The weaver. Maria Cosmes y Saverio Longo
( 2010. Grimmuseum, Berlín. 2010. Antigua Casa Haiku, Barcelona )
This project has its origins in the aesthetic and emotional fascination that arose in me the discovery of bondage, due to technical needs to make another work entitled "Saeta". This casual encounter made me interesting in the world of the BDSM and from here was opened a process of questions and reflections, both intellectual and aesthetic, around the symbolic implications of some sexual practices, that are not very well accepted socially but they are vampirized, among others, by the world of fashion and of the publicity, including that aimed at the general public, or film aesthetics.
Stephen A. Mitchell explains how "different authors from different schools [assert] that for the human being the most pressing thing is to maintain the sense of identity and continuity, and that sexual experiences often gain meaning and intensity in fulfilling this use." 1
In the modern aesthetic imaginary, BDSM and fetishism become signs of modernity and glamour. Beyond this aesthetic fascination, we can ask ourselves what mechanisms make it relevant. Why, in a historical moment of fierce puritanism and abdication of individual and collective responsibility, is the risk of an extreme commitment to the other suggestive, I dare say, liberating?
One of the main concepts around which this work revolves is the "use of the other". In classical Anthropology the concept has been used mainly to talk about relations of production and as a characteristic of the human being, who would be the only animal that uses other individuals of the own species for their own benefit while it is assumed that the rest of nature neither parasites do that, since the use is between different species. In Psychoanalysis there has been talk of "meaning the other" or "projecting on the other", which we could consider as an aspect of the use of the other. In most cases the concept seems irremediably associated with negative connotations of exploitation or violence, physical or symbolic. Although this is an unfortunately real and certain problem, it is no less true that concrete human relations cannot be reduced to generalizations, each relationship would have to be considered within a concrete social, cultural and relational context. As Ignasi Terradas states "if people are governed by commitments between them as such, then their faculties are means that do not make sense in abstraction or abstract exchange, but in the peculiarity with which each person totalizes them and personalizes . [...] In order to reach people it is necessary to conceive of the real exchange between them, in which, for example, money and love are something that have personal meanings and cease to have them outside the action of those people. 2 Here we would find ourselves at the point of intersection and conflict where individual freedom, the predominant moral notions learned and the viscerally emotional reactions triggered by them are confronted.
We must ask, however, what we mean when we speak of the use of the other. Do we speak of physical use or psychological use of the other? I choose for establishing the starting point in the physical "body", the total body that is not given to humans by nature but is given to us as construction, "a product that exceeds the condition of matter and is inserted in a symbolic condition" and that through its mediation conforms aspects of real individuals.
"Fromm relocates Freud's psychodynamic descriptions of libidinal organizations in a framework that underscores character in a broader context, cultural and historical. Sexuality becomes "the expression of an attitude towards the world in body language". 3
From here the body becomes the ideal "cultural material" to reflect on multiple aspects of life, culture and society. and, in particular, concrete human relations.
In this project my attitude as an artist claims the psychic need to highlight the ambivalent mechanisms of use and gift. Both are present in my work of recent years. The gift as cession of my body and its presence to the manipulation, interpretation and distortion by the participating public, but never from a defenseless position, in which I don't believe. The use forks into a double reading, conscious use of my plastically offered body and use of the reactions and emotions of others during their participation in my works.
The Weaver questions the public about the mechanisms of construction of our identity as relational individuals within the framework of our culture. The performer artist becomes voluntarily and with the connivance of another artist modeler of his body through the strings of hemp in object of use , an object that only serves to dance to the rhythm imposed by the ambient music and the bold participants of the public who wish it, women or men.
The rigid garment oppresses the body while evoking the delights of power and flesh and the torment of socialization/domestication, the limits of will and free choice. An object of admiration and an instrument of torture that conditions human relations and their free development.
The Weaver, the artist constructor of the dress, is present in the real time of the performance as a symbol, a Durkheimian god who holds the power of the ideal reality and projects its unavoidable presence on the human space.
Meanwhile, real-time action evokes the trap of relationships between socially and culturally conformed human beings that are used and abused; the conceptual space questions who manipulates whom, the artist who has generated the situation, the audience that lends itself to the game, the social conditionings, the cultural imperatives...
Public and artist are trapped in two levels of reading, perhaps as Hands drawing , just like the disconcerting and distressing impossible stairs from Relativity by Escher.
With the collaboration of: