Who’s eyes am I looking through? (durational performance, UK)

Tuesday 4th of October – Sunday 9th of October 2016
6 Days, 6 hours a day
DRAWN festival, Folkestone UK

I grew up in a democratic Brasil of the 80s/90s and lived for eight years in the UK in the turn of the century. A very different political cenario from 2016, when in the early months Brasil experienced a coup d’etat and a few months later, in June, the UK voted for Brexit. With the rising threat of a fascist right looming over us in so many corners of the world, through a series of symbolic subversions of patriarcal and nationalistic elements this instal-action embodied the possibility of truths crumbling, radical uncertainties resurfacing and multiple intimate resistances rising.

This work was part of D R A W N , a week long exhibition of durational performance art examining place & identity. The program coupled 6 international artists with 6 hyper-local materials (Stone, Water, Salt, Wood, Blood & Earth), across 6 venues in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. Located at the shore of the English Channel & mouth of the Channel tunnel, DRAWN invited audiences (local & International) to consider how we relate to one another – across difference & beyond borders – through the environments we inhabit. Each artist explored their given material for 6 hours each day, for 6 days.

I was invited to work with stone. After some research I decided to focus on chalkstone, which as well as being very present in th huge cliffs that form the local coastal landscape, also opened up a trans-continental connection to chalk as a material through which ideologically loaded knowledges are transmitted in school settings all over the world. During the six days I engaged with a series of physical procesess through which I transformed the stones (cleaning, chiseling, carving, crushing, straining, sculpting) and created new constellations of relations and meanings. Knowledges are not written in stone, but on bodies, so many of which are erased by hegemonic historic accounts. Confusing the relationship between surface and depth, this work was written in stone …that crumbled. The stones became body.

Images: André Verissimo & Manuel Vason

D R A W N was a physical & emotional exploration of the surpluses and deficits we encounter when considering identity & place. An exercise in how we locate ourselves; physically, geographically & emotionally. This exhibition seeked to problematize identity in relation to geo-specificity by employing materials that are both site specific & universal. Working with local & international artists, DRAWN explicitly questioned how bodies lay claim to objects & zones as elements within the construction of identity by collapsing dialectic relationships such as here/there, self/other, now/then, object/relation.

H o w   d o e s   o n e   b e l o n g   t o   a   p l a c e ?
H o w   m u c h   o f   s e l f   i s   b o u n d   u p   i n   o t h e r ?
W h e r e   a r e   t h e   l i n e s   d r a w n ?

INVITED ARTISTS: Charlotte Law | Vela Oma | Dani d’Emilia | Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro | Keijaun Thomas | Poppy Jackson
More info here: http://www.performancespace.org/drawn