Layers of Erasure

Solo exhibition with Julha Franz @ AC Institute NYC
27 June to 12 July (16 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017)
Critical Essay by Henrique Menezes, art curator based in Porto Alegre, Brazil

Duration 45 minutes

AC Institute will host Layers of Erasure , an in-process exhibition deepening Natacha Voliakovsky’s and Julha Franz’s individual practices, now in collaboration: the bodies’ potential of political speech-making are the genesis of their works. The performances conceived for the show emerge from the concept of phenotype-denying (or an intention towards transformation), in which a race-identified or gendered self is not considered biologically innate or authentic, but is something that could be created through the enactment of behaviors.

Both Natacha and Julha push beyond the question of image, placing their bodies as the vector of a driving involvement in politically committed causes, at the same time as they concentrate on the visible exterior of the body and on its social symbology.

Repression means erasure when it punishes and defeats the self.
Disguise means erasure when it denies inner human essence.

Layers of Erasure stands at the same time on what can be hidden and what asks for actions whose effects are permanent, non-hierarchically blurring the perspectives of overexposure and self-obsession. At AC Institute, Julha Franz reveals her ephemeral female-male process of transformation in a voyeuristic pact with the public. Natacha Voliakovsky performs a live non-surgical cosmetic treatment to permanently extinguish her physical “imperfections”. The artists declare: “ We are interested in reflecting on the place of women in society, on the obligation of beauty; we both bring the possibility of modifying ‘the sacred body’ to the table but from different perspectives ”. These approaches to performance and politics speak of an intrinsic resistance, of an emancipatory state of what it means to be a woman-latin-queer artist in today’s wavering world. Erasing can be an active and empowering action.