At Metamorfosis festival, curated by Fatmagül Mutlu, I discovered something different to what I’m used to in an exhibition: “the care itself”, the importance of self-knowledge, how states of being are muted, the transformation of bodies into one. I felt the pleasant accompaniment of works that bring you closer to a reality and a stimulating aesthetic presence, such as the video of Eleni Tsamadia, the beginning of the visual journey, Aprhodite castrated, welcoming you, observing you and questioning beauty and mutilation as a way of overcoming imperfection and the idealisation of the feminine in an act of empowerment; the performatification as a way of overcoming the various states of the self, or rather, discovering yourself in each phase of the exhibition. In this work of Eleni Tsamadia, the body is transformed into a vital organ that marks idealisations, questions the norms of beauty and generates a dialogue; the body as a sensory element and those sounds that accompany it. Inciting you to enter a hypnotic spiral, choppy and altered, like an uncontrolled and errant caress of an unknown, absent hand; making you feel inside a bubble of sensations and expectations whose answer you only have inside you.
Ela Solomon’s performance “for me - for you - forgive”, shown at the festival, completes the union between the work of Eleni Tsamadia, Aphrodite as divine observer who questions the viewer, Ela’s performance delivers and accompanies you to an encounter with the other. In previous performances, such as “free me”performed in 2017 at Zaz festival (a festival of contemporary art, Arad, Israel) marks a journey through the sound produced by insulating tape opening, sticking it to the floor and Ela wrapping her body with it, with public participation, leaving a bare patch on her stomach where its written “free me”. Trapped between the layers of insulation tape, in a confined space, waiting for the participants to liberate her.
The importance of auditory, visual, emotional and human connection in the performance "Self me”, the artist traces three paths in which she interacts with the viewer, creating various experiences, questioning the limits of her own bounded body, or giving herself to the viewer according to the phase of the journey. As the author comments, it is an autobiographical experience where human sensations and emotions are put into play in a path of self-knowledge:
In the three journeys, the spectator must choose one:
Obey: The viewer rescues and frees her from a box. Ela, with her eyes blindfolded, accompanies the viewer, while listening to the heartbeat, and is guided to a scene (white sheet) where the viewer must write their thoughts and do what they wish with her (be it hug her, kiss her). Depending on the chemistry, or the given situation, Ela can ask to have her hair cut, to be washed… and in this point, the roles of human relationships are questioned.
Listen: Confessions inside the box; the spectator approaches the box where Ela is and they talk, they ask personal and intimate things. The participant having full freedom of action, while she is locked up, almost without air.
Examine: Asking the viewer what happiness and sense of belonging is, while talking about her illness and asking them to write a thought they have experienced during thisjourneyon herskin,or a word that refers to her.
In short, sensory perception, the act of becoming closer to another, are always present in the performances of Ela Solomon who, as Deleuze quotes, seek to expand your whole body territory through transformation.
In her performance “For you, for me, forgive”, Ela plants a philosophy of care itself, an accompaniment, an aesthetic and a complete engagement of the body, that contrasts the representation of herself.
This expressed desire to connect with the other leads us to the philosophical principles of Martin Buber, regarding the relationship between the self and the you, defined as a language through which man finds his way of communication and exchange of sensations, emotions, ideas ...
In her performances, she looks for the immediate connection with the audience, as Buber, presents this relationship in the sphere of reciprocity, for after submitting to the sensation and wish of the other, without limits, where words are the protagonist.
The Performances of Ela Solomon are routes of self-knowledge and of surrender, and in all the performances there is, as mentioned above, an autobiographical component and a feminine point of view about the dependence of human beings on each other.
The body and the sound transforms into one, concentrating herself, generating a metallic sound that breaks the silence, pulling her hair and what doesn’t belong to it, exorcizing (the lice).
Once ready, she decides to offer part of her, her hair, the DNA as an act of sacrifice, dirt, bad thoughts, in a bag as a memory, repeating the mantra and focusing on forgiveness; accepting the lost and that it is the point for a new beginning.
Ela turns into something objective, inviting you to be part of her own care and preparation for the act. The sound of the razor turns into a eternal metallic sound.
On the floor there are markers to write and leave a message that no-one was brave enough to leave; the act and the sensation of tenderness and cruelty when she sees how her dark hair falls into the white scenario, leaving a memory full of connotations.
**Una vez que nos hemos encontrado, debemos entender cómo, de vez en cuando, perdernos, y luego cómo volver a encontrarnos. Para quien piensa es desventajoso estar atada a una persona todo el tiempo. F. Nietzsche
*Performanceheld in the 2016 Tribuna festival Tel-Aviv University, 2017 Holon Women Festival, 2017 Acco Festival
**Review of the book Etica amatoria del deseo libertario y las afectaciones libres y alegres.Ludditas Sexxxuales (Leo Silvestri)
Jonathan Elbaz Artista & Comisario -Sent i Crea projectes-
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