gathering donations and providing warm meals to the affected areas. Aim the following year, she co-organized Heal Her Festival CDMX, a five-day arts and healing festival addressing gender violence, which drew over 200 participants and attracted national media coverage.
Zarahlena specializes in artistic photography, ritual & ceremonial art, and cultural documentation. In addition to private commissions, her clients have included yoga studios, non-profit foundations, the Mexican Embassy in Germany, and the Ministry of Culture in Mexico. As an event photographer, she has documented the heavy music scene at shows and festivals in Europe and America.
Her practices are based on the principle of honoring darkness as something sacred.
Integrating my Latin American upbringing and Central Mexican-East Frisian/German background, my interdisciplinary art takes an embodied approach toward photography, performance art and installation. My artistic work functions as a creative, spiritual and social practice that addresses injustice and conflicts rooted in the body. I examine issues such as feminicide and gender-based violence in Latin America; the disconnection between human beings and nature that leads to ecological crises; and the need for radical practices of care for mental health.
I employ ceremonial and transgressive practices that connect my body to the more- than-human world. Exploring intense feelings such as pain and anger, I carry out repetitive movements, hold myself in (semi-)static positions for long periods of time, and integrate pain practices through piercing my skin with needles and hooks. This embodied process uses repetition as a catalyst to invite viewer engagement and unearth repressed emotions. Documenting these poetically charged durational performances, my self-portraiture utilizes digital, analogue and experimental techniques, such as hand-colouring or film soup.
Never fully belonging to a specific place or group, I find myself most at home in the liminal spaces between identities, disciplines, and psychic states.
Exhibitions & Performances
- “Gypsophila”, at SchwuZ, Berlin, Germany. (Performance).
- “Sculpture of the Dead”, at bpb Gallery, Berlin, Germany. (Photo exhibition).
- Presenting and selling artworks at Hot Printing: Druckfestival Offenbach, at Klingspor Museum. Offenbach am Main, Hessen, Germany.
- “Cual Sísifo”, at Video Art Festival PROYECTOR. Madrid, Spain. (Performance).
- “Reciprocity”, at Swampfest Berlin. Germany. (Installation).
- “Women Exposed”. Online Exhibition.
- “Grant Activation: Healing through collaboration”. A talk with Burning Man Project
- China Biennial. Online exhibition. (Video screening).
- “The Luminarium Aeternus Project”, Swampfest Berlin. Germany. (Photo exhibition).
- “Purify”, at “HAEMA”, Gelegenheiten. Berlin, Germany. (Performance).
- Collective Exhibition after 19S earthquake. Coordenada Azul, public space gallery from Universidad La Salle. Mexico City. (Photo exhibition).
- Heal Her Festival, at Casa Viva. Mexico City. (Installation).
- “Simetría”, at Metro Station Candelaria. Mexico City. (Photo exhibition. Project by Fundación Jorge Marin).
- “Simetría”, at Insituto Cervantes. Berlin, Germany. (Photo exhibition. Project by Fundación Jorge Marin).
- Documental photography of theater workshops with teenaers in the mountains of Mexico. Casa Borda, Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico. (photo exhibition). *
- “A Night of Ritual, Performance & Body Art”. Berlin, Germany.
- “The Luminarium Aeternus Project”, at Titanen Piercing Atelier. Berlin, Germany*
- Lupercalia. Berlin, Germany. (Photo exhibition).
- “When the Heart is a Lonely Hunter”, at Mobile Kino Camp. Brandenburg, Germany. (Performance).
- “The Witch Within”, at Berlin Feminist Film Week. Berlin. (Performance).
2010 – 2016
- “The Eroticism of Pain” (El erotismo del dolor), at Anual Psychology Seminar of University of San Luis Potosí, Mexico. (Photo exhibition).
- No Title, at Rusty Pigfoot Tattoo, Berlin. (Photo exhibition). *
- Succuba, at FERATUM Horror, Fantasy & Sci-Fi Film Festival, Michoacan, Mexico. (Photo exhibition).
- No title, at Plumero Galeria, Mexico City. (Photo exhibition).
- No Title, at Onirico Galeria y Taller, Mexico City. (Photo exhibition).
- No title, at Escuela Activa de Fotografía, Mexico City. (Photo exhibition).
2010 – 2016
- Photo Vogue Italy
- Skin Magazine, UK
- Eccentric Edge Magazine
- Spleen! Journal, Mexico