Begin residency: 12th January 2018 1PM
Invited resident: Irene Brok (visual artist and writer)
Subtitle: A reading about domestication of domestics objects / shame
Opening: 13th January 2018 1PM
Guests present: (4) Ceel, Sonia, Ilona, Emilia
Food served: Apple cake, tea and coffee
Objects of shame. Earplugs, condoms, vaginal crème, dust, hairs, dirt, dirty underwear, diary, etc: domestic objects of shame are well present in our houses, but due to their taboo-character, we careful hide or make them inaccessible to the gaze of (un)attended guests. Behind books, in boxes, far behind the visible. Irene asked if she could go through all my stuff in order to see where the backstage was, and what it was containing. Once she selected what she thought were objects of shame, she changed their context: removing them from their hidden spots, displaying them in the house, taking them outside, or to a gallery space. Asking me about them, explaining them to other people, asking me to explain them to other people. They became the centre of the attention, and by that, lost their high value of shame through time. I was present. I was witnessing the change of status. I was ashamed. Now I am less.
During the opening, the objects were laying on the table, next to cake, cups and tea. The right environment to listen to the reading of Irene. And we all went home being a bit less ashamed.
“There it happened. Something of me was exposed just because I said ‘oef’. It was heard, seen, and a part of my intimate feelings went public. I shrug, I smile. Everybody smiles. Everybody is okay.
I have gone through all of Giulia’s stuff. I have looked in her cabinets. Opened all her secret boxes and read parts of her diaries. I put her vaginal cream out on the kitchen table. I looked at her pay slip. And I asked her if she actually uses the condoms I found. I photographed her used earplugs…
The earplugs are pink. Sticky and dirty. Before she moved to the Claes Claesz Hofje, Giulia lived in a house in the West together with three men. She needed the earplugs in order to sleep. I used to visit her a lot in the West. I slept with one of the men she lived with. We would not use condoms. We would massage each other. Get slippery with oil and have sex. Giulia would put her pink, sticky earplugs deep inside her ears.
Giulia’s hand is bent in a strange position. Her index and middle finger are almost stretched, while the rest of the fingers are bent. Her legs are drawn wide open. The lines on the paper forming the legs are light. As if the pencil was only touching the paper softly. The panties have been put there more firmly. Thicker lines, more pressure. It covers only a part of the vulva. The stretched fingers reach into the panties. The drawing is beautiful. The story is nice. I feel her shame. It passes by. We are both laughing. We are okay.”
To read the text of Irene, click here.