Journey Through the Body
The Surplus performance is representing the struggles of fitting in with beauty standards from a feminist point of view. This project was presented as a part of the exhibition ‘Journey through the body’ at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf.
Cristiana Cott Negoescu’s performance SURPLUS is dedicated to the beauty standards of our society. Wanting to optimise one’s own body in order to conform to the normatively imposed beauty ideals of our society is more the rule than an exception in today’s world. Cristiana Cott Negoescu exposed herself to this constant pressure and recited a composed poem that deals with self-criticism and the inability to conform to ideals of beauty while “optimising” her body performatively.
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Poem recited during the performance:
I see you in the ajar open doors
I see you in darkness
I see you in fat blabbering bellies
I see you in a dim light
I meet you from my hip bounced perspective
I meet you in your pants, in your skirts,
Behind your shin bones
I meet you lately on your arms
I’m surprised I didn’t meet you already on the roof of your mouth
Where I dissolve
When I’m inside you
When you call me up in the middle of the night
When you cannot get rid of me
When you talk to me asking if you had a vision or they had a vision
When you look for pillows to put in between your legs.
When you lie on your side on that goddamn bed that scratches me
When you eat sugar syrup that is not indeed sugar syrup
Cut, with 10 milliliter gelatin
On each side of the aluminum.
I’ve seen great minds of my generation
Suppressed, numbed and caffeinated
I’ve seen them rolling short ones in the cold
Because of the acid of their reflux
I listened to my mum tell me that my jeans break on my hips
Almost no parents
But a lot of to do lists
So why are you so fucking fat then?
Just a stick
Not a box with something in it.
No place to hide
And you know I feel too big
To have nothing
And to be nothing –
But a tiny legacy
My greatest fat fear.
Looking relentlessly for a fuming definition
In the machinery of unslept mornings
Swallowing swards into the screaming body of work
What body is a body –
Illuminating the space between nothing and nothing
Demanding nurture or lobotomy
Riding with my umbrella on bicycles
So I don’t ruin my freshly died hair
But my mouth is kept shut at parties
Submarines floated up faster
Talked continuously for ninety hours
And dove in lakes, seas, rivers and puddles.
Vanishing in the waters where I cannot swim but to save my life.
I wandered where to go, and I went.
To yak about legs and eternity.
The women around and about
Who screamed for freedom’s last chance at them
Who made banners about abortion in 2020 and passed on flyers and flowers
Against domestic violence
Who went to shout what was going on when one of them fell, they all fell.
Who danced alone,
Who stayed with tied eyes
Who ran in the streets of cities, in front of government buildings, in the city square,
Who demanded equal rights, not flowers on the 8th of March.
Who thought sexual education in school.
Or in the mornings and evenings of parks and back gardens
Who lost and won at the same time
Everything is a copy, of a copy, of a copy.
Remember when they said:
Do you have someone you can call?
If it has a name, it won’t scare you anymore…
It’s not a competition.
So, where to now?
The women who shouted at other women to leave their hips alone
Who wrote on their own breasts.
Who came about and nodded
But remained true
- Video on Vimeo
- Article in ArtJunk Online Magazine
- Link to NRW Kultur article on Journey Through a Body