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'Punishment/Fuccboi'sDream' - Penance and Self-Awareness

'Do you think that you could love me?'

Performance first shown at 'Basement Borscht, The Angel Hotel, Cardiff.

April 2018

In a society, there is a role that is incredibly important to the notion of penance and healing; The image of the 'Punisher/Executioner'. In ancient mythology and popular media, great importance is placed on this most sacred of roles, and thus affects the wider lexicon of a person's psychological landscape. 

Drawing inspiration from executioners and punishment throughout history, as well as the spiritual symbols based within Ancient Religions, Mythology, and popular media such as 'Pyramid Head' from Silent Hill 2, I have appropriated this image as a cathartic reflection on my own desire to be punished. The main character within Silent Hill 2 desires to be punished for his sins, and this manifests as a large, hyper masculine and sexually aggressive entity that seeks out the main character and pushes him through repeated loss and trauma to accept himself and find peace.

Relating to my current investigative practice into Masculinity and the shifting roles it is taking; I have come to explore how many men feel the need to be punished, and is often forced out through self-destructive actions. Masculinity internalises it's trauma, and through it's existence, it either learns to live with it's shadow; or it destroys itself. 

The performance reflects a distorted self image and sexuality; a skirt, white reebok trainers, bride's gloves, a sling, stained clothes, a guantanamo-bay style Black Hood - some of the gender-fluid garments adorned by this particular image of Penance.  The 'executioner' asks those who walk by if 'they have made the right choices in life?'. As the performance goes on the punisher asks the audience who walks by the same self-criticizing analysis that they give themselves. As the performance goes on, the punisher softens and breaks down; eventually become more fragile and empathetic with those who interact with the artist in this role. 

 

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