Amae – I will jump first – Online performance broadcast live from Birmingham School of art. 19th of October 2012


I will jump first goes to Vienna

The Birmingham College of Art and Amae are pleased to present I Will Jump First, a Male to Female Sexual Reassignment Operation by Italian duo Amae, broadcast live from Birmingham. Since 2001 Amae has been investigating, trough their art practice, the representation of the psychological tension that is created in the body that results from the influence of society. Their work also explores the theory of the Self, the perception of sexuality and the therapeutic influence of art in the construction of identity.

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?

Now the time has come to give Gaia a hand and say: ‘I will jump first’. The live performance will see the artist getting a ‘Male to Female Sexual Reassignment’ broadcast in real time from the wood workshop of The Birmingham School of Art.

Amae – “What are you doing Gaia?” – Video – Birmingham 2012

February 2010

In a forum published in Le Monde, numerous personalities including first secretary of the Socialist Party Martine Aubry, the communist Marie-George Buffet, Green (party member) Daniel Cohn-Bendit and even Nobel Prize winners such as Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (medicine) and Elfriede Jelinek (literature), asked the WHO “to no longer consider transsexuals as being affected by a mental disorder”.
It is because the WHO decided on the 17th of May 1990 to remove homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses, that this date has been retained for the International Day Against Homophobia and transphobia.
It is therefore symbolic that France chose this time and date to be “the first country in the world” to “remove transgender identity from the list of mental diseases”, commented the IDAHO Committee.

Transphobia also manifests itself in the workplace. Some transsexuals lose their jobs when they begin to transition. A study from Willamette University stated that a transsexual fired for following the recommended course of treatment rarely wins it back through federal or state statutes.

Amae – Unconventional Memories – Photography

Amae

Photography

“…my breasts are my two lotus blossoms…”

“…my breasts are exactly what I wanted. Little but nice. I never liked big breasts. I was always fascinated by a discreet breast…”

“…when I wear smoking jackets I love it if people can glimpse my breast. I find this really sensual…”

“…hormones? I thought carefully about this choice. I’m happy to have followed that path…”

“…I think I’ll have an additional operation soon because when I have my sexual re-assignment I’ll have to stop taking hormones and my little breasts will disappear…”

“…in the meantime I love this “breast-preview”. I’m living proof that I can be attractive even without being a stereotype, a super-accessorised transexual…”

The Muse – FESTIVAL OF THE PRACTICE ON THE SKIN – Photography

FESTIVAL OF THE PRACTICE ON THE SKIN

Amae’s latest work is a manifesto of what was written and produced so far. Literally It’s a didactic picture, an allegory, a tarot where all the elements are focussed on a transitional body and on its skin. It’s a picture that talks about tensions and where the tension occurs everywhere: the make-up is slowly dripping, the rope is tightening and pulling, the leg is ready to push the pedal of the tattoo gun and the body is moving physically and mentally towards a sex change. Despite this, everything looks quiet, static and calm. Gaia is the tarot of spirituality because all the practices that are working on her skin are seen from their revelatory side. It’s also a picture that predicts Amae presenting a real exhibition. Our intention is to make this project happen and we hope it will be achieved by the end of next year.


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