PsychVictim-Image-April 3



Paco Cao was born in Asturias, Spain (1965.) He holds a PhD in art history from the University of Oviedo, Spain. Residing in New York since 1995, he is unfaithful to any particular medium. Employing a wide range of disciplines and materials, his work establishes a strong relationship between art, audience, and context as it challenges the boundaries between high and low culture. His work has been shown at and/or made in collaboration with MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, The New Museum, and Creative Time in New York City; as well as El Prado Museum (Madrid, Spain), The Reina Sofía Museum (Madrid, Spain), MUSAC (León, Spain), CGAC (Santiago de Compostela, Spain), Mercosul Biennale (Porto Alegre, Brazil); Carrillo Gil Museum (México City), MART (Rovereto, Italy), MAN (Nuoro, Italy), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Antwerp, Belgium), and BOZAR (Brussels, Belgium). He is the author of the following books: The Museum of the Victim, 2009; JP-UM, 2005; Fèlix Bermeu, A Hidden Life, 2004; Unknown, 2002, and Rent-a-Body, 1999. He is the director of the film Dance Poison (2009-2014). His work has been reviewed, among others, by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, ArtNews, El País, El Mundo, ABC, La razón; and La Vanguardia.



The Museum of the Victim is a virtual museum dedicated to presenting current and historical data with the victim placed at the center of events. It does not focus on any specific period or people but rather is an ever-growing global narrative built around a complex role. The Museum of the Victim seeks to define the term victim broadly, exposing the complexity of the term as a concept. In doing so, its goal is to shed light on the events and circumstances surrounding this systematically neglected character within the context of historic and current affairs.

The Museum of the Victim strives to be as pluralistic as possible. To develop and maintain an independent and impartial attitude and a rigorous and accurate analysis, an exchange of ideas – at times confrontational ideas – is beneficial and necessary. In this spirit, The Museum of the Victim is open to and encourages contributions from other parties as well as challenges to the museum´s materials and analysis from all quarters.


Performance | The Museum of the Victim Sessions

Screening of Titicut Follies with an introduction by Paco Cao | The Museum of the Victim Sessions


Email Archive Victim


Subject: Re: MAAS presents The Museum of the Victim

Date: Thu, March 27, 2014 10:34 am

To: Laura Lona


I looked at a description of this film Titicut Follies and I suddenly realized I can’t participate. I am so sorry. I feel very strongly now that putting myself through the experience (both seeing the film and participating in the performance) will jeopardize my health and my mental well-being. I suffer from PTSD and reminders of the violence I suffered as a child can trigger serious emotional imbalance. Thinking about stirring up all my memories is making me upset. I know we just spoke and I committed so I regret having to back out. I have to put my mental health first. Please express my sincere apology to Paco as well.


On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 12:31 PM,


>wrote: MAAS Performance The Museum of the Victim Sessions Directed by artist Paco Cao The Psychic Victim 1st event March 28th at 7pm | Screening of Titicus Follies with an introduction by Paco Cao 2nd event April TBA| Performance – Cases of Psychic Victims

FWD Re FWD Re MAAS presents The Museum of the Victim_333

Email Archive Practitioner


Subject: RE: The PsychVictim event
Date: Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 5:08 PM
To: Paco Cao


Hi Paco,

I apologize, but on further consideration, I withdraw my offer of participation. If you are curious as to my reasons, read my p.s. . In any case, may your experiment go well, and benefit all involved.



the p.s.:

Dear Paco,

I acknowledge you your artistry and creativity in your projects. However, I feel my boundaries were invaded by my trusting in the presentation, in that you showed the film of the voodoo ritual and sacrifice, without asking whether I was willing to be exposed to such a ritual. I assume that for you this video was like videoing any of the other things you were showing, why ask consent or give warning on the voodoo segment? I assume you assumed that your value system about such rituals is the same as mine.

However, my belief and experience, is that the energy, the dark energy of that ritual is energy that one does not have to be physically present for, i.e. that energy was transmitted into my field of awareness and experience through the video. I do not give my consent to allowing that energy into my field, whether through physical presence or video. You might think my thinking is magical and unique to me; interestingly an earlier presentation at PST was on ‘bwiti’ the energy of the iboga plant, and the presenter had been arrested with some iboga, and all the materials he had on him for a ritual were inputted by computer into the police record and the presenter smiled saying ‘now bwiti energy has reached the police computers and will do what bwiti energy does’ and many of those listening smiled and agreed. Likewise there are countless energy transmission webinars one can sign up for that are recorded and in which the presenters say and the belief is, that the energy is transmitted as well in listening to the recording. i.e. I am not the only one who believes in this way.

my request to you when exposing others through film or theatre to what is held as energy transmission by those performing the ritual, that you announce what you are about to show and give those in the room who believe in energy transmission, the right to leave the room. If you feel ‘innocent’ in this, i.e. you had no idea it is about transmitting energy into the world, then I would encourage you to give people the option of witnessing that level violence. But I hold you accountable for what you spread, meaning it’s your job to become knowledgeable about what you’re showing before you spread it.

It is my trust in you that had me unwittingly present for something I wouldn’t lend my presence to. In your unmindfulness you take advantage of my trust, and become an accomplice to the voodoo.

without that trust it doesn’t make sense for me to volunteer to participate in your projects. I knew this was a discomfort for me, but I was intrigued by the rest of your presentation, and by the end of it made my offer. Afterwards, as the dark energy became more apparent, and as I engaged protections, it became clear that the discomfort was what held my offering to you. I hope you receive this as an offering and I hope you use it to your benefit and the benefit of your audience.

my best to you,


FWD The Psych Victim event_33