MAx Provenzano, S0L0 (2019)
“S0L0 is the first step toward an inflatable thought about my loneliness within my migration context. It signifies a relationship between myself and a sex doll. Pleasure and objects become a metaphor for daily life; behind the objects are memories of someone. Portable objects always follow me on my different travels and remind me that I am not alone. The blown air serves as a reminder of one’s companionship.”
MAx Provenzano, Epístola (2016)
Warning: contains sexual imagery and firearms
“Epístola is an oral reflection on the violent situation that is taking place in my country, Venezuela. The access to guns has been growing exponentially in the last decades, increasing the rates of robbery and murder. Some failed mechanisms have been put in place by the government as I also establish various connections with my personal life. I’ve decided to give a blowjob to a gun to establish a dual discourse; it’s about submission and power relationships, pleasure and how it is depicted in pornographic language, a pleasure that turns into an authority pattern. I think about how all Venezuelan people are kept in a state of passivity while facing a spiral of violence, but this phenomenon is global as guns remain a mechanism of control.”
MAx Provenzano, photographs (2014-2020)
馴化熱帶：-統治的簡單的練習, Mee Nam – Muybridge o la Involucíon delHombre, Vidrio, FUente, Venus of Captivity [top left to bottom right]
Fear is a state of uncertainty and loneliness. “Through these works, my intention is to generate layers of meanings and connections related to this topic: from a microscopic world and its viruses to planets and deities represented as Venus. This approach involves the individual and the social body. The images display my body in different situations and all are focused on interactions with objects. In my point of view, I try to discuss my own intimacy but also its collective role in being part of queer contemporary issues.”
Marilena Aligizaki, Elena Ilia (2020)
Τhe work is a video-documentary of the life of Elena Ilia. Elena self-identifies as an “LGBTQI+” person and is part of the organisation Proud Seniors Greece (a LGBTQI+ 50+ people’s support group). Representing all of those who are battling with recognising their sex identity and sexual orientation, she speaks about how, at the age of 50, she came out and all that she feared up until then. She discusses her battle with the fear of revealing her sexual orientation, but also the daily battles against the fears that society implements in relation to ‘normality.’
Louise Mutabazi, Brown and Bright (2019)
Brown and Bright is primarily a text Louise Mutabazi wrote after the African Women Writers Workshop held in Ghana in October 2019 by the African Women Development Fund. This 10-day workshop gathered 20 feminist participants from 14 different African countries. The text then became an audio artwork for the project and exhibition, “Relocating Narratives,” held in Rwanda in December 2019 supported by the Goethe Institute Kigali and the Rwanda Arts Initiative, on what the future will look like on planet Earth. The realisation of this artwork was made possible thanks to the technical support of artists, Alla Poppersoni and Sarah Wenziger.
Fabio Le Fanu, Queer Youth (2015 – )
“Queer Youth is a visual project I started in 2015 to explore my queerness and try to cope with my body-dysmorphia. The celebration of hyper-masculinity is very strong in our society and in the gay world as well. For this reason, I began to focus my work on the expression of gender and body representation in the queer community. I like the idea of connecting with the person in front of me through my camera, having to build intimacy and trust in a short amount of time to let them be naked in every sense. I like to collect visuals of personalities and fragility.”
Through the Skin is a project on visual stories about humanity, the body, flesh, skin, hairs, wounds, flaws, limbs, identity, gender, intimacy, aesthetics, society, politics, hiding, embarrassment, escape, touch, acquainting, thinking and reconciliation. This series, which designs its own time, focuses on practices of ‘normalisation,’ ‘idealisation,’ correction, shaping, covering and uniformity, produced and organised by anonymous bodies and various domination mechanisms in the social sphere. The body, which alternates between the subject and the object in this context, transforms from shape to shape in search of approval. Language itself objectifies and constrains the body into brief statements, such as: ugly, flawed, fat, sick, old. With these mechanisms, the subject realises within itself the illusion of freedom and internalises self-censorship. The series, which aims to go beyond the uniform body form by concentrating on different human bodies, invites the audience to inquire about the uniqueness of the experience of the self and the abject of the body.
Marija Šabanović, Connections (2017) [left, series]
“One morning in August 2015, I woke up with a strong pain in my stomach. Later that day, I learned that I had a few tumours that needed removal. Two months later, I found my roommate Florian laying on his bed, and in the kind of pain you know must be serious. He had just been diagnosed with cancer. Months of fear, pain, worry, and sadness followed. We share an experience of dealing with a difficult illness, together, and at the same time.”
Marija Šabanović, Florian in Drag (2016) [above]
“From 2014-2017, I was living in Türkis Rosa Lilla Villa, a queer housing project in Vienna. This is where I took a photograph of my housemate, Florian, who was getting ready for his drag show at the local queer bar, Marea Alta.”
