Annunciations [Saints & Martyrs]


Saints & Martyrs is a photo series on feverishly erotic, spiritual ecstasies.

Each image is staged with painted sculptures that, after being photographed, are destroyed.

The work is hybrid, intermedia - queer in content and form (‘Purity is a Myth,’ proclaimed Hélio Oiticica). From the erudite to the vernacular: from catholic saints to experimental queer art, from crafty to operatic.



Art History is a collection of photographs (in books, PowerPoints, online). They refer but are thought a poor substitute. Like porn to sex. I make photographs without (standing) referents. The situations exist to be recorded by the mechanical eye.  This is misbehaved photography, far from its specificity and orthodoxies. The photographs that comprise the history of art are supposed to be transparent windows and placeholders for the actual (future) experience. Here, this is it, the actual experience.



An lgbt+ person who visits a historical art museum is forced to be a detective, a decoder. She tries to read the repressed. She engages in secret handshakes with the artworks. Or else she doubts her reading as projection. Or else she reinvents the works at her own image. Then a circuitous history is formed, a history of whispers and chuckles and secret: a history of cruising artworks looking for connections.



The work also reflects my upbringing in Brasil, the biggest catholic country in the world. Saint Sebastian, for example, is the (official) patron saint of Rio, and also the (unofficial) patron saint of lgbt+ people. His annual celebration merges a catholic mass and a gay pride into one event. Rio’s famously lustful carnival has a religious origin. This cultural environment is an important part of my interest in the body. As Heartney argues, Catholicism’s sensibility was important in the works of many artists who are/were interested in the body – many of which, as it happens, are/were queer - such as Robert Gober, Serrano, Mapplethorpe, Warhol, Kahlo, etc.



An un-modernist photography that is promiscuous, overflowed.

A Family for Saints & Martyrs

The voyage of captain fracassa (backgrounds) / Oiticica (neyrotica) / Domenico Veneziano’;s Saint John in the Desert At national gallery / Antonello (the gaze-the implied space) / Guercino / Vignali’s Cyparissus in Strasbourg / Antropológico México eyes and jade in packal / Power and Pathos exhibit / Bellini (backgrounds - cloth behind saints, before landscape) / Giorgione in castlefranco / Matisse (color-odaliscas) / Aleijadinho congonhas / Ifê / Paula Rego / Maria Cosindo / Luisa Roldan / Tânagra figurines / Gertrude Abercrombie (color) / Rohmer - the lady and the duke + celadon / Jack Smith (particularly photographs) / Bartlet / Casebere / Michael Borremans / Paolo Ventura / Kerry James Marshal (history- tradition- mystery) / Severe Style Olympia / That lekythos at the met / Bonnard pinks - abandonments / Baroque curtains / Max Beckmann the shallow/deep space / Francis Uprichard / Daniel Gordon / Bhupen khakhar / Daniel silver / cate giordano / Sepuya / Louis Fratino / Leonardo’s St. John / Munch - puberty - see space in late and around 1920s / Salviati lute player - olive green + browns / Saló- bride / Douglas Sirk & Fassbinder - Almodóvar and Wong Kar Way -melodrama/expressionism/Brecht / Giuseppe Crespi - painterly, expressive / Ludovico Carracci, The Lamentation / Salviatti / Kiki Smith / Thiago Martins de Mello / Pierre & Giles / Reveron dolls + Belmer dolls + Paula rego’s dolls + dorothea tanning’s dolls / Francesco Mola - beautiful guys - introspective, dreamy subjects sharing a space - allegory of the senses / Bruno Dumont- religious ecstasy- supremely earnest and artificial / Frank Walter- color - sculpture / Forrest Bess - materiality, mystery / Carlo Bonino- sexy guys in murals at Santa Maria vado / charles hippolyte aubry - plastered nature / Mayan figurines / reza aramesh / jordan maclachlan / Florian Raiss / Caravaggio - Lázaro messina - between states-not ‘or’ but ‘and’ / Francesco Cairo- ecstasies / Sarah l Peters / Lúcio Fontana late ceramics / Charles Ray and ancient sculpture / stephen benwell / All Annunciations / The martyr Rodin / Fassbinder s artificiality / Tropical malady-feverish erotic spiritual ecstasies / Degas sculptures - wiping / Ceramics of Lúcio Fontana- including figurative and religious / Fausto Menotti fabric backdrops / The color in Djanira! / The ensembles in Cindy Sherman, particularly old masters and the ones with slides as backdrops / Tod Haines poison: spitting / Nancy Spero: expressionism+classicism (+literature) / querini stampalia kiki smith, 2005 / Barbara karsten / Palmira funerary portraits / etant donne / saint clair cemin / Pablo Suarez / Mark Hogancamp / Greta stern / Niccolo Dell'Arca / The photographs of Brancusi / Leonardo’s St. John the Baptist, sexily spiritual addressing the viewer / Hiraki sawa dwelling / Mayan figurines / Hernan bass / Poussin’s narcissus / Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt / Simone fattal ‘ancient’ ceramics / Fried’s After Caravaggio: Absorption & address8-Density of presence-Absorptive motifs 79 / Brassai’s pics of Picasso’s sculptures / Nicole Eisenman (queer + history) / Glenway Wescott’s A Calendar of Saints for Unbelievers with illustrations by Tchelitchew / Young and Evil at Zwiner / lustmord / Olaf Breuning / ancient painting (akrotiri, pompeii) / Mary Carlson