I wanted to attempt a self-portrait that would prove cathartic; prove revelatory. I decided to put myself in a situation where I would expereince the feeling of being ashamed, feel uncomfortable physically and mentally, and then capture it with the camera. I thought back to my childhood in Borovo Selo (Former Yugoslavia) and the humiliating punishments enforced in school: I had to kneel in the classroom corner for hours on dry corn kernels in front of the whole classroom. The punishment was very embarrassing, and I often felt ashamed. I wanted to channel this feeling of shame, this moment when all I could think of was to perish from my submission. Since the civil war of former Yugoslavia in 1995, I moved a lot from place to place, and through this journey I met many people who were very significant to me and the development of my identity. Few I loved, desired, admired, worshipped. Few I grew to disgust. Some grew to disgust me. And some I hated for many reasons. Each one of them has played a formative role in my life. As I grew closer with some, I grew separate from others, which allowed me to realize the psychological impact of these relationships. They were simply displacements for the lack of attachment to my mother: an attachment I have always struggled to understand. I wanted to make myself feel shamed by and for them through my own submission to their powers. Portrait of the Deity glanced backwards to the space and time of a younger me and those people of whom I became attached. The performance enacts a ritual of supplication, coalescing these psychological and physical difficulties of my becoming.
Performed by Branislav Jankić with: