STAY WITH ME, I'LL GIVE YOU JEWLS
Solo Exhibition by AnnaMaria Pinaka
Curated by Ioanna Gerakidi
15.09.2023 - 27.10. 2023
Filonos 86, Piraeus
185 36, Greece
On Friday, September 15, at 7pm, opbo studio presents the first solo show of AnnaMaria Pinaka in Greece, under the title “stay with me, I’ll give you jewls,” curated by Ioanna Gerakidi. Through a new series of paintings, sculptures, and performative gestures, the exhibition inverstigates the vexed subjects of childhood and mothering, of gender, femininity, and trauma: How can the girly, the femme or the seductive co-exist with the untamed, the be-wildered, the tomboyish? How can identities, always, unapologetically swift?
“stay with me, I’ll give you jewls” will run until October 14. In the context of the exhibition, a series of parallel events will take place, the program of which will be announced soon.
Curatorial Text by Ioanna Gerakidi:
stay with me, I’ll give you jewls, the solo show of AnnaMaria Pinaka traces the complexities and pleasures, the guilts and desires, arising from within, yet occasionally imposed or reflected by societal norms and political realms. Through a new series of large-scale paintings composed spatially along with other gestures, varying from sculptural pieces to performative acts, both visible and invisible, Pinaka aims to speak about the vexed subjects of childhood and mothering, gender and femininity, trauma and the forever efforts of reclaiming its axes and along, agency.
Whilst utilizing paltry garments and frivolous materials, such as bedsheets found in her childhood bedroom, pieces of cheap tulle used for bridal or ballerina dresses, as well as curved, sculpted and painted styrofoam, among others, her work aims to operate as a comment on what willfully remains trivial and light, sticking to its innocence, or unwillingness to pretend a pompousness that was never there. The works produced for the show come with symbolisms affiliated both with idealized or demonized figures and creatures. From mermaids or princesses, to ballerinas representing western beauty standards, mystified or praised for these exact qualities in the 80’s and 90’s, to pigs and other animals or species unknown, carrying the semantic burden of dirt and filthiness, Pinaka’s show longs for staying with and taking care of contradictory schemes; How can the girly, the femme or the seductive co-exist with the untamed, and the tomboyish? How can identities, always, unapologetically swift? How can they concurrently be naïve and politically engaged, finding their empowerment within the passivity of undoing, whilst at the same time taking a stance towards an action a priori denying acceleration?
This play in between seemingly oppositional forces, resonates also with the performative processes followed for the production of the paintings, the drawings, the videos and the sculptural materials presented in the show. The questions raised over these actions, again, aim on bringing together what would otherwise be perceived as oxymoronic. How can a performative gesture claim its dynamic, mutant characteristics, whilst being uneventful? How can it advocate its power without collapsing into nihilism, without vaporizing or melting away? How inertia can be preserved, creating an uncannily static archive of pasts, presents and futures?
Whilst holding on to this gap, on this unknown, uncertain, suspended state of what’s excluded, suppressed, or forgotten, Pinaka’s performativity ponders on what can legitimize ambiguity; the pleasure and desire it can unleash when uncertainty is chosen and not forced upon. The work of Pinaka, traces queerness “as the warm illumination of a horizon imbued with potentiality, as a structuring and educated mode of desiring that allows us to see and feel beyond the quagmire of the present”* to quote the words of Jose Esteban Munoz. The dreamy travesties, the promising subversions, the unapologetic guilt deities become in Pinaka’s work the vessel to grow in this other horizon, to look with and touch lust as an act of resistance.
“I paint as if I was 7, cause that’s when they told me my painting sucks.”
Anna Maria Pinaka
*Muñoz, José Esteban. “Introduction: Feeling Utopia.” Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, NYU Press, 2009, pp. 1–18.
AnnaMaria Pinaka (b. 1983, Greece) lives and works between the Netherlands and Greece. Using video, drawing and performance, she looks at how (mundane) experiences of sexuality translate through the lens of auto-ethnography and masquerading while utilizing the low-tech, the unpolished and the excessively child-like. In her practice-based PhD, “Porno-graphing: ‘dirty’ sexual subjectivities and self-objectification in lens-based art (2017, Roehampton University),” she examined the methodological use of ‘dirty’ and non-sovereign sexual and artistic subjectivities in the production of images. Pinaka has exhibited, screened and performed her work at places such as the 6th Athens Biennale, Kunstraumllc, The Project Gallery, WETFILM and Mimosa House, amongst others, and she is supported by Mondriaan Fonds.