Bleeding to life
An essay-performance, this media-archaeological examination celebrates the revolutionary potential of recognizing and engaging with our collective, gaping wounds. Taking Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of Saint Thomas as a point of departure, I construct a narrative that links the production of subjectivities in “post”-colonial contexts, with the technosexual networks of resistance and coded information exchange that grew out of the government-manufactured crack epidemic in oppressed neighborhoods throughout the late 70s/early 80s and today. Indebted to the writing of Donna Haraway, Jussi Parikka, Hortense Spillers, & Kanye West.
"Among the most loaded tropes in the history of Christian mysticism is the wound that a lance opened in Christ's side during the crucifixion. In this unlikely and at once so typically Catholic image, many of mysticism's predominant themes converge. The wound in Christ's side is a refuge; a nuptial bedchamber; a womb from which one is reborn into eternal life; a breast that nourishes, infuses the soul with grace, and provides erotic pleasure; a pair of lips that kisses; a flower; a warehouse that stores mystical paraphernalia; a well of living waters; a showering fountain of blood that washes away sin; an attribute of the New Adam; and a symbol of Christ's final contribution to a vicarious sacrifice by quotas." [Frank Graziano]
“Our sufferings do not magically end; instead we are able to wisely alchemically recycle them. They become the abundant waste that we use to make new growth possible.” [b. hooks]
"My cuts are above all a philosophical statement, an act of faith in the infinite, an affirmation of spirituality. When I sit down to contemplate one of my cuts, I sense all at once an enlargement of the spirit. I feel like a man freed from the shackles of matter, a man at one with the immensity of the present and of the future." [Lucio Fontana]
"Surely his heart is laid open through his wounds!" [Bernard de Clairvaux]
Created specifically for the Dark Diction event on January 16, 2015 at JACK in NYC. Organized by Social Health Performance Club, tattoo by Josh Kil, photos by Laura Blüer, video by David Ian Griess. Title taken from the poem: We Need a God Who Bleeds Now by Ntozake Shange
Video documentation was edited by myself and screened at MAD THEORY 2: A Performance Philosophy Symposium in Madison, WI.
2016, published through York University's InTensions journal issue #8 tactics and dissonance: bending social relations towards justice, through art