Dictatorships and school corporal punishments are the ingredients of this silent piece exploring the influence of institutions during the process of “coming out”.

The performer is on stage and kneels on hardened maize whilst looking to himself in a mirror.

The word “Sipario” is Italian for the theatre curtain that separates the actors from the audience.

“I personally experienced 10 minutes of this terrible punishment when I was at school. In this piece I’m going to try to extend these 10 minutes up to 6 hours.”



AMAE’s NEW PERFORMANCE: “SIPARIO” (The Great Leap Forward)

“I will jump first” – Official shot before cropping.

In this image, the camera facilitates the recording and archiving of a queer image, in which the ‘masculinity’ of the subject is complicated with the inscription of an aestheticised ‘female’ identity. The act of photography is itself revealed as a queer practice, releasing the subject into the interpretive possibilities of a queer space.
The tight framing of the image and the exclusion of the remainder of the subject’s body recalls medical photography, in which essentialist definitions of gender and sex were inscribed through the referencing of ‘male’ or ‘female’ genitalia, and the sexually ambiguous or queer subject was often constituted as unnatural and pathological. In this image, the tattoo of female genitalia, coloured in ‘unnatural’ painterly hues, jars in its artificiality, in the manner of an illustration from a medical textbook.
However, the distancing and voyeuristic practises of medical photography are downplayed by the camera’s close focus on the subject’s body, which invites an intimate observation of the blend of tattooed ink with the subject’s skin, pores and body hair. The camera invites the viewer into close familiarity with the subject, like a lover, in which the image is non-threatening, tactile and aesthetically striking.

The camera’s exclusion of the remainder of the subject’s body releases the image from normative gendered narratives of identity. Though nominally a ‘male’ body, the camera’s tight focus refuses to provide a defined and gendered identity, acting instead as a queering methodology for the body and the construction of the subject.
The tantalising ambiguity of this inscribed body, freed from a larger body narrative or social context, allows for a number of interpretations. The normative claims of the body as the site of the ‘natural’, authentically constructed and immutable subject are challenged by the tattoo, which carries its own narrative of permanence. As the ‘artificial’ tattoo inscribes and rewrites the surfaces and meanings of the body, the body’s narrative of ‘naturalness’ and ‘permanence’ is revealed as a fiction. The camera invites us to observe the subject’s genitals not as markers of ‘male’ sexuality and gender, but instead as a living canvas upon which versions of new and possibly queer identities may be inscribed and revised.
The inscribing of female genitalia on a nominally male body may record a moment of gender transition from ‘male’ to ‘female’. The penis is augmented and ornamented by the female genitalia, creating an imaginative projection of a gender/identity transition – the tattoo as a blueprint for a greater transformation, whether physical or psychological, still to come. The intimacy created by the camera’s framing and the aesthetic synthesis between flesh and image suggests an idealised vision of sexual androgyny or hermaphroditism. The strategic adoption of the colours of the LGBT rainbow flag suggests the adoption of a queer sensibility.
Through the camera lens, we see a utopian vision of gender ambiguity and multiplicity, in which the camera acts both as a queering methodology and a queer archival practice. Male and female genitalia, biological and constructed, are freed from their normative uses as reproductive organs and markers of sexual differentiation, and co-exist in an open-ended queer space of exciting new biological, aesthetic and narrative possibilities.

John Forde

MYBODYISYOURBODYPROJECT: “The otherselves series”, Act. 1: Indelible – Performance

The human body occupies spaces.

It moves into them.

It evolves into them.

It dreams into them.

“Are these places safe or dangerous for our body?”

“What if the body WAS a place?”

“What if it could be the safest place on Earth?”

Acknowledging the presence of marginalized categories Amae’s body is now ready to host and treasure their signs on its skin. If you are a same sex couple and you believe in the person you love you are invited to leave a trace of your feelings on Amae’s skin. Being part of “The Otherselves Series” will change your life forever. We exist. It’s a fact.



“…The only pandemic is love…”

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.

MYBODYISYOURBODYPROJECT – “What made you queer?” – Self-extrusion, Immanence, Improvisation, Doodle. – Performance


Belongingness: is the human emotional need to be an accepted member of a group. Whether it is family, friends, co-workers, or a sports team, humans have an inherent desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than themselves. The motive to belong is the need for “strong, stable relationships with other people. This implies a relationship that is greater than simple acquaintance or familiarity. The need to belong is the need to give and receive affection from others.

Immanence: refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence in which the divine is seen to be manifested in or encompassing the material world.
Another meaning of immanence is the quality of being contained within, or remaining within the boundaries of a person, of the world, or of the mind. This meaning is more common within Christian and other monotheist theology, in which the one God is considered to transcend his creation.

Branding: The punishment was adopted by the Anglo-Saxons, and the ancient law of England authorized the penalty. By the Statute of Vagabonds (1547) under King Edward VI, vagabonds and Gypsies were ordered to be branded with a large V on the breast, and brawlers with F for “fravmaker”; slaves who ran away were branded with S on the cheek or forehead. This law was repealed in England in 1550. From the time of Henry VII, branding was inflicted for all offences which received Benefit of clergy (branding of the thumbs was used around 1600 at Old Bailey to ensure that the accused who had successfully used the Benefit of Clergy defence, by reading a passage from the Bible, could not use it more than once), but it was abolished for such in 1822. In 1698 it was enacted that those convicted of petty theft or larceny, who were entitled to benefit of clergy, should be “burnt in the most visible part of the left cheek, nearest the nose.” This special ordinance was repealed in 1707. James Nayler, a Quaker who in the year 1655 was accused of claiming to be the Messiah, convicted of blasphemy in a highly publicized trial before the Second Protectorate Parliament and had his tongue bored through and his forehead branded B for “blasphemer”.
In the Lancaster criminal court a branding iron is still preserved in the dock. It is a long bolt with a wooden handle at one end and an M (malefactor) at the other; close by are two iron loops for firmly securing the hands during the operation. The brander would, after examination, turn to the judge exclaiming “A fair mark, my lord.” Criminals were formerly ordered to hold up their hands before sentence to show if they had been previously convicted.
In the 18th century, cold branding or branding with cold irons became the mode of nominally inflicting the punishment on prisoners of higher rank. “When Charles Moritz, a young German, visited England in 1782 he was much surprised at this custom, and in his diary mentioned the case of a clergyman who had fought a duel and killed his man in Hyde Park. Found guilty of manslaughter he was burnt in the hand, if that could be called burning which was done with a cold iron” (Markham’s Ancient Punishments of Northants, 1886).
Such cases led to branding becoming obsolete, and it was abolished in 1829 except in the case of deserters from the army, which were marked with the letter D, not with hot irons but by tattooing with ink or gunpowder. Notoriously bad soldiers were also branded with BC (bad character). The British Mutiny Act of 1858 provided that the court-martial may, in addition to any other penalty, order deserters to be marked on the left side, 2 inch below the armpit, with the letter “D”, such letter to be not less than an inch long. In 1879 this was abolished.

Doodle: A doodle is an unfocused or unconscious drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be abstract shapes.
Stereotypical examples of doodling are found in school notebooks, often in the margins, drawn by students daydreaming or losing interest during class. Other common examples of doodling are produced during long telephone conversations if a pen and paper are available.


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