According to Foucault, visual devices of the current representation system have expanded the gaze of the Panottico, beating heart of body-control diets in late modernity. Nonetheless, this process of normalization has never really succeeded in suppressing other cultural counter-models, such as sick people, addicts, rebels, refugees, migrants and precarious, figures that keep underlining the failure of contemporary social imagery, steeped in deviant representations.
Within Ulman’s work we discover a female body in its more direct and vulnerable physical thickness. The narrative is about a young woman who pursues the dream of a white, rich and physically striking femininity, but very quickly, and inevitably, cosmetic surgery, prosthetics, anorexia and antidepressants prevail. According to Braidotti “in an historical and geo-political extremely biomedicalized system, it seems clear that what we keep calling our body, in truth is almost a virtual technological set immersed in the psycho-pharmaceuticals industry, in bioscience and the new media”.
Bodies – no more subjectivities – owned by the pharmacological capital will transform themselves to put their organic potential on the market.
Preciado, within Testo Tossico, elaborates a lucid and provocative analysis on how the porn industry is the engine that keeps fueling the IT economy by providing a new business model for the cyber market evolution.
Pornography has in fact the same characteristics as any other representation of the cultural industry: virtuosity, theatricality, sensationalization and technical reproducibility can be in fact compared to the spectacularization of the self and of one’s body through social media, in which users frantically look for compensation.
Preciado defines the pharmaco-pornographic industry as a specific mode of production and consumption, “a masturbatory temporalization of life, a virtual and at the same time hallucinogenic aesthetic of the object, in which the body, and the sexual body, become the center of the action policy”.
On her Instagram profile, Amalia Ulman has captured and fully recreated the new face of pharmaco-pornographic capitalism, in which the industries of culture and information are now as effective as pornography in influencing people.
Eccellences & Perfections surprises its audience by showing the gap between fantasy and reality. The staging of the artist is not just one play well orchestrated, but a fiction that allows us to grasp reality and at the same time what reality hides.
text by: Milena Zanetti
text by: Milena Zanetti
copyright © Amalia Ulman, Milena Zanetti and PHROOM, all rights reserved