Photo printed on baryta paper, 40 x 60 cm
HD video, 3’ 05’
Courtesy the artist and Shazar Gallery (IT)
The sea is evoked as the symbol of a body of water that potentially links the continents in a domain of the possible, although it cannot be evoked without concealing the human distress it carries along on a social, political, ecological and economic level.
The video “Mi porti al mare?” fully reflects Anna Raimondo’s approach. She roams the city (not without difficulty) with a mermaid’s tail and asks passers-by to take her to the sea. A character from fantasy, in the public space the mermaid becomes an incongruous figure who is incapable of moving without being carried. The appeal for help then becomes a crucial issue for the artist, who depends on the assistance of those she encounters. Seduction and surprise form an integral part of the interactions with the people she meets in order to address with them the matter of what makes them think of the sea. The artist combines three maxims for this performance:
“Focus on the sea until it becomes part of you; Find your G spot in your vocal chords;
Live in the in-between”.
The first is a matter of human destiny: “To disappear in deep water or to disappear in a distant horizon, to join the depths or with infinity, such is the human destiny that takes its image from the destiny of the water.”1
The second is part of a relationship with femininity and sexuality. The stereotypes asso- ciated with the mermaid figure in mainstream culture are turned on their head by the action of the artist in the streets of Brussels. She is strewn across the ground, awkward because she lacks the normal range of movement, and carted around the public space without control.
Here the costume makes it difficult to evoke the fantasy of the mermaid. Its principal purpose is to maximise the possibility of exchanges.
The third maxim evokes the inextricable condition of the man constantly obliged to come to terms with a multiple identity.
Excerpt of the critic text “Mi porti al mare?” written by the curators Nancy Casielles & Nancy Suárez
1 BACHELARD, Gaston, L’Eau et les Rêves. Essai sur l’imagination de la matière, Paris, Le Livre de Poche (Coll. Biblio essais, n°4160),p. 20-21, 2015