Marija Šabanović, Boy and his chicken (2018) [above]
“Simeon is a twelve-year-old boy who I met a couple of years ago when he and his queer family arrived from Russia to Vienna, escaping the totalitarian regime of Vladimir Putin. He has three parents, two of whom are non-binary, and lives with them in a shared housing project. Growing up in a queer environment, Simeon is trying out many things and breaking social roles that are forbidden for so many children. When I met this special kid for the very first time, he had a mohawk and was wearing a pink tutu. Now, he has green hair and a chicken named Klara.”
Gaby Bila, Who’s Watching Who (2019)
“Ι care, Ι dare, Ι provoke, Ι am not the girl next door. I’m just myself. I follow my own mind, my own desires. Ι am the society’s nag, can’t put me in boxes and I am not easily impressed or seduced with flowers, never ending promises and broken dreams. I am not afraid to push my artistic boundaries and my performances speak about the world around me and how I can change it … my words and artistic concepts will alter your brain and impress your mind wide enough. I prefer to focus on changing the world and the environment around me by promoting feminism, queer politics and anarchism, layered by feelings and actions as well as words of tolerance, confidence and positive actions.”
Vasia Ampatzi, I am you (2019)
In relationships, sometimes the reason for our existence turns into an experiment of submission. The structure of human societies uses stereotypes to evoke fear towards control. But, when the time comes and the beings who have been abused start their rebellion, then their abusers face the purest and truest form of power. Director: Vasia Ampatzi | Music: Caleb Flood | Starring: Eleftheria Agioutanti
Angelos Tsarouchas, Houseraiders (2020)
Fear is the unknown you have to face when you dare to challenge the problematic “normal.” Fear is developing ambitions that society won’t eventually allow you to fulfil, despite your efforts. Characteristics such as your gender can still influence your career, your aspirations, and your life choices.
Houseraiders is a fearless duo who is here to tear standards apart. Maybe they remind you of some old TV superheroes. Maybe they remind you of your cousin’s sexist housemaid costume. But you can rest assured that the Houseraiders are not here to fulfil traditional society’s expectations.
These GIFs are part of an ongoing project / online game that is currently in development. Special thanks to Evangelia Paschalidou.
Kupalua, I Listen to Voices (2019)
Warning: contains scenes of nudity
“Kupalua is always in transit. There’s no trace of morals or frontier. It’s simultaneously extra-terrestrial and earthly-physical-corporeal. Travels from the interior of the pussy to outer space in the speed of light. There’s no separation between nature-culture or body-cosmos. What is root and what is synthetic. Rooster, frog, rain, melodic voice, synthesisers, microphones and processors. The body’s construction as prosthetics and light depict the sonorous landscape. Laser prothesis are making contact with us and with outer-space while every matter flows through timbers that leaves us given over to estrangement. I don’t know where I am when I listen/see Kupalua, if I’m under water or if I’m suspended, weightless, timeless, without story, without clothes. It’s a journey completely inside of sound waves.”
Petra Brnardic, Fever (2015)
“In my short experimental movies, I usually use collage techniques and surreal, vivid, psychedelic imagery inspired by the silent movie era, underground and cult movies mostly from the 60s, 70s and 80s, horror and camp aesthetics and other forms of arts. I explore femininity, sexuality and fragility, female archetypes and their behaviour in contemporary environments, queer identities and their fluidity, while being interested in transgression. Fever is a visual stream of consciousness which depicts dreams, visions and fantasies of a female person, like in a psychedelic trip or tarot cards. The images are charged with collision of eros and thanatos, beauty and monstruosity, occult thematics, and they represent different aspects of the psyche, various female archetypes and many alter-egos of one person. Woman as a martyr, a queen, a priestess or a force of nature. I also depict lush lesbian, bisexual and queer orgies and images of exaltation that can feel both as fiery pain, a nightmare, carnal and spiritual ecstasy.”
Li Yilei, Venus Im Pelz (2020)
Li presents a series of photography and text work in the form of a digital zine, Venus Im Pelz. The work shares its name with the novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, from whom the term masochism was derived from. The images of the dolls were created by Li, as an investigation into their presentation of self-image and gender construct, living vicariously through the lifelike figures. As a gender non-conforming individual with Asperger’s who struggles with gender variance, Li’s images and minimalist poetry serve as an abridged essay of their ongoing research into the state of gender dysphoria, agalmatophilia, and pygmalionism.
KS Brewer, Baubo (2019)
Baubo’s restrained body and animatronic voice, informed by ancient Greek conceptions of female body and psyche, address hysteria’s long history and continued relevance. Her “upper” and “lower” animatronic mouths communicate through unrestrained outbursts that defy her body’s constriction – challenging the status quo that’s restricted her. Baubo suggests that fear is a response to the power of being ‘other,’ which has led time and again to the silencing and restriction of the bodies and voices of those deemed to be different.
Upper mouth : Regular // Lower mouth: Bold
I’m hysterical! I’m hysterical! I’m hysterical! I’m hysterical! I’m hysterical! (Overlapping both voices)
Sheeeesh …What bullshit…. Hello…. HELLO… Could you please listen to me?
I’m talking to you.
What are you scared of?
Why are you scared of me?