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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