Arbitrary Distinction: trinacreation, mark 1
Medium: artist’s body, tattoo & tattooist, wall drawing, video stills with snail, lecture
Artist: Dario Vacirca, 2019
Created with: Marco & Sueli from Under the Skin, Nithya & Vlad, Frankl the snail
…the work is also a response to a series of tattoo based art interventions by Santiago Sierra. In one of these works he paid drug addicted prostitutes the equivalent of a shot of heroin to have a line permanently marked across their backs, in another he sought out a stranger who had no tattoos or a desire for one, but due to poverty was willing to be paid $50 to get a line tattooed across their back. In all of Sierra’s works he centres himself in the position of exploiter to show the extreme and everyday labour the poor need to go to survive capitalism. His work exposes the heart of the capitalist exchange – exploitation that affects the lives of the exploited for their whole life.
In this work we are doing today I am interested in continuing this mark and critical logic BUT instead of exploiting another body I am turning the pain and the marking back onto my own body. I am entrusting a stranger to make this mark, to create a spell upon the other side of me.
The piece is called Arbitrary Distinction. The line that is drawn becomes an arbitrary decision between: what is above and what is below; what is valued, and what is not; what is art, and what is not; who we think we are because of who we think we are not; what is alive, and what is considered dead; up and down; in and out; bla and blah. These distinctions are not real, but the mark we make is affective. It is what we construct and keep as the real.
There are other layers to this work, including the reason to have a snail ‘design’ the tattoo which is also a variation of the baseline of the trinacria, the geographical shape of Sicily, my father’s homeland, which following his migration, and after growing up in a foreign land, away from my ancestral / dead, and their language – I do not know.
Molluscs are travelers, they need to move, on one foot. Most molluscs in Venice arrived from the Red Sea in the great Lessepsian migration that resulted from the creation of the Suez Canal.
Humans are like molluscs, we move, we migrate, we re-form, we discard our houses and live in others. It is natural. Open the borders. Share your houses. Solidarity to those on the move, displaced, or seeking asylum.
This performance was part of the Venetian Blind Project, by the Public Art Commission, Deakin University. Venetian Blind is part of the Personal Structures (Identity) exhibition at the Palazzo Bembo site, an exhibition by the European Cultural Commission for the Venice Biennale 2019.
What do you think about whitehead and process philosophy? Why is it that all I do these days is find links between supposedly divergent schools of metaphysics? Whitehead was right, the ground of being is creative, it is a process, moving between cause, the idea of it, and the decision to do something with it. And D&G were right as well, that this is the plane of immanence, the realm of the temporal, the experience of time-life as flowing and not spatial and that in this understanding it “seeks to widen thought to pulpate the unknowable”, and that is fucking great because that is the realm of creativity – pulpating unknowable! Why am I annoyed in a little way that people are coming together through fear, what am I fearing in this? or am I just seeking a field where people come together to fight for freed time and LOVE of co-existence; because of that alone. Or do we need the fear of EXTINCTION to move us, or is this just another theatre that will lose its sport because the media is actually the message? Or am I just pissed at the language being used? And that this is actually the fight I have always wanted because it IS about co-existence, but it is wrapped in fearful numbers and statistics because we need science to prove something we know implicitly but deny through seriality?
City Plaza Hotel Meeting Oct 2018