Empathy and Prositution - Performance Art by Abel Azcona at Houston International Performance Art Biennale.
A bond formed by nickel and aluminum is still a bond. The tingling of the coins in the pocket of the pants precedes the contact, such as a mother shakes a rattle to calm his child before embracing it. When dropping them on the table they glimmer with the lights of the candles spread all over the room, such as the little lamp the mother leaves switched on so that his child isn’t afraid, so that he knows she’s at the other side of the door.
Being born from the womb of a prostitute, being conceived by mistake and with a price, renders any motherly connection hard. The rejection during gestation and the abandonment after birth renders it impossible. Abel Azcona uses art as a catharsis against a life stablished on mistakes and wrong decisions by others. In his work, the figure of an absent biological mother, a prostitute who shouldn’t have gotten pregnant, is a point of inflection on which self-knowledge begins, a thought about a life where maltreatment and sexual abuse has marked his current status of apathy and social mistrust. In this project, that he developed for the first time at a gallery in Colombia, secondly in a contemporary art fair in Madrid, and for the third time at the Houston international biennale, looks for establishing a bond with his biological mother trough prostitution, and idea the adolescent Azcona already glimpsed when he used sex as a tool to empathize with her.
One hundred colombian pesos, an euro or a dollar in exchange of three minutes, in this landscape we find the artist naked and laying on a bed. Three minutes during which his body shall be property of whoever wants it and pays for it, three minutes in which a forced bond is the only possible bond. Flourishing in a belly property of the highest payer, being the result of an encounter between strangers whose only link comes out of a wallet, makes a handful of coins and a body offered as an (a)sexual object the mean of connection. A wrecked body that isn’t able to find a bond if it’s not trough impositions, that is unaware of the process of unity and natural empathy when being raised as a projection of someone else’s wishes. The reproduction of his own process of conception, of the circumstances and emotions that intervened, are the way in which Azcona establishes that empathic connection with his biological mother.
An action where the viewer leaves his passive role behind and triggers the action on the artist, now an object. An experience that reveals the repressed desires, lacks, and empathy of those who buy a body hoping it will help them find their own bonds.
More information at abel-azcona.com/empathy-and-prostitution