Maria Forqué

Maria Forqué

As part of a six-part series, Jenni Hensler, along with longtime collaborator and filmmaker Nathan Corbin organized the Persona Somnia and approached Maria Forque for the first iteration.

"When I met Maria, I knew that she would be the first one. We connected right away and talked all night after the shoot about our shared ideas about seeing reality and the mystical side of life... Neither of us holding back at all. We discussed the idea of doing a show together and I asked her if she would like to be the first of Persona Somnia. Its very interesting how we helped each other in this way: She wanted to be seen as art and received a different kind of release, while I see this as a point of connection...she is a vessel," says Hensler. 

For a one-night performance at James Fuentes gallery, (coincidentally, also playing on the eye-catching language that runs rampant in one-night stands and "only tonight" shows of strippers), both created a dreamlike state, with Forque's nude body front and center as the full spectacle. With the blunt statement, "I use my myself," Forque understands the double entendre—literally, with the repeated "my"—when it comes to use of the female body. 

At once glorifying and tying down the female body, Forque's body remained in "sleep" for two hours, a physical and mental feat in it of itself. Seemingly poised for relaxation, tension runs high, though not in the conventionally explicit way. Tautness is seen everywhere, be it in her tense muscles or unwavering expression.

At once glorifying and tying down the female body, Forque's body remained in "sleep" for two hours, a physical and mental feat in it of itself. Seemingly poised for relaxation, tension runs high, though not in the conventionally explicit way. Tautness is seen everywhere, be it in her tense muscles or unwavering expression.

Towards the end, the performance finally began to take a toll on Forque's resilient body. As she was unhung, she stood in honest vulnerability with her eyes closed to collect herself as bystanders snapped shots and took videos. "I felt Maria's pain as she hung there in ropes... I have been through emotional pain in life and saw this as a sort of symbolic release. That we are mirrors of each other," comments Hensler. Whilst the background music, created by Corbin, plays as a representation of Forque's subconscious thoughts, viewers can only wonder if the soundtrack actually aligns with Forque's inner dialogue as she passes the time in suspension.

As Hensler says, "Sometimes when violence absorbs you, you are suspended in sleep and sometimes sleep is the only way to react to violence or to cope. Most of us are sleeping and in our symbolic way, we are trying to wake them."

 

 


words SUNNY LEE


James Fuentes Gallery, New York City 
April, 20th 2017 7-9pm
www.jamesfuentes.com

 

Images courtesy of Eva Tusquets

Kitsuné Hot Stream

Kitsuné Hot Stream

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Ruth Ossai