An Extended Update with artist Danica Barboza....
The tenor of our current times has become a perfect climate for being rebellious. I’ve started a band.
We sound a bit like a mangled version of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ...with some wordy 60-dollar-long words included, (all carefully 'thesaurus-sized' for each occasion) which crack their way through some of the wobbling lyrics.
We practice at a ‘covert’ location on Long Island – (the backyard of a family member,) and in general, it has become the perfect expressive-outlet and location for screaming my head off.
Returning to Amalphia as a persona seems to be a perfect match for me – it’s everything I wanted from modeling in my early 20s; the opportunity to vent, in Bret Easton Ellis style, about the social-cultural
restrictions and limits of society, specifically by playing the role of an over-the-top sexualized exhibitionist... sort of like Mata Hari as an infuriated jack-in-the-box. –But all this, minus what I could
never stand about modeling – namely being required over and over again, to do as I was told, including on two separate occasions when I was suddenly told to dance on command in front of the camera, no
music playing, with a full numbered shooting-crew watching stone-faced and silent.
Performing as Amalphia has become particularly juicy for me too – because deep down I finally got to admit to myself, what I really longed to do-- to make the most ridiculous costumes on the face of the
planet: Saucy little outfits, with slogans derived from the life-cannon of Dame Britney Spears, delicately sewn or safety-pinned to the rear of my sequined leotard, or elsewhere. It’s fun! ...and I think it’s something that I have been harboring in me for a while. –So much so that talking about it now, feels a lot like breaking the world’s ‘one favorite rule about fight club’...
In general, I feel fortunate, that I happened to have singled-down my core performance-buddies – just a bit before quarantine and shut down – perhaps if it had happened later, it might have been difficult finding anyone willing to take risks amongst the mental havoc and/or psychological chaos, even with prudent intervals of hiatus in-between our meetings. Thankfully the people I’m working with have been
able to remain a part of my personal quarantine-bubble of contacts.
I like the idea of performing as Amalphia – it’s a lot like saying hello to someone, I have not seen since college and discovering that, -- nothing has changed. She’s exactly as she always was!
* * * *
Somewhere on the antiquated vestiges of the internet (in other words, places still accessible to anyone who googles my name), there are still pictures of ‘Amalphia,’ -- me that is, doing in-class performance
art, where I would suddenly surprise a group of classmates and my professors during group critiques and/or finals, covered in more layers of decorous vintage 1980’s lingerie —all to the service of performing smallish, minute-acts and gestures.
The class would rise from their seats to examine some excerpts from Laurence Stern’s novel A Sentimental Journey, which I had pinned, neatly-sweetly to a wall like poetry – directly placed over a
large heap of raw meat I had set on a white pedestal ( --the meat procured from a local butcher who had put aside the scraps for me ). While no one was paying attention, I would leave the room and
disrobe in the hallway.
Transformed into Danica/Amlaphia-head-to-breeches burlesque and lady-like heals – I would re-enter the classroom, with the professor and students still dearly examining the text and raw meat. Sauntering closer in my heals, I would then publicly remove a skirt made of sleek leather and long-black hair, and hang the skirt over the wall with the aid of two waiting silver hooks -- the garment serving to concealed both the raw bloody meat and the and text. Voilà!! --My performance was complete, and I was ready for an academic critique, still dressed in burlesque like some character extracted the nightclub scene of a 1940s Hollywood film -- but the make-shift version. One of life’s more perfect moments [N95-covered simile, and wink!]
I’m looking forward to doing more with Amalphia as a character persona – it feels a lot like privately
conferring with a close friend to take over the world...
Extended Feature --
to view the original articel, please see Artist Danica Barboza is Returning to Her Alter-Ego - on Cultured Magazine's new list of Artists '30 Under 35' aka, Young Artists 2021
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This articel and its original found on Cultured Magazine feature photography by Letica Barboza
Please stay tuned with us on Instagram and more, to view more 'uninterrupted' photos from this session. :)
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