REQUIEM (for a child who loved Snow White). The new multi-media project in collaboration with the composer Pedro Pereira.

It can be very difficult to talk about sexual abuse and even more difficult to acknowledge that sexual abuse of children of all ages including infants happens every day. Sexual abuse of children has become the subject of great community concern and the focus of many legislative and professional initiatives. This is evidenced by the expanding body of literature on sexual abuse, public declarations by adult survivors and increased media coverage of sexual abuse issues.
Black & (Snow) White. Watch the first draft of Amae’s new project.

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Amae – “Challenging the gravity force” – Mixed technique

“I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.”
― W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil

I continue to get further away from the usual painter’s tools such as easel, palette, brushes, etc.
Jackson Pollock

The modern artist… is working and expressing an inner world – in other words – expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces.
Jackson Pollock

I don’t work from drawings. I don’t make sketches and drawings and color sketches into a final painting.
Jackson Pollock

New needs need new techniques. And the modern artists have found new ways and new means of making their statements… the modern painter cannot express this age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or of any other past culture.
Jackson Pollock

Amae – Queer Diagonals

There does not seem to be a good relationship between bondage practice and bodies with asymmetries – and being a disabled person myself with an significant disability on my right leg and right foot – I could not avoid challenging one of the most popular images ever that references human proportions.

Basically what Amae has done so far is taken a picture capturing a bondage session on a disabled body in the attempt to tease out some thoughts which might help us to keep developing our practice. Eventually we used this photograph as a piece of paper on which to sketch parts of the essays and we also tried to bring out a third geometrical shape to add to the previous two made by Leonardo. The new shape considers the relationship between bondage (the nails drilled into the floor create points which give us corners and lines) and the performer’s body. Obviously new shapes could be found here if we did the same with another kind of asymmetry. So there is a shape for each of us. Nature is disinterested this.
Queer Diagonals - A new shape
Amae’s Vitruvian man called “Queer Diagonals” is not created as an attempt to change the model of representation of bondage practice and disabled bodies but just to say that bondage practice and disability should be represented differently – not as an exception, but as part of the spectrum of what is considered within the tolerance of ‘normal’.

vitruvian-man
The Vitruvian man by Leonardo is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in Book III of his treatise De Architectura. Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal source of proportion among the Classical orders of architecture. Vitruvius determined that the ideal body should be eight heads high. Leonardo’s drawing is traditionally named in honor of the architect.

vitruvio
As birds and bees built their nests, so humans constructed housing from natural materials, that gave them shelter against the elements. When perfecting this art of building, the Greeks invented the architectural orders: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. It gave them a sense of proportion, culminating in understanding the proportions of the greatest work of art: the human body. This led Vitruvius in defining his Vitruvian Man.

Amae – “Lucy needs a change” – Photography, London 2012

 

“Lucy needs a change” is the most recent close examination in Amae’s makeup implosion series.

The snap is a colour photographic print that captures a model during a fashion shoot. Makeup continues as a key focus. The makeup is excessive; it drips along the face impeding the model’s sight, forcing the her into the private silence of reflection.

The makeup is a mask which fails to cover the feelings that the model is forced to confront. The tension caught in the model resonates with the anticipation experienced prior to an operation or the confusion of the subsequent post-anesthetic awakening. Perhaps she is in a transitory state, still on the threshold of a hypothetical sexual re-assignment. In this state of forced self reflection, her body speaks of a possible incoming change or simply plays witness to a distant trauma.

Queerness manifests itself on the model’s face in the form of gloss. A see-through, slimy liquid, through which it is still possible to see the features, yet these are distorted, placing a magnifying glass to her inside torments.

The snap does not allow a total view of the model. The viewer is restricted to  half of her face and half of her body and we can see only a fragment of her outfit. Makeup and fashion are then the two conduits of meaning in this image. One answers to the other’s needs: fashion generates rules that we conform to and makeup is one of the tools we employ to achieve this purpose. In the same way, heteronormative society dictates the rules on how we have to relate through our sexual identity.

Plastic surgery is another reaction to this external pressure, but this surgery when used for sexual reassignment is rebellion from the imposed norm. The psychological tension of the need to conform to social norms can be alleviated through modifications to the body.

Can we say that this tension can potentially send the body in diametrically opposite directions? What determines which way a body will go?

ACTION N. 3 – 2Mirrors –

Practising bondage with self-awareness and conscious action involves, for both roles, dominant and submissive, the constant presence of an internal monologue – irrespective of the level of experience of the people involved. From this starting point begins the next action that Amae will effect on the body. After having compiled a brief list of adjectives related to the person and after having mirrored this oppositional notion which forms the basis of the contraries that underlie the roles in bondage practice (dominant and submissive), Amae finds the aesthetic correspondent on the skin: the beauty spot.

Because of its linguistic and physical nature, the beauty spot can be viewed from contrary facets – benign or malign, regular or irregular, embossed or flat. Plus, linguistically, in different languages the beauty spot is connoted in different ways in relation to its nature: beauty or danger.

The act of mirroring the moles on the vertical axis of the body, is the aesthetic synthesis of this thought. To create an unnatural and potentially harmful danger which becomes installed on the opposite side of the body alerts us to the doubt that maybe none of the adjectives related to us is fixed. We are not tied to its positive or negative connotation and we often move from one shore to the other, sometimes helped by the wind, other times rowing hard.

This is the second action that conceives of self-tattooing as a way to bring to life a intra-corporeal extrusion, operating on the theory that an idea turns into a sign emerging on the surface of the skin from the inside of the body without ever leaving it. The opposite happens with other visual languages, such as photography or painting.

The intra-corporeal extrusion happens, thus, only when it is created by the artist themselves on their own body. While there is a different version of that in the painting of ones own body,

the self-tattooing is the one that more critically addresses the concepts of the ephemeral as well as the spatial and the temporal because tattooing is more invasive and longer lasting than body painting.

The self-tattooing expands on and relates to the following notions:

  • tattoo forcibly mixes organic fluids and ink where the blending takes place on/in the body without being transferred outside of it.

  • the drawing has two sides, one internal and one external enhancing the concept of the surface (skin) as a threshold.

  • the drawing moves in time and space together with the person who hosts it and it evolves in relation to the conditions of the body.

  • the meaning of the work is given and transmitted through its temporary belonging to the body, bar through any documentation thereof, without leaving any trace of itself – except for in the visual or oral memory of others.

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

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