Repeat after me: you are safe here

I visited the exhibition Achsendenken- Fragen zu Zeit und Raum: Drei Perspektiven on a Sunday, the cruellest of days. I went in knowing nothing, expecting nothing. And definitely not prepared to have a mid-afternoon awakening.

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Lost highways and mediated memories

Eriz Moreno. Ararat 19

Eriz Moreno- Ararat, 2014

Originally published on  The Name of the Next Song.

Eriz Moreno is an artist from Bilbao, Basque Country. His practice has led him to places as different as Eastern Europe, North America and Western Asia where he spent time researching and collecting documentation for his projects. He has been part of several collective shows, such as “9980 km el horizonte que nos separa” at the Domus Artium 2002 Museum (Salamanca) and” Horizonte” at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. His solo shows include “Projekt Beton” at the Szczecinek Regional Museum (Poland) and “Ararat” at the Ereván Contemporary Art Museum (Armenia).

I sat down with Eriz and asked him a few questions about the way he approaches his work.

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What It Feels Like

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What it feels like being a woman? What does it mean? As  representatives of our gender we should be able to answer this question. Except this is not really a question, it’s a trap.

Gender is socially and culturally constructed. Not only gender, but sex. Not only gender and sex, but our sexuality and sexed bodies too. But how exactly are we supposed to observe the mix of discursive practices and internalised coercion shaping our gendered existence from the outside? How can we discern what is natural from what is learnt when the very idea of ‘natural’ is a product of discourse?

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We Are All Very Common People

I have completed the survey for the Values and Value project. I did it because I love questionnaires, the topic interests me and because Beverley Skeggs posted it on Twitter  and I happen to stalk follow her religiously since I read “Sexuality and the Politics of Violence and Safety” .

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The Female Gaze: Claire Denis’ “Les Salauds”

Not many movies have made such a big impression on me lately. Claire Denis’ “Les Salauds” (Bastards) has made me think a lot about what exactly means being a female author. Is there really a difference between male and female directors? Of course there is. But if we move away from the obvious, gender-based, stereotypical rom-coms and action movies we might notice the differences in unexpected places, about unexpected details.

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There is No such a Thing as Safe Sex

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I have recently attended a debate about Race and Sex: lot of interesting points were raised about fetishisation, hypersexualisation, patriarchal terrorism, the media perpetuating sexualised racial stereotypes.I might never come close to appreciate what it means to be fetishised as an Asian woman or to fully understand the damaging effects of the Western beauty ideals on women and young girls. Except that I kind of do. Just by being born female I have had the dubious privilege of being exposed to all the bullshit surrounding bodies and sex and stereotypes and expectations (granted on a lesser degree because of my caucasian appearance).When it comes to sex, to the inescapable reality of naked bodies and bodily fluids, we are the products of our unequal, racist, fear laden culture as much as it in every other instance of our lives.

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