Title: 'Amazon SlumberS'
Where: cultural center Pucallpa, gallery Revolver Lima
Period: 2012, July - August
Format: Film-performances, Installation
Materials: coco mesh, aguaje, huairuro, wingo, mud, hornet's nest, knitting, lasered line drawings in leather and cotton.
Context & concept Amazon SlumberS consists of reflections on the human body and its extensions appearing and disappearing in the proliferation of nature. In August 2012 I was invited to an artist residency in the Amazon Forest, Ucayali and Pucallpa in Peru. During my stay in the Amazon, I developed the film performance 'Amazon SlumberS', a series of living portraits in which the theme SlumberS is inextricably linked. I worked specifically about appearance and disappearance of the relationship 'man versus nature'. For manufacturing portable sculptures and costumes worn by international performers, I used found objects, animals and fruits from the area such as Aguaje, huairuro, Wingo, insects in combination with materials such as weaving from Rubber, plastic and fluo yarns, fabrics treated with a laser cutter, embroidery etc. During the days I spent with the Shipibo Conibo people, a tribe in the north, I was inspired by their way of life. In civilized society and gray cities, the character of nature is curtailed, manipulated and recreated by the architectural and practical heroic humanity.
Joke Raes her experience in the Amazon forest is the dominant invasive nature with all its facets. Living as a Western lady appears and disappears depending on the whims of nature. That nature can be just as destructive as mankind, she felt an earth quake and there was no place to hide because trees are everywhere, some moments there was no drinking water and that dehydrate the body or she was bitten by insects and couldn't sleep for nights. Seeing people as the beautiful 'Shipibo-Conibo' community, living almost perfect in harmony with pure nature is a nostalgic dream where we have to go if we don't have energy sources. But our bodies are so weak, we only can survive with malaria medication or water filters...Our world created cities across pure nature, they seem to be two opposites that are inextricably linked and intersect each other. In Romantic ages, they secretly longed to be in pure idyllic nature, it was the time of 'escapism'. Today we are in our design houses almost completely alienated from that pure nature, worse yet we are often allergic to our ecological system and also can't live without nature. In contrast with the Amazon forest is the artist’s native country of Belgium with its characteristic nature of having been manipulated by man. In this work, human beings and nature are portrayed without dominating each other. Usually Joke creates performances and living sculptures because moving is an important aspect of existence. Although the performers and the environment seem to stand like a still life, in reality they move. The rhythm of life does not remain stationary: the crisp sunlight shifts, the wind dances, and the insects buzz.
Who: Joke Raes (Belgium) for the development of the concept and performance and other performers Dulce Villasana Santana (Mexico), Henry Ortíz (Perú), Rosaura De La Cruz Díaz (Perú), Mwamba MulanGala (Zambia), Alex McKenzie (USA), Ofri Lapid (Israel / Alemania), Diana Riesco-Lind (Peru, Sweden)