Niño de Elche’s performance ma’ ma’ αίμα (2022) took place on June 3, 2022 at the Molino de Martos, on the banks of the Guadalquivir River which runs through the city of Córdoba, Spain. It was part of “Pasaje del agua | The Journeying Stream,” a three-day program of performances, meditation, music, and conversations convened jointly by TBA21 and TBA21–Academy.
This newly commissioned performance draws its title from αἷμα (haîma), the ancient Greek word for blood, which is also reminiscent of ma’, the word water in Arabic. Niño de Elche proposes a spiritual interpretation of the symbolism associated with the elements of blood and water, evoking concepts of purity and life, death and sacrifice, as well as salvation and redemption. The performance, staged in the corridors of the former flour mill of Córdoba, temporarily transforms the spaces into small chapels, creating a stage for recorded sounds of the urban waters of the Andalusian city. This aquatic choir, capturing different tonalities of water, joins Niño de Elche’s vocalizations to generate poetic loops and resonances. His performative invocations seek to animate meanings of kinship across bodies through the vast and polyphonic reach of vocalization, capable of producing aquatic mimesis and communion.