Sharon Alward

Sexuality and Simulation in the Moment of Endless Waiting

Post-modern thought views endings and beginnings with skepticism. We face a crisis of humanist subjectivity. As a techno- performance artist, I explore issues related to post modern religious thought. Through my performances I invite my audiences to abandon their residual attachments to dualistic thinking and western philosophy's implicit occulocentrism; the dangerous equation between seeing and knowing and the visual drive to power and truth.

My work subverts the idea of the body as a social construct, attempting instead to revivify the body as a spiritual container. My performances and videos deconstruct themselves into in internal irreconcilibility, resisting traditional ideas of coherence and meaning. I confirm that lack of meaning with visual and textual elements that nullify and contradict each other and themselves. The inner contradictions through the use of technology and the presence of the body point to my belief in the unavailability of certainty about anything. My techno-performances deliberately resist attempts to universalize and canonize dogmas that contribute to a world of suffering, violence and cruelty.

My projects explore the phrase "to hear a God not contaminated by being." My work refutes the binary logic where one looks at the opposite of presence and finds absence. My projects also assert the feminist investigation of the bodily dimension of knowledge and I open myself up to the desires and projections of the audience. Aware that the female who displays herself as subject is forced to negotiate the rhetoric of the pose, I utilize both costume and technology to address these issues and affirm the embodiment of subjectivity over reigning modernist modes of pure visuality.

My performance/installations also explore how meaning and value are determined in relationship to a work of art where both the intimacy of the body and the non-linear ethereal body, promulgated through the use of technology, intersect. My performance work over the past two decades has explored ideas of repulsion, seduction, exoticism and other unnatural acts as saintly in the moment of endless waiting. Blood was dismissed as a fake fluid in Totentanz and ketchup became blood in St. John the Baptist, engaging audiences in a process that resonates in saintliness, sexuality and simulation.

  • References

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