AMAE – OLD MEMORIES, NEW DISEASES – 4th of January 2012 – Birmingham City University

Old Memories, New Diseases

Old Memories, New Diseases

Old Memories, New Diseases

The first four works represent Amae’s first approach to Queer Theory. The skin, the self and sexuality are the main themes of the exhibited works. Blood, fingerprints, needles and ink bring to life a reliquary comprised of photography, performance, installation and video.

Starting from questions of individual identity, moving through the relationship with the other and eventually leading to the exploration of their internal conflicts, Amae’s attempt is to trace a path made of subtle signals, of whispered images, witness the deep complexity that the thought faces in the moment when it turns its attention to the inside.

The skin is seen as a surface that hosts signs, experiences and facades (wigs, nails, make up) and that circles around identity agonies.

Mainly built on personal experiences this first series of works includes the reflective journal THE ROLE OF THE SKIN IN BONDAGE PRACTISE and the blog MYBODYISYOURBODYPROJECT.

3SkullS – Mixed media

On the surface of the Self - Fingerprints and needle.

The Muse - Bedside table - Installation

S.O.S. - Video


The Muse – installation

The Muse - Installation

The Muse – Installation

The Muse - Installation

For many artists their muses were the source of their inspiration and even the object of their desire and dreams. For Amae the muse is a woman in a man’s body. Gaia grew up in a male body never thinking about herself as a man. As soon as she took her first step into the retail business, she was rejected by the company she worked for. Gaia is now 37 and she is still contemplating a sex change. Gaia is one person of many in this situation. Amae spotted her and felt close to her feelings to the extent that it developed an aesthetic which represents a merger between the artist and the muse. Many questions arise from this artistic coupling. Where will these identities lead in their support of each other? How can art be therapeutic in solving the challenges of the construction of an identity lived at the edge of social norms?
With the lucidity of a serial killer, Amae displays a wide range of images partially made purposely for this installation and partially stolen from Gaia’s Facebook profile, a place where the concept of the self could be seen as frayed, or to the contrary, very solid, tangible and strong: but without any shadow of a doubt challenged by society.

The Muse - Installation

3SKullS – mixed media – 2011

3Skulls - Mixed media

From Decartes’ time until today, the self has been the object of questions and debate which have influenced the modern dynamics of society. In this work Amae adds one more shot to the previous range of works called “ordinary days”, where the subject represented becomes immortalised in its daily routine in an iconoclastic way, producing in effect Warhol’s “15 minutes of celebrity”, underlining how the ordinary actions find their roots far away in time.
In this self portrait, the first in this series, the subject questions his own identity, surrounded by things which delineate the person.
The picture was taken in one of the rooms at the Birmingham City University, the place where the subject is actually studying.
It is possible to see the relation between the helmet as a skull, the tattoo as a skull and the face (head) of the subject as a skull.
The mind (thoughts) focuses on the identity (helmet) and the body (tattoo) is a manifesto of a life dense with experiences that have changed it deeply. 

3Skulls - Mixed Media

3SkullS - Mixed media

ACTION N. 2 – On the surface of the Self – Performance + Relic

On the Surface of the Self - Needle and fingerprints

On the Surface of the Self - Needle and fingerprints

How much are others complicit in the evolution of our identity, and in what ways?
How the body is involved in this evolution?
Perhaps self-generating wounds can be thresholds through which we have the opportunity to know ourselves and understand who we are.
If Caravaggio turned the sacred into flesh, Amae turns the flesh in an object of cult in its exploration of the identity.
In each of the previous performances, from “On the Skin” until “In Remembrance of Me”, Amae availed itself of the collaboration of professional tattooists. For this latest performance it has been decided to experiment self-tattoo as a completion of the creative process. It is a process that ties with the instinct to write down the ideas directly on the skin.The self-tattoo can be seen as the perfect action. Nothing more than the needle which pierces and spreads the ink inside the skin can synthetise the need of the body to fix a concept by trying to reduce the risk of losing it. And nothing more than the artist’s skin who illuminates and realises the incision could be a better surface for the expression of this creative process.

Amae already conceived the body as the only canvas made to contain all the painting of the whole life inside the same frame, but previously the artist still needed an external tool (the tattooist), now the assemblage is complete: the idea, the concept, the memory are incised directly on the skin without ever having leave the artist’s body, without ever being transferred from the body elsewhere, but simply from the inside to the surface, simply redefining it, emerging from the abyss of thought.


Action n. 2 - On the surface of the Self - Vicky.

"the knife"

Action n. 2 - On the surface of the Self


Action n. 2 - On the surface of the Self - Ana.

"the knife"

Action n. 2 - On the surface of the Self - The Knife.

Tattoo n. 21

Action n. 2 - On the surface of the Self. The open wound: identity.


Sometimes our body tries to hold on to the words we would rather transfer elsewhere, showing an atavistic fear of this loss. It is like an attempt to stitch or embroider on the skin something that comes from the inside. Most of the times this represents an S.O.S. signal. Could a pen and a hand be seen as an “assemblage” in a Deleuzian way of thinking?
watch the video: