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'Al principi va ser un gest' by Aina Monzó at Zape, Valencia

For a woman, telling her story through her body is nothing new. The body gives shape to our identities, insecurities, ambitions and struggles, it becomes the main material to express ourselves. It constrains, restricts and sometimes alienates us. We modify it, refine and expose it for others. We perform what is imposed on us as "feminine". This fact, which seems anecdotal, is at the same time radical. It involves reappropriating an image historically exploited by men, according to their own criteria. 

Giving shape means, at the same time, deforming. Using one's own body to mold it is a violent process: adhere, fit, contract, cool and tear. It implies detaching yourself from it, separating yourself and generating a parallel body. Become an image and be reduced to pure form. It entails fostering a distance, a specific space between appearance and content. Create a paraffin crust, sparkling and fatty, a framework. Registering also implies stopping the body in time. Configuring a body that does not age, eternally young, eternally normative. A perfect surface, a superficial layer. And all this, fragmenting with a material like paraffin, a plastic, malleable and fragile substance that can be melted, solidified and reconstructed again, altering it infinitely. On top of that, everything is adorned with jewels, pieces that are embedded in predetermined and rigid shapes. Abstractions derived from the body itself that are juxtaposed to its primitive form. These random variations finish off a process of contrasts in an exhibition that generates its own feminine universe, a space between them. A contrast between visible and invisible, firm and weak, cold and warm, concave and convex. An exhibition body that, as in reality, is at the same time a frame and an exhibitor, a protection and a load. Exposing oneself implies, implicitly, losing oneself in the gaze of others. Exhibiting the body, being displayed on a pedestal and used as a showcase, implies a dissociative process that we women have assumed, naturalized, a daily action. 

Woman aspires, at some point, to detach from her own skin.Tear it off. Don't be perceived like a woman, be nothing, be you. Get rid of the burden, not giving explanations. Desexualize yourself, use the body as one more mark, one more structure, one more support. Reveal it in order to understand it, see it as a mirror. Being artificial, transforming into a construction that allows the privilege of observing you from a distance. Live the fantasy that you appropriate your narrative. Separate yourself from the implications of the feminine universe and, at the same time, never achieve it. 
— Mar Aragó

6.5.23 — 10.7.23

Photo by Alberto Feijóo


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