“9st” is a collaborative project between me and the sea - by using salt extracted from the Atlantic Ocean I intended to create a cyclical practice, a dialogue between the deep symbolism of salt and the concept of ephemerous ecologic artistic practice. In this project salt serves as a metaphor for the fragility of the body, the heaviness of mental illness and social fatphobia that at this point should have been dissolved. The act of giving it back to its own sea turns to be a cathartic ritual of letting go the weight of weighting.
Struggling with body image issues my whole life, I started wondering about what defined me as a woman and how the body shape is so intrinsically connect with the perception of sexuality and acceptance of yourself and others. 9st is the number of the difference between what is socially accepted as average weight and my actual weight.
The project is structured by three main materials: salt from the Atlantic Ocean, charcoal found on the site of the release of the salt stones and dracaena draco resin (a tree endemic of Macaronesia). During the course of development of the project these materials found their way to me, stablishing a connection between them, my project and a specific period of time of my life.
UNDRESS ME NOT
The act of undressing the stones turns to be an intime moment directly linked with the concept of self-revelation, sexuality and deliverance. It’s a physical act, struggling to separate the fabrics from the stone, untangling nots for, in the end, reveal it’s most true nature.
THE WEIGHT OF A SALT STONE
If I wasn’t flesh, I would be salt.
A big bag of salt leaking through the tiles
rusting the iron around me,
melting the ice on roads,
giving flavour to food.
Preserving the organic,
competing with sugar for the white gold title.
Indispensable to life,
rising your blood pressure, so I can kill you.
Just passed by on the table like there is no honour to him, to me.
SEA SALT: lightness and heaviness - a medium to represent my relationship with the sea the lightness/heaviness duality that I personally find in salt is undeniably connect with the perception of the self-body; Personification of the flesh;
The sea in its solid form - extracted by the sun, pressed by me;
CHARCOAL: representing the land – the volcanic island land (basalt & black sand); Representing my pain associated with the personal and social difficulties of being overweight – burned by experience, burned by society; the wood was burned and there is no way back.
DRACAENA DRACO RESINE: Femininity: what does it mean to be a woman? Am I less woman if I can’t reproduce? What is this about not bleeding that makes you feel less feminine?;
The result of a bleeding tree; Associated with sexuality and objectification of the women;
From dracaena draco tree - endemic from where I’m endemic as well.
9 stones were thrown into the sea
This act proved to be a cathartic experience of self-realization regarding my own weight, the physical space that I actually take and social expectations, disbeliefs and prejudice associated with overweight people.