Tales Frey

Alliance (2013)

 

SYNOPSIS

The performance / installation is a wedding ritual in the strict sense. It is an artistic performance, a pseudo-religious ritual and an aesthetic ritual; it is an injunction and liminoid ritual. It is art and life at the same time.

 

Hilda de Paulo/Paulo Aureliano da Mata e Tales Frey, Aliança. Performance art showed in Catanduva-SP, Brazil. March 2013. Photos by Gustavo Rosa Fontes, Nathália Mello and Paola Frey, 50 x 98 cm. Edition: 6 + 2 P.A.

 

DESCRIPTION

On March 13, 2013, on the last day of the Kiss me exhibition, we began our wedding ritual, making our partnership between art and life official. We concluded our ceremony on the 15th of the same month, so the action was performed in two stages. From the marriage (contract sanctioned by the State) came the visual poetics proposed by us in a work that has our signatures, that is, it is a co-authorial work. With this work, we seek to impress love at the expense of exclusion, prejudice, affirming differences at the expense of conventionality strongly concentrated in various religious and also in the most trivial media.

The performance / installation took place in an empty exhibition hall, which was filled with flowers by the spectators [1] and marks of lipstick kisses by us performers. In addition to the silhouette, we drew with flowers in the afternoon, before the opening of the exhibition, with the collaboration of artist Nathália Mello, our action consisted solely of registering kiss stamps with our mouths painted by brightly colored lipsticks (black and red lipsticks that last 24h on the lips). On the one hand, one of us started the construction of columns of kisses that corresponded to the height of the body of the kisser, where a kind of painting was formed with the lips that marked several kisses (one beside the other). We did the same action, each coming from one side of the entrance to the room, until we met at a certain point. At the meeting, we kissed the same surface, stamping a kiss over the other in more reddish tones than the previous ones, which had purple tones and which, with drying, acquired a black color. Finally, we gave a kiss like “peck” and left for our family.

The performance took place only once, with potent ritualistic effectiveness, since it transformed our marital status forever. From “singles”, we move on to “married”. Not even if we want to, we can go back to the first condition, because if we end our marriage, we will be “divorced”, “widowed”, but never “single” again.

The lipstick – which remained on our lips for a little over 24 hours – and the friction mark on the tip of our noses – which were grated all the time on the surface of the white modules that bounded the performance room within our exhibition – marked the transitory element between the action that we consider our “wedding party” (public event) and the event at the registry office (announced in the official daily newspaper of the local newspaper). The general rule of a wedding was re-established: the party was the episode of the performance, which took place before the event at the registry office. We wear jeans and black T-shirts from the brand Der Metropol, with flower print details. On the day the wedding contract was signed, we wore a shirt made with the same fabric as the flower print details of Der Metropol, an Adidas brand shirt designed by Jeremy Scott and printed with teddy bears.

At the bottom of one of the walls, we left, from the first day of the Kiss me exhibition, a “looped” video with reddish tones, which were changed every 1 second, which showed overlays of images of our scars and tattoos and, also, of individual parts of our bodies, establishing a fusion of our stigmas, our pains, our experiences and memories, forming a new body, a body in communion.

We serve well-married and kisses; sweets that were accompanied by lemonade seasoned with orange blossom water, a refreshment that marks our first year of dating. The two waiters-performers were dressed in white tulle dresses.

In addition to the presentation of photos and videos, the performance can be redone, but only as an aesthetic action and no longer with the transforming ritualistic efficacy, as we are already married.

 

NOTE

[1] Spectators were advised from the first day of the exhibition, March 5, 2013, to take such elements. The sign posted in the room said: “Bring us flowers and be an integral part of our performance-wedding ritual that will take place right here”.

 

CREDITS

Performance created by Hilda de Paulo / Paulo Aureliano da Mata and Tales Frey | Crossdresser waiters: Carlos Alexandre and Lucas Alves | Action Duration: around 2 hours | Realization: Cia. Excessos | Catanduva, SP, Brazil 2013

the action was performed as part of the exhibition Kiss me, which was held by the VI Festival of Forms of Poetics and by Dell’Arte Associação Cultural, with support from the State Government of São Paulo, from the State Department of Culture – Program of Cultural Action 2012 (PROAC).

 

HISTORIC

LIVE

[2013] Exhibition Kiss me. IV Festival of Poetic Forms, Estação Cultura, Catanduva, SP, Brazil.

 

AS VIDEO, INSTALLATION AND / OR PHOTOGRAPHY

[2016] Exhibition In State of War. Academic Theater of Gil Vicente, Coimbra, Portugal.

[2015] Exhibition Kiss me. SESC Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.

