giudicare (to judge) - Vienna June 5th 2018
Skin is communication. It is encounter, it is impression and judgement all at once. The first thing we notice before interacting verbally, audiovisually or gesturally with each other, is the outer shell. The biggest organ of our body, that reveals, similar to trees and their bark, the lived live and the stories behind it. In rituals skin is painted, covered and/or permanently marked. Linguistically skin refers to very strong emotions: “to get under ones skin” , “to jump out of ones skin” , “to get goosebumps”
Stress, excitement, being upset, sadness are emotional reactions that present themselves symptomatically on our skin.
Skin can be harmed, skin is security, a cover and safety mechanism, revealing and naked, intimate and anonymous at the same time.
We don't only experience the environment, changes in temperature, humidity, pressure changes through the skin. We also show intimacy through it as in forms of greeting, affection, and solidarity.
If we have skin diseases or visible injuries society tends to judge. Through a leck of information, disapproval, disgust and rejection can be reactions to a skin appearance that differs from a healthy one.
To free oneself of a burden, either physically or psychologically, takes a lot of effort. It can manifest itself in fatigue and pain, but also in a variety of stress symptoms.
I want to be myself and I to be seen for what I am, with all my oddities. Individuals and groups of individuals are judged for many reasons: their nationality, sexuality, gender, looks, health, conformity or nonconformity. All these characteristics play a minor role if you want to really interact with a person. Which means that the responsibility lies with both parties. If someone makes an effort to rid themselves of judgement and false expectations, the counterpart has to respect and accept that.
When diagnosed with a serious or terminal disease, no-one wants to be in their own shoes. But it gets even worse if people, especially family and friends, don't really understand what the person is going through. It is hard enough to deal with the treatment and/or inevitable consequences, so making it harder through false preconceptions and ill informed behaviour is no use to anyone.
“giudicare” wasn’t only a performance for me, it was a challenge, a journey. The five weeks, from concept to the finalised artwork, took a lot out of me. I learned to renounce myself, to understand and strengthen my body. Which meant, no alcohol, engaging in physical training five times a week and to follow a strict diet to prepare my self physically and mentally for the performance. Similar to an approaching very draining medical treatment I wanted to put myself in a self created state to experience limitation and to understand what it means not to just be able to do whatever I desire to do.
Visual Stamina – Antonio Semeraro
based in Vienna since 2009
Illustrator, Performance Artist and Video Performance Artist, Set-Designer and Installation Artist, trying to make you question what you see.