“The Sign” is a 60 minutes performance that explores visual culture of shame in relation to the body, subjects and power in contemporary performance art. In this work, eight female performers are tied together with a rope. They wear masks, standing and repeating some symbolic gestures. They hold each gesture for two minutes and then move to the next one at their own paces.
This work examines the visual culture of shame in its personal and socio-political dimensions, deconstructing the experience of shame through gestures and movements. It questions how shame is encouraged within societies that reproduce capitalist and power relations, and how it is used as a tool not only to exert control over the body but also to marginalize certain group members. I consider feminism, globalization and psychoanalysis, positioning shame as a feminist strategy of resistance—an ethical practice that seeks altered states of consciousness that possibly leads to restore dignity and humanity.
Performed by Alida Esmail, Lucy Fandel, Emma Lee Iversen, Alex MacLean, Kim L Rouchdy, Eryn Tempest, Emilie van der Waals, and Mary Williamson
Photo Credit: Adrián Morillo