May 7, 2013 - Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce - Julieta Aranda
May 7, 2013

Julieta Aranda

Julieta Aranda, What right?, 2013.
Single channel HD video (live video, 3-D object scanning, animation).

Julieta Aranda
If a body meet a body
May 9–June 30, 2013

Press preview: Thursday, May 9, 11:30–13:30h
Opening: Thursday, May 9, 18h

Museo Villa Croce
via Ruffini 3

Curated by Ilaria Bonacossa

Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce presents If a body meet a body, an exhibition by Julieta Aranda, her first solo show to take place in an Italian museum.


I tell you a story: There is a museum in Genoa. And on the top floor, there is a room that is usually locked. Inside this room, there is a small community of 23 heads. A potentially thinking collectivity—probably Italian aristocrats from the early 20th century—missing its body. An homage to decapitation, and a memorial to the separation between thought and the possibility to act.

1.- At what precise moment does an individual stop being who he thinks he is?

If you cut off my arm, I say “me and my arm.” You cut off my other arm, I say “me and my two arms.” Take out my stomach, my kidneys—assuming that were possible—and I say “me and my intestines.” And now, if you cut off my head, what would I say? “Me and my head” or “me and my body”? What right has my head to call itself me? What right?

2.- Headless or bodiless, but not unborn. An insufficiency of being.

3.- The hangman’s knot or hangman’s noose (also known as a collar during the Elizabethan era) is a well-known knot usually associated with its use in hanging a person. For a hanging, the knot of the rope is typically placed under or just behind the left ear. When the condemned drops to the end of the rope, the force is supposed to break the neck. The knot often has 13 coils.

4.- Newspaper:
France: May ’68—Students and workers’ revolt shakes the world

In the year 1968, with a synchronicity previously unheard of in human history, we can see great masses of people all over the world—workers and students—fighting against both the capitalist moloch and the authoritarianism of the socialist world.

—That is a long time ago, isn’t it? You know, this is the 21st century, so now what?

5.- I don’t want to be a cultural worker. I don’t want to be a worker. I don’t want to work. A world has to be possible some other way.

A world is made of bodies that are together with other bodies. A gravitational pull; strings of obligation and desire.

“put your neck on the line”

6.- If a body meet a body
Comin thro’ the rye,
If a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?

7.- I wash my hands of this matter. I have other things to think about. Someone else will do the rest. But what is the rest? Where is my body? Where is my headache? Where are my sore muscles, and my ingrown nails? And I wonder if me and my body can recognize each other.

8.- In the last 10 years, as a corollary to the entrenched drug-wars, hundreds of beheaded bodies have been found throughout Mexico.
How do we treat ourselves as bodies?
Empty shell, containers without value.

A fertility-industrial complex has been created to cater to millions of infertile women. Even though the cost to the intended parent(s), including medical and legal bills, runs from 40,000 to 120,000 USD, the demand for qualified surrogates is well ahead of supply. The surrogate herself typically is paid 20,000 to 25,000 USD in the U.S., which averages approximately 3.00 USD per hour for each hour she is pregnant, based on a pregnancy of 266 days or 6,384 hours.

Wash your hands, put on your nightgown;
look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo’s
buried; he cannot come out on’s grave.

10.- The Blemmyes (Latin Blemmyae) were a genuine historical tribe, which became fictionalized as a race of creatures believed to be acephalous (headless) monsters who had eyes and mouths on their chest. Pliny the Elder writes of them that Blemmyes traduntur capita abesse, ore et oculis pectore adfixis (“It is said that the Blemmyes have no heads, and that their mouth and eyes are put in their chests”). The Blemmyes were said to live in Africa, in Nubia, Kush, or Ethiopia, generally south of Egypt.

Blemmyae found resurgent fame in early English colonialism. Sir Walter Raleigh came back from his travels among the Amazonian tribes describing the “savages” to his peers as having their eyes in their shoulders, and their mouths in the middle of their breasts.

I think a lot about memorialization, and what it is that gets memorialized.

11.- …I do not find The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.

Klaus Störtebeker (1400)—Beheaded for being a pirate in Hamburg; Jean-François de la Barre (1766)—Beheaded and burnt in Abbeville for blasphemy; John the Baptist (in the Gospels)—Beheaded by order of Herod Antipas; Antoine Lavoisier (1794)—the “Father of Modern Chemistry,” guillotined for treason; André Chénier (1794)—Poet, guillotined on trumped-up charges; Lucius Appuleius Saturninus (100 BC)—Radical tribune, Gaius Rabirius toyed with his severed head at a dinner party; Boris Sagal (1981)—Decapitated by helicopter….

**Quoting Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Roman Polanski, T.S. Elliot, Robert Burns, old news, new news, Wikipedia.

Press office:
Genova Palazzo Ducale
Fondazione per la Cultura
ufficiostampa [​at​] / staffmostre [​at​]

In partnership with Comune di Genova and Fondazione Palazzo Ducale per la Cultura

Main sponsors:
Fondazione Edoardo Garrone
Fondazione Hofima (Malacalza family)

Clinica Montallegro, Genova
Banca Carige
Costa Crociere
Coe Clerici


Julieta Aranda at Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce
Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce
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