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Sabotage: hack your identity #Pride

We want to have a conversation about LGBTQ+

Sometimes you start talking with friends about the things that you don’t want, things that don’t represent you. Then, you might find yourself thinking about what you don’t want for you nor for the people you like, not even for the people you don’t like, because it’s just a place you don’t want to see the world go to. 

 

Pride Celebration takes place all over the world and has helped to make visible dissident gender identities and sexual orientations in different times of history, conquering rights, and transforming realities and perceptions around sexual dissidence. Pride brought into discussion many important issues, allowing us to keep asking questions and start redifying relationships and interactions. 

But, what if the celebration of Pride has grown and taken us to a “better place”? Where are its issues and where we stand nowadays? This is how our artistic project was born, not as a mere expression of beautiful, but as a conceptual construction; we wanted to expose the political/cultural concepts and casualties involved in it.  

Skin is the new canvas was built and developed by feminist artist Claudia Sahuquillo. She has been painting naked women bodies since the beginning. This time the project works as a platform and as an ally of the LGTBIQ+ community, giving the leading voice to people that recognize themselves as part of the community but don’t feel completely represented by it. And this precise detail, the fact that they consider themselves as dissidents even within the community, was what we focused on. 

“We are part of the community, but even there we exceed the norm.”

 

This is linked to the perspective that claims that there is not just an exclusive way of not being straight. 

The belief that there’s just one possible way of experiencing sexual dissidence, also named sexual diversity, is commonly known as homonormativity. We don’t think that this is possible/fair/representative, just as there isn’t one way of being an heterosexual. The almost complete identification of Pride celebration with this normativity leaves dissenting identities out of sight. 3 Those identities are what we wanna invite to talk, enable them to reach the space they ask for and contribute to complete the normalized mass media and cultural representation of “being gay”. 

Reaffirming the idea that our own identity is our own, we cannot ignore the fact that certain aspects of our identities are assigned to us by norm but that’s not just what we are. We craft and shape our identities along the way. Identity is a construct and a combination of what has been assigned and what we have done with it. 

Considering identity as a construct is the founder idea of this project. “Sabotage: hack your identity”, meaning re-appropriation of the given identity. Skin is the new canvas functions as the place to deploy subjective identities that are commonly limited or constricted by normativity and mainstream pride celebration. 

   

How we showed those hacked identities?

"Skin is the new canvas invited people as fundamental narrative pieces to interact with it and with each other in a collective and collaborative project that would allow them to communicate the roles they play in the so called LGTBIQ+ community."

 Sabotage is a project where all the people involved shared what each one had to offer, in order to contribute with pluralization of given realities and identities. In other words, the art was put in service of everyone involved: let’s do it in community

 

For the styling and art direction sabotaging meant also subverting the given order in terms of gender roles and sexual identities. It is also an invitation to rethink ideas such as beauty and what is understood to be a person defined by a binary perspective.

We are provoking through a reinterpretation of the Pride flag

Hack the flag: how we used the Pride banner

The use of the flagship in a personal and intimate way, that cohabits and interacts with each identity as part of their own body, is not casual. “I wear the flag.  It is part of the hack, the pride flag is an emblem assigned to me, and I decide how I take it as part of me. You can see the rainbow colours on me, but just as any other component of my identity. The flag I take responds to no hierarchy (and is part of what I choose to be).” 

The flag appears along the shooting as part of a spectrum of features that interact, combine and recombine as the identity develops. This is why we chose to represent the striking meaning of the flag in a particular way on each collaborator’s body, avoiding to treat solemnly a symbol that has become stereotyping/stereotype-setter.  

 

Sabotaging and hacking mean also a game of possibilities that exceed the established. This initiative has been an open invitation to rethink symbols, it is a mental exercise. We experienced it as a socially and cultural ethical practice that had the body and it’s identity as central narrative intention. 

Hacking Pride means working towards the openness needed to create more inclusive realities, diminishing labelling practices as a way to build society and culture, and bringing bodies together beyond the binary erotic conflict in between. 

  

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Art and Creative direction @claudiasahuquillo
Creative direction @paz.gonzalezanta
Concept @paz.gonzalezanta@personajepersonaje 
Photography @fiogiuseppe
Retouch @marcellomolf 
Backstage photography @nubedecarbon
Production @pandimovski@gabyfranciscoo 
Production Assistants @residuzerowaste @barbaradetienda
Styling @rude_baby
Makeup @m.cami.fox @noesrojomagenta @ariadnamakeupartist @bymafealvarez
Video @seigoyokomine @massivana
Participants @personajepersonaje @arvikarvinen @ricc.dominguez @iamjordanwilliam @jossjaycoff @lorenadelgado9779 
@bgency @thebasementbarcelona #thebasement1063