This series is part of my projects completed in 2013 and 2014, representing my thoughts on the body as an active political agent that constructs the attitude towards ourselves and the others. Among these works are “Pervert Veggies” 1,2,3, 2013 ; “Madona of the External Silicone Breast” 2014 and “Deconstruction of VALIE EXPORT’S “Tuch and Tap Cinema” 2013-14. This body of works had been inspired by my double mastectomy and the changes in my physical and mental understanding of self after this radical body change. The myth about the women-warriors – the Amazons – who cut their breasts off to better steady their bows, was the inspiration not only for this series of projects, but also for the way I think about myself, my new body shape, its functionality and beauty.
“Amazon Armor” is the title of this performance art photo series, but also the “umbrella” name of all this work, which has been also published in the book with the same name and written about by art critic Nadia Plungian and artist and my collaborator Oleg Mavromatti.
“Amazon Armor” was a continuation of my personal and collective players with vegetables that are meant to create an overtly sexualized substitute, a prosthesis for my breast, and for any real or imaginary sexual organs. Differently to “Pervert Veggies” series however here the inspiration does not come from internet folklore or archaic performance tradition of extension and substituting sex organs with vegetables and fruits, but is wider and incorporates references from literature and history of art, such as the Amazon women, depictions of St. Sebastian, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.
The performance is made in close collaboration with artist Adam Zaretsky. We had improvised with different objects to create personals, which might sometimes be directly related to cultural artifacts- be a queer version of them – or create new chimeras.
These series were made during a residency at Byrdcliffe Artists Colony in Woodstock, NY.