[2013] Fashion and Religiosity in Body Marks. CAAA Centro para os Assuntos da Arte e Arquitectura, Guimarães, Portugal.

 

ENVIRONMENT

As it is an extraordinary event such as our own wedding, we believe it is of paramount importance that our marriage be held in the city of Catanduva, state of São Paulo, where almost all of our family lives. Furthermore, at a time when an evangelical pastor, a federal deputy, chaired, in our native country, the Human Rights and Minorities Committee of the Chamber of Deputies and, denying a supposedly secular policy, preached hatred of homosexuals and blacks in his speech, we assume the urgency of stirring the commonplace of this society, transforming our marriage into a performance composition. The feeling of overblown faith, of religious fanaticism that condemns the freedom of the subject has grown in a fearful way in Brazil, being unbridledly introduced into the political environment by devotees of extrapolated religious feelings.

The performance, the most daring part of our wedding ritual, was held at Estação Cultura, an environment dedicated to the arts at the headquarters of the Municipal Secretary of Culture of Catanduva. Coincidentally, there is, right in front of the enclosure, an Evangelical Assembly of God Church.

Phone calls from fervent religious, prejudiced people without religion, among several others who took a stand against the event, marked the impediment so that the Alliance performance was not held at the headquarters of the small town’s Municipal Secretary of Culture. In vain, since everyone from the city’s cultural area collaborated so that the event would be indefectible.

 

Brazilian Newspaper Diário da Região: The Advancement of Gay Marriage. Catanduva, 10 December 2014. More detailshttp://issuu.com/ciaexcessos/docs/di__rio_da_regi__o_dezembro_2014

 

REFERENCES / PROCESS

The first visual reference we used was a work by Ana Mendieta, in which the artist lies down among several flowers and marks her body in that space. The visual feature of drawing body silhouettes proposed by Mendieta’s work, consisted of visiting the sign of death in an event full of life.

Then, we focused on research on other works that could dialogue in some way with ours and then, we came across Vito Acconci’s Kiss off; we perceive, in this work, an echo of Cia. Excessos’ own series of kisses, a set of performances composed by The Kiss, The Kiss II, Soulless Reciprocity, The Other Asphalt Kiss, Kiss Off and, finally, Alliance.

Kiss off, when bringing a man to wear lipstick (article considered to be female) to stamp kisses on some surface, dialogues with Alliance. The narcissistic gesture of Acconci’s work generates, as an object, a male body full of kisses (which are supposed to have come from female lips), while Alliance originates a space full of kiss marks (also calculated as female body marks).

Regarding the affirmation of diversity in relation to the sexuality of each individual, performance (as well as exposure) ended up harmonizing with LGBTQIA discourse, Queer theory and feminist ideals. Coincidentally, weeks after our action, a series of kisses between artists of the same sex served as a strategy to draw the media’s attention in favor of the elimination of the evangelical pastor Marcos Feliciano of the presidency of the Commission of Human Rights and Minorities of the Chamber of Deputies in Brazil. Among other examples of this act, we highlight the kiss between actresses Fernanda Montenegro and Camila Amado during the 7th edition of APTR (Association of Theater Producers in Rio).

On the cover of the American magazine Time, the protest of the image of kisses between two people of the same sex was accompanied by the following phrase: “The Supreme Court has not made up its mind – but America has”, showing (or considering) that the majority opinion is in favor of gay marriage, which is currently only recognized in state laws in the USA.

In France, although gay marriage is already recognized, hundreds of thousands of people were protesting in early 2013 against same-sex unions, mainly because the adoption of children among gay couples was approved in that country.

The creation of the Alliance risked a particular ritual, perhaps because homosexuality is repelled by most religions: “Islam, orthodox Judaism and many Protestant fundamentalist churches are homophobic” [1].

Finally, the performance Emotion in Motion, by Nezaket Ekici – in which the artist stamps kisses on her own body and in every space inside a house (sofa, chair, carpet, floor, window, vases, walls, ceiling, etc.) – motivated me and Hilda to build a kiss corridor on four walls of an exhibition room until we got our tumultuous meeting recorded in more intense kisses with a bright red hue, which differed from previous kisses in less fiery tones, more funerals, which have become black over time, with the drying of lipstick on the white paint of the gallery modules.

 

NOTE

[1] SCHECHNER, Richard. “Ritual, jogo e performance”. apud. LIGIÉRO, Zeca (org). Performance e Antropologia de Richard Schechner, Rio de Janeiro, Mauad X, 2012, p. 85.

 

Hilda de Paulo/Paulo Aureliano da Mata e Tales Frey, Alliance, 2013. Video, 2’35”