‘Gossypium’ is the scientific term used to name plants that produce cotton. The natural fibres are picked by hand from our Mother Earth. The fibres sprout from a very small seed that requires sun and plenty of water to survive. This fibre is commonly used all over the world. Cotton is unique, resistant to breakage and boiling water, compact, firm, etc… All of these characteristics have made cotton a product of great importance and fundamental to ‘mankind’.
Women share with cotton its strength, toughness and resistance; and it is men that have managed to turn them into another ‘product’. This project arises from this parallelism, which is a reflection of the use of a woman’s body as an object and the violence that it is subjected to.
The aesthetics I suggest in this project are simple, without social artifices; similarly to those artists from the avant-gardes, such as Dadaism and Futurism. Moholi Nagy focused on this perspective as well as Marcel Duchamp with his work “Fountain” which he developed from a urinal. Prior to these artists, Giorgo de Chirico also used similar techniques in his work with dummies or Man Ray who focused exclusively on the subject that was being photographed.
On the other hand, I feel influenced by the Marxist aesthetics used in the 50’s and 60’s. An era that saw artists that broke the predetermined limits of the artistic object and introduced a non-artistic perspective to their work. Such artists radically accentuated the content of their work. I also inherited the aesthetics criteria from Frankfort’s school of thought, where Adorno theorized with quotes such as; ‘only the type of art that englobes a cry out against an unhuman world is legitimate’ or ‘modern art must be negative in order to talk about suffering and produce displeasure.’
In my Project, the man is the object. I show his profaned and sullied body, with traces of violence and emotional dramas and dissatisfaction towards the established model that, often leads to the obscene or immodest.
In the images of ‘Gossypium’, I show different sections of the body in each photograph and use cotton rope as an element of strength and to resemble the psychological load that occurs when the viewer sees the photographs. The rope becomes the executor, making a clear reference to femicide.
Violence against women is a question of gender. All over the world women are victims of patriarchy. This is a situation that men do not experience. This is why I choose to use the male body as an object in my photographs. As a feminist revindication I show the viewers how we women have felt throughout history and how we have been represented: tied, sectioned, sullied, mute, without being allowed to think, not having ownership of our bodies, used and sexually repressed.
I relate the vision the patriarchal system has about women to softness, purity, pulchritude, whiteness, etc… These are the characteristics of cotton that I use in my photographs. However, this is the vision about women and cotton at the same time, that is subverted in my images. They show the opposite to what is established by the system whilst I stage, by using the red cotton rope, the image of a powerful woman, autonomous, a fighter… a real woman.
The white background also creates a contrast between the two visions about women that I suggest. White is the colour that symbolizes the woman dictated by the patriarchy (pure, delicate, soft, defenseless, etc…) and the red rope refers to the real woman.
With ‘Gossypium’ we could say that I adapt the idea of Rioko Suzuki, Japanese photographer, but inverting roles and with an air of irony with regards to gender I use a man’s body in my photographs.
Many authors have used tying techniques in their photographs throughout history but the tied subject has always been a woman. Examples of this type of practice are Nobuyoshi Araki, Hans Bellmer, Helmunt Newton or Terry Richardson amongst others. My photographic and artistic references are quite clear, from the classics such as Barbara Krugues, Cindy Sherman, Nan Golding, Jo Spence, Catherine Opie, Robert Mapplethorpe to more contemporary artists such as Grete, Stern, Marina Abramovic, Gina Pen, Marta Amorocho, Ana Mendieta and especially Regina Jose Galindo, whom I admire profoundly.
“TO PROVOKE SOMETIMES SOME DISPLEASURE IN THE MIND OF THE SPECTATOR IN ORDER TO AWAKE HIS OFTEN PASSIVE AND INEFFECTIVE POSITION AS A READER”